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It’s fall: Here come the stink bugs

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Now that fall is here, it’s time to prepare for the pests that come with the season. While the summer months are often the peak of pest activity,  some pests are more likely to infest your home during the fall.

Fall pests seek shelter from the cooler temps to survive the winter and for mate, which means an invasion in your home is possible.

One of the common pests we encounter when the weather changes is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. They are considered a nuisance pest and are most commonly found indoors during autumn.

World Traveling Insects

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (or BMSB) did not exist in North America until about 1998 when the first species were collected in Pennsylvania. The invasive stink bug species is not native to this continent. The natural predators of BMSB  that keep their populations under control in other parts of the world did not exist here in the U.S. That allowed Halyomorpha halys to spread fast. Soon the pests were all over the U.S..

Stink bugs are very good at traveling via shipping containers such as on boats and trucks. This is how they have become a pest most U.S. states, including California. BMSB breed fast and during the fall, they come out in full force and you can see trees and houses full of them.

A Shield With Legs

A stink bug is also sometimes called a shield bug. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, which, as the name implies, is brown or gray in color. They have white stripes and dots across their bodies, too. However, there are also green stink bugs more commonly referred to as Shield Bugs.

A stink bug’s back does resemble a shield. They have six legs and large antenna on their heads.

What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

They also have a large piercing mouth part that they use to pierce skin of fruits and vegetables like apples, apricots, peaches, grapes, tomatoes and more. They drink the juices and leave behind sunken, rotten looking marks that make the fruits and veggies inedible and not salable.

Stink Bug Damage to Crops

Stink bugs are notorious for being able to wipe out crops and create tremendous financial damage to farms. Because they can consume so many different types of foods and crops, they are hard to control and they can cause considerable damage. That makes stink bugs a very serious agricultural pest in most states where they are found.

Of course, they can also do damage to your garden at home, too. If you find damage to the fruit and vegetables in your yard, you might have stink bugs. And if you have stink bugs in your garden, then it will likely be a matter of time before they’ll be infesting your house.

Why Are they Called Stink Bugs?

They are called stink bugs because of their unusual defense mechanism. When they are threatened or their bodies get crushed, they emit a very harsh odor. Usually this is enough to deter predators, but it makes getting rid of stink bugs from inside or around your home challenging. You could end up with a home that smells foul from trying to remove them.

Coming Inside

During this time of year, stink bugs start to appear en masse. They will fill trees and the warm side of your house, basking in the sun. They will cover an exterior wall of a home and they will also crawl into every crack or crevice and end up inside, too. Once that happens, you could end up with a stink bug infestation inside your house.

The thing to do is make sure that your home is sealed up. Make sure that screens are repaired and holes fixed. Make sure that there are sweeps underneath garage doors and doors that lead outside.. If you do that, the stink bugs will at least stay outside and not end up spreading their smell indoors.

Experts in Stink Bug Control

Of course, if there are just too many stink bugs around your home, then contact the experts. Ehrlich specialists are trained to deal with pests old and new, including the recent invaders called stink bugs. They will carefully remove them and then offer advice on how to prevent them from returning.

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