It’s that time of year again. As the summer months come to a close and the cooler weather begins to set in, we all know what that means – it’s stink bug season! Stink bugs can be a real nuisance, and when there seem to be more of them in a particular season, dealing with them can be a challenging task. So, how do you protect yourself from these pesky critters? Are you ready for stink bug season? Read on to learn more about how to best prepare yourself for the upcoming season and how to reduce the impact of stink bugs in and around your home.
What Are Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs are a type of shield bug. Named for the unpleasant odor they emit when squashed or disturbed, stink bugs can be found all over the world in many different varieties. They feed on a variety of plants, and typically make their homes in trees and shrubs, although they can be found in homes as well. The most common type of stink bug seen in the United States is likely the brown marmorated stink bug, otherwise known as the BMSB.
What Does a Stink Bug Look Like?
Stink bugs are easily recognizable pests. In general, they are oval-shaped, with a shield-like back, and vary in color from green to brown, depending on the species. BMSB specifically have alternating light and dark brown bands along their antennae and legs. Stink bugs use their scent glands to protect themselves from predators and other threats, instantly releasing a nasty smell when threatened.
When Does Stink Bug Season Start?
While it’s impossible to know exactly when stink bug season will start each year, it typically begins in late summer or early fall. Because these critters like to find warm, sheltered places to spend the winter, they often make their way into homes starting in late fall.
Where Do Stink Bugs Come From?
Since stink bugs like to consume plants, they can come from virtually anywhere. Outdoors, they will live in trees, shrubs, and nearby vegetation, while indoors they can find refuge in cracks and crevices, behind furniture, in window sills, or in stored boxes or clothing.
How Can You Prevent Stink Bugs From Entering Your Home?
To protect your space from stink bugs, you’ll need to block off any potential entry points that they can use to gain access to your home. This means ensuring that all doors, windows and other potential openings are tightly sealed, and screening any air vents. You should also routinely check your home for signs of infestation and make sure to avoid bringing in any plants or other vegetation from outside.
What Kinds of Damage Do Stink Bugs Cause?
Stink bugs can cause a variety of problems. Not only are they a nuisance and a potential health hazard due to their unpleasant odor, but they can also cause considerable damage to plants and crops, as well as triggering allergies in some people. Furthermore, if left unchecked, large infestations of stink bugs can cause structural damage to the walls of homes.
How Can You Control Stink Bug Population?
The best way to control stink bugs is to prevent them from getting inside your home or business in the first place. If you already have an infestation, the next step is to identify and remove the source of the problem. Vacuuming can be effective for getting rid of small numbers of bugs, but for more serious infestations some form of chemical control may be necessary.
Can Stink Bugs Bite Humans?
Stink bugs do not typically bite humans. However, they can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation in people with allergies or asthma.
What Potential Diseases Do Stink Bugs Carry?
Stink bugs are not typically known to carry any diseases, although some types may carry bacterial diseases that can cause mild digestive symptoms in humans.
Are There Any Natural Stink Bug Repellents?
Yes, there are several natural, plant-based repellents that have been shown to be effective in repelling stink bugs, such as geraniol, lemongrass and lavender.
People Also Ask
Do Stink Bugs Fly?
Yes, stink bugs are able to fly and use their wings to reach higher ground or to move to different areas, such as inside a home.
Do Stink Bugs Lay Eggs?
Yes, most stink bugs lay eggs in clusters of up to 30 on the underside of leaves or on stems of host plants.
Do Stink Bugs Reproduce Indoors?
Yes, stink bugs can reproduce indoors if they find their way inside. They reproduce by laying eggs and can go through several generations in a single season.
Can Stink Bugs Damage Clothes?
Yes, stink bugs can damage clothes both by leaving stains on fabrics and by piercing the material with their spiny feet.
What Do Stink Bugs Eat?
Stink bugs feed mainly on plants, including fruits and vegetables. In the home, they may also feed on pet food or other sources of sustenance.
Stink bugs can be a real nuisance and are a challenge to deal with. While there’s no sure way to completely prevent an infestation, there are several steps you can take to reduce the potential for stink bug activity in your home. Understanding the basics of stink bugs and following the recommended preventative measures can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe throughout the upcoming stink bug season.