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The Return of the Stink Bugs

Spring is a time that everything, including plantings, animals, and even pests are beginning to re-emerge after a winter of dormancy or slumber. While seeing plantings start to bloom by the roadside every spring can be heartwarming and lift many people’s spirits, some signs of spring are not as welcome as others. I am referring to the return of the stink bugs every spring!  

The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996. It is most well known for the smell that is released when disturbed or crushed. That means that if one of these mottled grayish-brown pests with a shield-shaped body makes it way into your home, the best thing is not to crush or startle it or you will be left with a strong odor.

 

If your home is a common overwintering site for these smelly pests, you may notice them first in the fall as they look for a safe place to ride out the winter and then again in the spring as they emerge from their location. It is during these times that stink bugs occasionally enter homes and other structures when searching for overwintering sites. During the warm months, they often congregate in large numbers on the sides of buildings.

 

Stink bugs are more of a nuisance to homeowners as they do not bite and do not eat wood like some other pests. They do however, have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be harmful to the agricultural industry, as they do destroy crops.

 

To prevent stink bugs from becoming a nuisance, homeowners should seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings. In addition, screens and windows should be checked and repaired if there are any openings in or around them. If you find that your home commonly has these “little stinkers” in the fall and again in the spring, you may want to contact Pest-End Exterminators in order to remediate the problem completely. Call Pest-End at Toll-Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644  Phone: 978-794-4321.

Stinky Stink Bugs

Fall is such a great time of year, but it is also a time when pests are looking for a place to survive the cold, harsh winter. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is one such pest that is looking for a safe place to “overwinter”. That place may unfortunately be your home, apartment, condo, or business. Let’s take a look at these creatures, what they are and what you can do about them.

Identification – The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is grey/brown and can usually be easily identified by the shield shape of its body. The bugs are generally less than an inch long and are  native to Asia. While they were first noticed in Pennsylvania, they have spread to the Northeast, especially the New England area for many years. However, in recent years they have begun to expand their area and are being noticed in the Midwest region.

Behavior – Stink Bugs have a very predictable schedule. They love to feed, beginning in late May or early June, on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants including: peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries, and pears. But in the fall they are in search of a place to survive the cold winters. That may mean crawl spaces, the siding, or soffits become home for these pests that can become for the duration of the winter. When the weather becomes warm again they emerge from their spots and become active again.

Smell – Yep, these pests emit a peculiar scent if you frighten or squish them. While it may be the first instinct to kill the Stink Bug when you find it in your home, don’t do it! Instead, call Pest-End Exterminators if you have an infestation or try to push it out a door or window to remove it from your home if there are one or two who have found their way into your living area.

Damage – Stink Bugs are agricultural pests and can cause some real damage to fruit trees. The most common signs of stink bug damage are pitting and scarring of the fruit, leaf destruction, and a mealy texture to harvested fruits and vegetables.

Do you have Stink Bugs? Call Pest-End Exterminators for a thorough inspection and remedy. Toll Free: 800-287-4321  Phone: 603-382-9644   Phone: 978-794-4321

 

Stink Bug Season

Just like the rest of us, lots of animals, insects and plants are waking up after a long, cold winter ready to get spring started. Stink Bugs are one such pest that is prone to waking up during the months of March or April. Perhaps you are seeing them along your eaves, around your attic or even in your house. The bad news is that they are coming out of hiding as the weather gets warmer and the sun starts shining more. The good news, however, is that they are looking for a way out of your home. Let’s take a look at this Stink Bug Season and what you can do about it.

 

  • Stink Bugs have a very particular look so identifying them is fairly easy. These bugs have a five-sided, shield-shaped body and are about 3/4 of an inch long. They have stripping on the body and antennae.
  • Stink Bugs secrete a foul-smelling, bad-tasting substance when squashed, frightened or disturbed. Avoid stepping on these pests as the smell will remain for quite some time. In addition, if you choose to vacuum these pests up, your vacuum may smell each time you use it. If this is your method of removal, take the vacuum outside right away and clean it out.
  • Stink Bugs are a serious pest, feeding on a long list of host plants, including fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and legumes. They also feed on weeds and tree leaves, and are comparatively impervious to insecticides.
  • Exclusion in the fall is one of the best methods of avoiding the Stink Bug season in the spring. For example, seal all cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings with high quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. In addition, remove wall and window air conditioners and add weather stripping around doors and windows may help. Repair broken screens and windows.
  • Talk to Pest-End Exterminators if you find that you have an annual Stink Bug problem and are not sure how to solve it.

The Return of the Stink Bug

Fall kicks off the season of cool breezes, football and trees that put on a beautiful show. Fall is, unfortunately, a time when the aptly named Stink Bug returns to find shelter in your home.  These mottled brown and grey, shield shaped bugs, lovingly called the Stink Bug were not even reported in the United States until the late 1990’s! They get their name from an unpleasant odor released when homeowners crush them or when they are protecting their homes.

 

There are 4,700 species of stink bugs in the world, with about 250 in the U.S. and Canada. Our pest is known as the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). It gets its name from the brown marbling pattern on its back. While these pests are not native to the United States, they probably hitched a ride to the U.S. in shipping containers, just like the Asian longhorn beetle that has killed millions of trees nationwide. Stink bugs are now in more than 41 states.

