How To Stop Stink Bugs

The brown marmorated stink bug is more likely to invade homes in the fall than others in the family. The bug survives the winter as an adult by entering houses and structures when autumn evenings become colder. Adults can live from several months to a year.  They will enter under siding, into soffits, around window and door frames, or any space which has openings big enough to fit through. Once inside the house, they will go into a state of hibernation. They wait for winter to pass, but often the warmth inside the house causes them to become active, and they may fly clumsily around light fixtures.

How To Stop Stink Bugs
John_0061_WEB
Royal Pest Entomologist: John Moore
M.S. Entomology, Ohio State University
Post Graduate, Training at the United States Academy of Health and Science,
Founded Philadelphia Insectarium,
Consultant to The Philadelphia Zoo
Special interest: Medical Entomology

Questions and Answers:

  1. Where did STINK BUGS come from? 
  2. How did STINK BUGS get their name?  
  3. Why are there so many STINK BUGS?  
  4. How do STINK BUGS get into homes?  
  5. Why do they come inside?  
  6. Do STINK BUGS carry any diseases?  
  7. What can you do to control STINK BUGS?

get_help_stinkbugs

Where did STINK BUGS come from?
Stink Bugs come from Asia/China. It appears that “Ground 0” for Stink bugs in the United States is Allentown, PA in 1996. Stink Bugs come out of homes in late April through early May depending on when vegetation starts to fill in. They like greens. They are also attracted to Butterfly Bushes (Buddleia davidii). When they come out they mate, lay eggs in lots of 50-150. They lay their eggs on leaves and around the base of trees. The eggs look like tiny barrels ~1/8-1/4” high, side-by-side with a blue stripe. It takes over a year for Stink Bugs to go from eggs to maturity. In the US stink bugs produce one generation per year. In China they can produce several. STINK BUGS begin to come into your home in late September when the light/dark cycle changes. They settle in dark, cool, undisturbed places like attics, crevices and unused chimneys.

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How did STINK BUGS get their name?Stink-bugs-2sm
Stink Bugs get their name because this family of insects use chemicals for defense. Any other insect that tries to eat them quickly spits them out as they smell and taste is bad. They do let off a slight odor when you crush them.

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Why are there so many STINK BUGS?
Stink Bugs have no natural predators in the United States, which is why they have an uncontrolled population. Spiders and the praying mantis will eat them but it is not enough to control them. In China, there is a wasp that is responsible for 70% of the mortality rate of the Stink Bug and that keeps them in check there.

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chartHow do STINK BUGS get into homes?
Stink Bugs are attracted to the Southern Side of a home – the Sunny/ warmest/most reflective side but NOT seeking warmth. They are looking for a place to “over winter” or hibernate. A dark and cold place and on the brightest side of the house is where they see the greatest contrasts under window ledges, soffits, in chimneys. Stink bugs land on the home’s bright side and crawl to the darkest sides and they will search the entire side of the house at the darkest spots looking for a way in for a cold/dark place to shut down and survive the winter.

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Why do they come inside?
Stink Bugs are predictable of when they begin to look for a place to go for winter…it’s on the Fall equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. Daylight is 7-10 minutes longer than nighttime. It starts late on Sept 22; the first full day is Sept 23. The light/dark cycle changes and that triggers their behavior to begin seeking a place to over winter. That’s when they start to come into homes and can be somewhat controlled.

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Do STINK BUGS carry any diseases?
For the homeowner Stink Bugs really pose no medical or economic concerns…they are just a nuisance; in Agriculture they are a significant pest ruining peaches, pears and soybeans. Only soybeans are in our area.

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What can you do to control STINK BUGS?
There is little you can do once they are in your home other than spray areas and kill them where they are hibernating. The best solution is to plan to exclude them or give them false targets to hit when they are coming indoors in the fall. There is a four-six week opportunity to do this and if a homeowner talks to a Royal Pest Professional we can make sure that plan is in place. It includes: Inserting light traps in areas that will keep stink bugs away from home inhabitants and kill them; putting up barriers such as screens, and caulking around windows, soffits, attic fan vents, chimney caps, etc; a crack and crevice treatment with an insecticidal dust (dust is most effective as it coats more of the surface of the stink bug and has a residual effect to remain effective against the late-comers;) carefully timed exterior treatments based on the severity of the stink bug infestation.

Late August and Early September is the time to call us and significantly reduce the number of STINK BUGS that come into your home. If you are seeing stink bugs in your home, call Royal and we will show you our unique system to keep them from bothering you.

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