It's Stink Bug Season: Expert Tips for a Smelly Pest

READING, Pa., Sept. 4, 2014 — Now that the cooler weather of autumn is fast approaching, brown marmorated stink bugs are going to make their annual appearance in homes and outside throughout the Northeastern United States. The Rentokil family of pest control companies (Ehrlich Pest Control, Western Exterminator, and Presto-X Pest Control), encourages homeowners to take measures to stink bug-proof the home, both inside and out, enabling the warding off  of these pests in the coming weeks.  In many cases, these pests are hard to control without immediate measures.

Brown marmorated stink bugs are believed to have been imported into the U.S. from Asia in the late 1990s and have become a common household pest since they were first identified in Allentown, Penn. in September 2001.  They have since invaded 41 states coast-to-coast and two Canadian provinces. An interactive map showing where these stink bugs have been detected and are more than a nuisance in the United States can be seen at Stop BMSB.

“Stink bugs often enter homes and other structures this time of year to seek shelter in preparation for the upcoming winter weather,” said Chad Gore, PhD, entomologist for Rentokil. “More damaging to agriculture, stink bugs do not pose a safety or property risk to homeowners. However, they tend to invade homes in high numbers and can become a nuisance once inside."

Brown marmorated stink bugs are easy to spot. Taking a cue from their name, stink bugs release a foul smelling odor when threatened. Also known as shield bugs due to their shape, there are many species of stink bugs which range in size from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 of an inch in length and vary in color from gray to brown to green or blue, while others are black with orange or red markings.

Prevention tips include:

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches
  • Change outdoor lighting to yellow bulbs
  • Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors
  • Keep damper shut on chimney when not in use
  • Trim vegetation around house

If brown marmorated stink bugs do find their way into the home, a vacuum can be used to dispose of the smelly pests. However, a licensed pest professional can be contacted if a more serious infestation is suspected.

A similar smelly pest, the Kudzu bug, also appears at this time moving up from Georgia along the east coast since its introduction to the U.S. in 2009.  Homeowners in the mid-Atlantic can be relieved to know that according to the Maryland Kudzu Bug Survey this past April, signs point to this pest not surviving the harsh winter of 2013-14.

About Rentokil North America
Rentokil North America is part of Rentokil Initial plc, one of the world’s largest and most diverse business service companies, operating in more than 50 countries worldwide. Ehrlich Pest Control (, Western Exterminator (, and Presto-X Pest Control ( are all part of the Rentokil family of pest control companies in North America. They provide commercial and residential pest control, bioremediation, bird control, vegetation management, deer repellent services, wild-animal trapping and termite control from more than 200 local offices in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.