Have you spotted a stink bug in your home? These distinctive and pesky creatures don’t spread disease, but that doesn’t mean they’re a welcome sight. The brown marmorated stink bug is a common household pest in Indiana but the good news is there are steps you can take to keep these bugs (and their nasty smell!) from getting inside.
What are Stink Bugs?
The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species in the United States that made its way here from Asia to Pennsylvania in 1996. In appearance, it is very distinctive. It’s about the size of a dime, with a shield-shaped body with sharp abdominal edges and brown mottling. There are alternating dark and light bands on the antenna.
The stink bug gets its name from the unpleasant odor it releases when crushed or frightened, much like a skunk. This odor, which is caused by a chemical produced in glands on the bug’s abdomen, is believed to be a defense mechanism. The smell varies, but it’s usually described as a strong herbal scent like coriander, or dirty socks.
According to the EPA, the marmorated stink bug is a major agricultural pest, but it is mostly a nuisance to homeowners because of the smell. It does not bite and is not known to transmit any diseases, although some people are sensitive to allergens it produces.
How to Keep the Stink Bugs Out
You may notice these vile-smelling bugs in your home beginning in the late summer or fall, when they make their way inside for warmth. The bugs enter through small holes and cracks in screen doors and other openings in the home. While they stay hidden during the winter, you will notice them moving around during the spring, often clustering on walls and windows.
Avoid squashing them or vacuuming them up, both of which will release their odor, which can linger for hours. Instead, carefully sweep them up and deposit them outside.
Year-round pest prevention is the key to keeping stink bugs at bay. This requires a proactive pest prevention approach to eliminate their entry points:
- Caulk windows to seal openings
- Repair torn or damaged window screens
- Weather-strip exterior doors or add door sweeps
- Rake debris and vegetation away from the foundation
- Seal foundation cracks
- Use caulking and steel wool to fill holes around exposed pipes near the foundation and crawlspace
If you’re faced with a stink bug infestation in your home, professional pest control is the best way to solve the problem. Pest control experts can choose the most effective strategies for ridding you of the bugs. In Indiana and Michigan, contact YES Pest Pros for professional, and eco-friendly stink bug extermination services: 800‑524‑8544.