Fall has officially arrived when the leaves change, the mornings are crisp and cool, and the seasonal smells of pie and cinnamon fill the air. The downside of this season is when the weather cools and stink bugs arrive. These pests can be an unwelcome addition and an odorous nuisance in the home.
Stink bugs frequently enter homes when the weather gets colder in search of a warm place to stay through the winter. When they find their way inside in the fall, stink bugs tend to head toward the attic. You may find them settling in a pile of clothes or stack of newspapers.
What Are Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs are formally known as the brown marmorated stink bug. Its name comes from the brown marbling pattern on its back. Stink bugs can be identified by their striped pattern along the abdomen and smooth shoulders. They have a five-sided, shield-shaped body about ¾” long.
Stink bugs can secrete a foul-smelling substance when they are frightened, disturbed, or squished. Use caution when vacuuming them in a household vacuum cleaner because their strong odor could remain.
Do Stink Bugs Cause Damage?
While they don’t pose a risk to health or property, stink bugs are a serious pest for agriculture. They feed on plants, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and ornamentals. They may also dine on weeds and tree leaves. Stink bugs have become a big agriculture problem in mid-Atlantic states causing damage to apples and other crops. They can also be a real headache for home gardeners.
How Can You Prevent Stink Bugs in Your Home?
Prevention is key to keeping stink bugs from coming indoors. Once they get inside, it’s challenging to get rid of them.
Stink Bug Prevention Tips
- Seal cracks and entry points around siding, pipes, and chimneys. Use a quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
- Replace or repair screens on doors or windows.
- Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum and turn off outdoor lights when not in use to avoid attracting them.
- Remove any access to food by storing food in airtight containers, disposing of garbage, and cleaning up spills.
- Use a dehumidifier to ventilate the attic, basement, garage, and crawl spaces.
- Trim branches and shrubs and store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and five inches off the ground.
- Avoid the urge to squish them. They release a foul-smelling odor from pores on the sides of their bodies.
How Do You Eliminate Stink Bugs for Good?
To keep stink bugs from causing an infestation in the home, professional pest control services are recommended to find and eliminate stink bugs in the attic, basement, or throughout the home. If DIY prevention services fail and an infestation is imminent, call for professional help to fix the problem before it gets worse.
If you’re having stink bug issues in your home, call the experts at Inman-Murphy Termite & Pest Control. Contact us today for a free pest control estimate.