What’s Bugging You? Stink Bugs & Other Invaders

October 19, 2018

Are you getting bugged this fall? 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. The BMSB is a vegetation-eating-insect that feeds on many crop foliage including apples, pears, corn, tomatoes, ornamental trees, etc. In and around the home BMSB is a problem when it aggregates on structures where it overwinters, and it can become a continual winter annoyance to residents. It also has a negative effect on urban agriculture including and backyard gardens where it damages fruits and vegetables, sometimes causing complete crop destruction. 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:

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