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Stink bugs belong to the Pentatomidae family of insects and are also known as "stink bug" or "shield bugs" (because all adult stink bugs are shield-shaped). They derive their name from their tendency to eject an extremely foul and strong smelling fluid from their thorax when disturbed, handled, injured, squashed or threatened.  

Stink bugs are considered an agricultural pest to commercial farmers due to the huge losses they incur in the produce industry every year, especially growers of apples, peaches, and pears. When it comes to stink bugs, control and prevention methods are needed to ensure they are removed from a property and kept away.

Call Ehrlich Pest Control at 800-837-5520 for more information about stink bug control or request a FREE pest inspection online.

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What do stink bugs look like?

The full name of stink bugs is the brown marmorated stink bugs. Stink bugs haven’t been in the United States for long since they’re not a native species. They were accidentally introduced from Asia in the late 1990s and can now be found all over the country. They are a brownish-grey color, have six legs, and have a body shaped like a triangular shield. They’re usually less than an inch long.

Even though they look menacing, stink bugs do not bite or sting people, and will not cause structural damage to properties. To homeowners, stink bugs are considered a major nuisance pest, as they enter homes in large numbers when the weather begins to cool, seeking heat and warmth to survive over winter.

How do stink bugs get inside?

Unlike many other pests, stink bugs don’t breed in your home because they go into a hibernation state during the winter. That means that while they will try to find a cozy spot in your home to hibernate, they won’t be laying eggs and producing a larger infestation for spring. They won’t begin to reproduce until the weather warms up. That’s why you typically won’t notice stink bugs in your home during the winter, but you will see them in the fall when they start looking for a warm place to hibernate. You’ll also notice them in the spring when the weather warms up and they begin to stir.

Baby stink bugs

Baby stink bugs are also known as nymphs. They are immature versions of adult stink bugs and tend not to create issues because they cannot fly and remain on plants. They might move from a plant to a building if the plant is close to the building.

Brown marmorated stink bug eggs are yellow or light green in color. Nymphs can measure from around ⅛ to ½ inch in length and undergo molts as they progress into adulthood.

Stink bug FAQs

Where do stink bugs come from?

The brown marmorated stink bug (the species most commonly encountered indoors) is native to China, Taiwan, North & South Korea and Japan. However, some stink bug species are native to North America, including the brown stink bug (Euschistus servus).

Can stink bugs fly?

Stink bugs are strong fliers and can fly to a new habitat - more than 1 mile a day - or may even hitch a ride in shipping containers or on cars.

Why do stink bugs stink?

Stink bugs got their name from the foul odor they emit when they feel threatened or crushed, particularly against predators such as birds, lizards, mice, and any other animals that prey on them. The odor can vary, with some emitting a cilantro-like smell and others smelling similar to a skunk. The odor comes from a chemical secreted from glands on their stomach. Another odor the stink bug can emit isn’t detected by humans but can be recognized by other stink bugs. Stink bugs release a certain pheromone when they find a safe place to hibernate for the winter. Other stink bugs recognize this specific pheromone and join so that they can hibernate together throughout the winter.

What attracts stink bugs?

Like many other household pests, stink bugs are attracted to the warmth that can be found inside homes or businesses. Stink bugs are attracted to bright lights so it is advised to keep exterior lighting turned off and window blinds pulled down. Learn more about the best ways to get rid of stink bugs.

Are stink bugs dangerous?

Stink bugs pose more of an annoyance issue than any real danger. They don’t bite humans or damage your home like termites and other bugs can. They tend to invade in large numbers, which mostly just makes homeowners uneasy. Although stink bugs don’t pose a danger to humans or pets, in high numbers they can destroy crops and damage fruit badly enough to make it impossible to sell.

Ehrlich’s stink bug control service

Whether you’re dealing with an ongoing infestation or interested in preventative services, we can provide you with expert stink bug control advice and solutions. Ehrlich Pest Control specialists are familiar with stink bugs and understand that when it comes to stink bugs control of the situation to get rid of them and prevent them from returning is important.

We have been treating properties for the brown marmorated stink bug since the pest first began causing American homeowners and businesses headaches in the early 2000s.

While stink bug traps and other products are available for purchase, a professional pest control service is the best method to both prevent and manage stink bug infestations. Our preventative solution creates a treatment zone around your property to keep stink bugs where they belong – outside.

If you’ve done everything you can to get rid of stink bugs and still notice them in or around your home, it may be time to get in touch with a professional pest control company. Call us at 800-837-5520 or contact us online to see how our exterior and interior services can benefit your home or business.

How to keep stink bugs away

Although stink bugs can be a major nuisance, you can do your part to keep them away. Seal gaps around your foundation and windows and make sure the windows and doors fit well.

The best way to prevent them from getting in is to thoroughly inspect your home and seal all cracks around windows, doors, pipes, electrical outlets, and underneath the fascia on the roof. Replace damaged screens on windows and doors as well. You should also ensure vegetation is not too close to the property’s foundation. Make sure your vents have screens.

If stink bugs have already entered your premises, Ehrlich can help you out. We are experts in stink bug control and understand how to eliminate them.

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