 

Stink Bugs are lovers of fruits and veggies, so they can be a huge blight to farmers. Many Stink bugs live in orchards, gardens and farms but, in September, they return to find shelter for the long cold winter. That shelter may be your home. The cracks and openings on the outside of your home may make your walls, crawl spaces and attic particularly attractive to these nuisance pests. Homeowners are usually upset to find these bugs inside the home. Their size and unpleasant odor make them very unwelcome.

 

Preventing entrance to your home seems to be key to keeping them at bay, especially during this time of year when they can try to invade by the hundreds. Think like an insect and find ways that these bugs would try to get into your home. Seal all cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia, and other openings with high quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Remove wall and window air conditioners; weather stripping around doors and windows may help. Repair broken screens and windows. Once they have set up shop in your home they are difficult to remove. Call Pest-End Exterminators about your Stink Bug issues.

Prepare for Summer Pests

Have you been preparing for summer? Got your deck chairs ready?  Is your fire-pit packed with kindling and ready to roast some s’mores? If so, then you probably have done some of the things needed to prepare for summer. But have you considered preparing for the pests that can ruin all your summer outdoor fun?  Some of the most common indoor pests during the summer are ants, stink bugs, and house flies. Let’s review some prevention techniques that you can take so that these pests don’t crash the summer party this year.

  • Carpenter Ants – Carpenter ants reside both outdoors and indoors in moist, decaying or hollow wood. They cut galleries into the wood grain to form their nests and provide passageways for movement from section to section of the nest. They are not eating the wood but rather finding their home in the wood. This activity produces wood shavings mixed with parts of dead ants which provides clues to nesting locations. Since these pests love to reside in homes it is important to control the access points to your home. Follow any ant trails you discover back to their source and be sure to seal or caulk any holes you notice. In addition, store firewood as far away from buildings as possible, remove nearby tree and shrub stumps and roots, and control moisture levels within your home since carpenter ants are attracted to wet or damp wood conditions.
  • Stink Bugs – Stink bugs get their name from the strong stench that they emit when crushed or agitated. Due to this stink bugs can be a malodorous problem inside homes. Locate and seal off the openings where these insects gain access. Typically, stink bugs will emerge from cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trims, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. Call an exterminator if you notice these pests in your home because they tend to revisit the same homes over and over again.
  • House Flies – While house flies may seem like just a nuisance bug that gets in your home when a door or window is left open, they can be dangerous in that they transmit at least 65 diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy and tuberculosis. Flies regurgitate and excrete wherever they come to rest and thereby mechanically transmit disease organisms. There are four basic principles of pest management important in controlling house flies: sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical measures, and chemical methods. Sanitation includes keeping their food sources to a minimum. This includes garbage cans, fecal matter from pets and moist areas around your home. Keep these areas clean. Exclusion means keeping flies out of your home using screens, calk or closing entrances to the home. Chemical and non-chemical methods can be used by professional pest control companies like Pest-End who know where and when to safety treat for these insects.

The Stink Bug

Most of us dislike finding a spider or two in our home.  Even worse yet are the occasional cockroach or scurrying rodent. Homeowners find these critters disturbing due to their ugly and sometimes scary appearance and for the potential of spreading diseases.  There is one bug that is not only frightful to look at but also has a pungent odor that is expelled when it is disturbed or squashed.  Let’s look at the characteristics including the appearance, habits and prevention of these pests.

Stink Bug 101 – Identifying – Stink bugs have a distinct look to them in that their body has the shape like a shield.    According to North Dakota State University, there are 4,700 species of stink bugs in the world, with about 250 in the U.S. and Canada. Our pest is known as the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). It gets its name from the brown marbling pattern on its back.They are almost one inch long and are shades of brown.  They have patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored puntures (small rounded depressions) on the head and pronotum. You will probably be quick to identify the foul smelling and tasting odor that comes from these insects if they are disturbed, frightened or even just touched.  Thus the name Stink Bug!

The Stink Bug was introduced to the United States in the area of Allentown, Pennsylvania sometime around the 1990’s probably via shipping containers from Asia as that is where the insect originates.  Since that time the Stink Bug has become an invasive species in at least 30 states.

Habits – The Stink Bug eats a long list of host plants, including fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and legumes. They also feed on weeds and tree leaves, and are comparatively impervious to insecticides. They puncture apples and other agricultural products with their straw-like appendage and suck the liquid out.  This makes them a menace to farmers and even backyard growers.  Stink Bugs have living habits as well that can impact homeowners.  They are active in March and April when they are coming out of overwintering and September when they are looking for shelter.  You may find them in your home or swarming on the side of your home looking for entrance.

Prevention – Since adult Stink Bugs occasionally enter homes and other structures when searching for overwintering sites, the best prevention is to exclude them from even entering your home.  This would include sealing cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings. Use a high quality caulk to seal the many entrance points the insect to use to gain entrance to your home.  Fix and maintain all screens and use weather stripping around doors.

If you should find that you have a Stink Bug problem in your home, we recommend that you contact your professional pest control company like Pest-End to assess the situation and suggest methods of cleanup and treatment.