With the long winter behind us, you may have started to see some sluggish stink bugs around your home. Known as the brown marmorated stink bug, this pest is not native to the states. The first stateside sighting of this insect was in Pennsylvania back in 1998. Since then these pests have spread throughout the continental United States and parts of Canada. This widespread invasion was made possible due to the fact that they feed on more than 300 different types of fruit trees, field crops, and shade trees. Their ability to fly and “hitchhike” have also helped contribute to their widespread growth.
What does a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Look Like?
When a brown marmorated stink bug is first hatched it is red-orange and black and lacks the wings and “broad-shouldered” shield shape it has as an adult. During this nymph stage, the insect is also known to have a single white band on each leg and on each antenna. As they mature and molt, they become browner in color.
As an adult, these insects reach sizes of 1/2 to 5/8-inches (12-17 mm) long. At this stage of development, these sting bugs become mottled brownish-gray in color with alternating white and black markings along its abdomen.
Why are they considered pests to homeowners?
During the fall, these insects will begin to look for a warm place to stay for the winter. For this reason, they will begin to invade homes and other structures, especially those that are close to fields or orchards that contain their host crops. These pests are drawn in by the light and most commonly enter homes through window air conditioning units.
Once they are inside, they become hard to find and control. This is due to the fact that they tend to hide in attics, wall or ceiling voids, and behind baseboards, windows, or door trim. If you do end up finding them in your home the only thing that you have to be mindful of is that these pests will release a strong odor if they are disturbed or crushed. These stink bugs will not bite or sting you. They will also not produce any young while in your home.
How do you stop them?
While there has been some research on using light and pheromone traps to rid homes of stink bugs, we find that the only real way to protect your home is by pest-proofing the outside of your home during the fall.
If you want to learn more about the brown marmorated stink bug then visit our website or techletter.com (a website dedicated to pest control publications, information, and resources). And if you find any of these pests in your home call 877-546-9575 and ask the Masters for help. Our team of pest control specialists are trained to deal with any pest problem.