The stink bug is a prolific breeder and is seemingly on it’s way to potential global domination. Found in 33 states and as far west as California and Oregon, the stink bug is a growing and persistent concern for farmers, home and business owners. With agricultural damage already in excess of $33 million here in the states, and recent headlines naming the stink bug as public enemy number one to farmers in regions of the US, one must wonder how this all began. Originally from Asia, the stink bug is at home in most any climate and all it needs is pollen and vegetation to survive. When it gets cold outside, the brown marmorated stink bug needs warmth and simply must find it, usually in the comfort of our homes and businesses.
Signs of the smelly offender’s presence vary from finding them on or around windows, to hearing the buzz of a nearby flying insect: something like a tiny propeller whizzing past your head, to finding them in the unlikeliest of places, like in your cupboard or walking across your television screen. Wait, they like sports and sitcoms too? Their shield shaped back is painted in hues of brown, and their slow, lumbering gate confirm what you may suspect: the stink bug has invaded my home!
Increasingly more at home with each new city they arrive in, the brown marmorated stink bug is a nuisance pest that doesn’t bite or sting. What the stink bug does do and do very well however, is stink. This, the unfortunate outcome of their demise once crushed or corralled to be disposed of. The stink bugs not so subtle, scented remnants can be gleaned by sniffing your hand or whatever surface they were on when you, well, took care of…that one. There will be more. A solitary insect and pollen feeder, the stink bugs arrival signals temperature changes that will soon reveal fall and it’s chilling transition to winter.
There is however good news. There are some things you can do to reinforce the battle front; your home for all intents and purposes. Measures like sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows, sealing gaps around utility lines entering the structure, and making sure your screen windows fit nice and tight are all simple, if not quick fixes. If you want to keep the smelly, lethargic buggers out completely, your best bet is combining the methods mentioned above with a stink bug solution timed seasonally for maximum effect.
From the looks of it stink bugs are not going away. And unless your plan includes cave dwelling or living underwater, where you will have far more curious pest concerns to contend with, your best stink bug defense is a strong stink bug offense.