Are you seeing stink bugs early this fall as the weather starts to cool? The stink bug (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug- BMSB) is considered an invasive species, as it was introduced to the United States from Eastern Asia in the mid-1990s. It’s a vegetation-eating insect that feeds on many crop foliage including apples, pears, corn, tomatoes, ornamental trees, etc.
Stink bugs are very good at traveling via shipping containers such as on boats and trucks. This is how they have become a pest most U.S. states, including California. BMSB breed fast and during the fall, they come out in full force and you can see trees and houses full of them.
While the summer months are often the peak of pest activity, stink bugs – and some other pests- are more likely to infest your home during the fall. They seek shelter from the cooler temps to survive the winter and to mate, which means an invasion in your home is possible.
Stink bugs search for overwintering sites in late fall before the weather conditions drastically change. They spend the winter hiding inside homes or buildings, usually in the walls, attic or crawl space. However, entering into inactivity may not be the complete end to their season. If the weather warms up for a long enough period of time, indoor overwintering stink bugs might be misled into thinking it is time to exit their diapause period and become active again. Stink bugs reemerge in early spring and become active. Check the south and west-facing outside walls of structures to see if stink bugs are attempting to find their way inside to keep warm.
Some steps to keep stink bugs out of your home include:
– Seal and caulk cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.
– Repair or replace damaged screens on windows or doors.
– Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.
– If stink bugs have already entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner for their removal and dispose of the bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area.
– If an infestation has developed, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem.
Wilco recommends these home-use chemical treatment products:
– Indoor: ORTHO ANT & ROACH SPRAY 16OZ, SKU 232652
– Outdoor: 32OZ HOME DEFENSE CONCENTRATE, SKU 216819
– Outdoor: Bonide Stink Bug Trap 3pk, SKU 1210806