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The stink bug: agriculture’s biggest enemy

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You may be wondering, how can a bug smaller than the size of your thumb be a threat to anyone or anything 100 times its size? It’s true, the Brown Marmorated stink bug or BMSB, is quite tiny, usually less than an inch long. But don’t let that fool you. This type of stink bug, fairly new to the United States, has caused quite the hysteria among farmers, gardeners, and homeowners alike. 

Despite their size, stink bugs are able to cause serious damage to crops. They also invade homes by the dozen, especially in the cooler months. If your home or business has been taken over by these shield-shaped bugs, Ehrlich will come to the rescue. We’ll make sure all stink bugs are eradicated from your home and put measures in place to prevent them from returning. Contact your local Ehrlich office today.

Where does the brown marmorated stink bug come from?

The BMSB came all the way from Asia to the United States in the late ’90s. It was first collected in Allentown, Pennsylvania and has since spread to almost every state in the country. The BMSB is now considered an invasive species due to its destructive impact on agriculture. 

Do stink bugs stink?

So is the stink bug’s nickname just humorous or does it actually give off an unpleasant scent? Unfortunately, the latter is true. When stink bugs feel threatened, they give off a very foul-smelling odor to defend themselves against predators. The scent is also released when they are crushed. This is why vacuuming is always recommended instead of squishing these pests. It has been described as smelling like the intensely-scented coriander spice and also cilantro.  

brown marmorated stink bug

Is the brown marmorated stink bug harmful?

If you ask a farmer or avid gardener this question they would loudly exclaim, “yes!” The BMSB’s diet consists of crops, plants, fruits and vegetables. Apples, peaches, corn, tomatoes and soybeans are just a few of their favorites. Their mouthparts are able to pierce and suck the juices out of whatever they are feeding on. They can also spread diseases that are destructive to the plant host this way. The agriculture industry has lost millions of dollars to the damage from these ruthless pests.  

Thankfully the brown marmorated stink bug is not as much of a health concern for humans, as stink bugs do not bite humans. Though not common, the stink bug may cause an allergic reaction for those that are sensitive to the odor it gives off. 

Why are there stink bugs in my house? 

When the colder months come around, stink bugs make their way inside homes to search for a warm, easily accessible spot to lay their eggs and overwinter. This is when stink bugs use an open space inside of walls to lay their eggs and then stay there until it gets warm enough to come out. The reason why stink bugs are making their way into your home or business is likely due to vacancies or gaps in the structure of your building. The tiniest hole in a door or window screen is enough for a whole family of stink bugs to get through. 

green stink bugs

Green stink bug vs brown marmorated stink bug

The green stink bug, also called the “Asian stink bug,” is very similar to the brown marmorated stink bug in terms of characteristics. Both have the same body structure, habitat and diet. The only major difference between the two is the green stink bug’s vibrant green coloring and an orange stripe that divides its head and body. They are able to cause significant damage to gardens because of how much they blend into their environment. Furthermore, green stink bugs will often choose green plants as a safe spot to lay their eggs.

Ehrlich stink bug control

One or two stink bugs are not likely to send you into a panic. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of to find dozens of these smelly bugs crawling around your home. Removal of these bugs is not always simple and having a professional pest control specialist take care of the issue is highly recommended.

Ehrlich has a widespread presence in Pennsylvania, and we’ve been here since the beginning. Consequently, the specialists at Ehrlich are very familiar with stink bugs and can provide expert stink bug control advice and solutions to prevent them from returning again. As a company, we have been treating properties for the brown marmorated stink bug since it began causing problems for American homeowners and businesses in the early 2000s. If you have questions concerning a stink bug issue, call 888-984-0186.

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Danielle Morales

Danielle Morales is a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Rentokil North America. She specializes in social media content generation as well as curating blog content for Ehrlich Pest Control's website. When not at work she can be found spending time with family, exploring new cafes in Chicago, and shopping.

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