As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, it’s normal to see more bugs indoors as they attempt to find shelter. One of the most common pests in the Kentuckiana region is the stink bug, halyomorpha halys. Recognizable by its grey-brown color and “shield-shaped” body, it is annoying and also emits an unpleasant odor.
Stink bugs are adept at finding cracks in windows, doors, and walls. Seeking warmth, you may find them in the sunlight, the side of a building, or in particularly warm spots throughout your home. However, they also may spend the winter hiding out in spaces between walls or vents. They will reemerge in the spring, trying to locate a way back outside.
Stink bugs are found in almost everywhere in the United States, despite arriving relatively recently. Native to Japan and China, they actually emerged in the U.S. in the mid to late 90s, and have been on the rise here since. There are over fifteen species of stink bug, the most common in the U.S. is the brown marmorated stink bug. In the spring, they lay 20-100 large white or yellow to red eggs on the underbelly of leaves.
Once born, the stink bug larvae grow up through summertime (40-60 days), feeding on produce and plants. They are a pest for farmers, causing tremendous harm to commercial crops in some circumstances. They are polyphagous, meaning that they’ll feed on many crops, including fruit trees, nuts, vegetables, and others.
According to the Annual Review of Entomology, published in 2010, stink bugs caused 37 million in losses to tree fruit producers in the mid-Atlantic region. They can cause stunting, irregularities, and even kill small plants and saplings. In fruits, their feeding often creates a strange indentation. Given the damaging potential posed by an infestation, these pests should be dealt with as soon as possible. Follow along for some helpful ideas about how you can prevent these common pests.
- Maintain Your Yard – Keep your yard and the area surrounding your home well-maintained. Trim weeds and maintain undergrowth to avoid creating a habitat that is ideal for these pests.
- Secure Your Home – Spend some time sealing up your home and eliminating possible ways pests and critters can enter. Use window screens, weather-stripping and silicon/ high quality caulk to secure your home and protect it from outside pests. This may be particularly beneficial and important for drafty older houses.
- Limit Access to Ripe Fruit – Stink bugs are attracted to ripe fruits like bananas, so if you are trying to reduce the likelihood of an infestation, it is advisable to limit the amount of ripening fruit you have around your kitchen.
- Contact A Pest Control Expert – Killing stink bugs on your own is never a good idea, due to the foul-smelling odor they release.
If you are experiencing any type of bug infestation or are practicing a rigorous prevention effort, consulting with an experienced licensed pest control company is advisable. While stink bugs are not known to cause physical harm to humans, they certainly can pose a very real threat to area plants and crops. A proven pest control strategy can remove these pests and many others from your property and keep them away indefinitely.