What are Stink Bugs
The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is considered an invasive species, or a pest of foreign origin, as it was introduced to the United States from Eastern Asia in the mid-1990s. It is also referred to as the yellow-brown or East Asian stink bug. The bug was first collected in the United States in Allentown, PA in the fall of 1996, but apparently not recognized or identified until September 2001. It quickly spread east to New Jersey, then Virginia by 2004, and now southward to the North Carolina border. Today, brown marmorated stink bugs are most prevalent in the mid-Atlanta region, but they have been identified in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The bug’s native range includes China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The stink bug earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed.
What Do Stink Bugs Look Like
Stink bugs are described in several different ways. They are characterized as both “large, oval-shaped insects” and “shield-shaped insects.” Adult stink bugs can reach almost 2 cm in length. They are nearly as wide as they are long. Their legs extend from the sides, so this makes the adult bugs appear even larger. The brown marmorated stink bug is a brownish stink bug. It has lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the wings.
Stink Bug Control and Prevention
1. Seal off entry points.
For proper stink bug control, spend some time inspecting the outside of your home for easy access points. Pay close attention to areas including around siding and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia or other openings. Seal any cracks and holes that are found using a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
2. Replace and repair.
Stink bugs can enter the home through the smallest openings, so it’s important to repair or replace damaged screens on windows or doors. Don’t forget to check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar. You can also install door sweeps if necessary.
3. Turn off the lights.
Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. During the evenings, turn off porch lights and pull down window blinds to prevent light from spilling outside.
4. Reduce moisture sites.
Eliminating all moisture build up around your home can go a long way to help prevent many pest infestations. Check for leaking pipes and clogged drains.
5. Eliminate food sources.
Another method for how to get rid of stink bugs is to remove their access of food. Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles. Also, make sure you wipe down counters and sweep floors to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills.
Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. Also, make sure to install screens over your chimney and attic vents.
7. Check your belongings.
Inspect items such as boxes containing holiday decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Stink bugs can travel on these items and make themselves cozy once inside the home.
8. Properly landscape.
Keep branches and shrubbery well-trimmed. In addition, make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground.
9. Think before squishing.
When many people find a stink bug, their first instinct is to squish them. However, when disturbed or crushed, stink bugs have a tendency to release a bad-smelling, bad-tasting odor from pores on the sides of their bodies. This is how the pest earned its name.
10. Use a vacuum.
How do you get rid of stink bugs once they have already entered your home? Use a vacuum cleaner for their removal. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can stink up your home.
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PestWorld. (n. d.). Stink Bugs. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/occasional-invaders/stink-bugs/
PestWorld. (n. d.). Stink Bug Prevention: 10 Tips to Keep This Smelly Pest at Bay. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from https://www.pestworld.org/news-hub/pest-articles/stink-bug-control-10-tips-to-keep-this-smelly-pest-at-bay/