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How to Keep Stink Bugs Away

Christmas is coming, but so are the pests. The brown marmorated stink bug, or Halyomorpha halys, is a prime suspect for pest management around your Eastern Massachusetts home this season. This nuisance pest eats fruit, corn, and ornamental plants around your home or garden in the Eastern Massachusetts area. Since stink bugs are an overwintering pest, they will seek a safe place to undergo a process called diapause during cooler weather, the insect equivalent of hibernation. Keep your home free of this stinky pest to better enjoy the Massachusetts winter.

If you have a stink bug invasion into your home this winter, don’t hesitate to take action now. Just remember, stink bugs excrete a nasty smell when threatened or squished, and fluids can stain. Stink bugs aren’t considered dangerous, but in extremely rare cases, they can bite. The bite is similar to a mosquito bite, with redness and swelling around the affected area, but again, they only bite in extremely rare cases. The other good news is that stink bugs don’t carry diseases communicable to humans. If you are bitten by a stink bug or sprayed by the smelly compound they emit and experience a reaction, consult your physician immediately.

What are Stink Bugs?

There are two major species we’re focusing on: The brown marmorated stink bug, BMSB, and its almost identical cousin, Euschistus servus. Both insects eat fruit and ornamental plants. The brown marmorated stink bug originated from Asia, and its cousin is native to the United States and North America. The brown marmorated stink bug was introduced to the United States in the 1990s from Eastern Asia, China, Japan area, and was formally discovered in Pennsylvania in 2001. We’re focused more on the brown marmorated stink bug, but the native types are virtually identical in appearance and habits.

Stink bugs come from hibernation in March or April and immediately begin laying eggs. You might see the red or yellow nymphs, newly hatched insects, crawling over a host plant such as maple trees, ash trees, or on their favorite fruit trees or plants like apple, pear, peach, grape, blueberry, soybean, tomato, or corn. When stink bugs feed on a developing fruit, the fruit can grow malformed and cause an injury called “cat facing”.

Great. Help me Get Rid of Stink Bugs!

Be cautious about severe infestations

You know you have a severe stink bug infestation when:

  • They have infiltrated the insides of your walls and into the insulation
  • You find them coming out of electrical outlets, cracks around light fixtures, air ducts or air return vents, or other cracks inside your home.

Do not try to get rid of a severe infestation on your own. Over-the-counter pesticides will force the stink bugs deeper into their hiding places inside the walls and prolong infestation, and the stink bug carcasses will attract bacteria and other pests inside the walls. Consult pest control professionals immediately if you suspect you have a serious stink bug infestation.

Prevent Stink Bug Entry

Since stink bugs are an overwintering pest, you’ll likely find them gathered on your car or the siding of your house during autumn, just before they go into diapause, their hibernation state. Before they emerge again in spring, reinforce these methods to prevent primavera invasions.

Use these methods for your shed and garage as well.

  • Seal Entry Points

    Repair or replace window screens and use silicone caulking to seal cracks around the frames around your doors and windows. Check the cracks around the foundation and sill plates of your home. Repair cracked mortar and fill any holes or cracks you see there. Install and maintain weather strips and exterior door sweeps. Remember, the most common entry points are near doors and windows, so be sure that every crack is completely sealed.
  • Remove Attractants

    Keep your landscaping clean and well-maintained. Trim shrubbery at least one foot from the sides of your house, keep short grass two feet from the home perimeter, and keep firewood or compost piles at least twenty feet from the home and raised at least 1 foot off the ground. Collect fallen fruit, birdseed, nuts, or berries from your yard. At night during late fall and early winter, turn off porch lights that attract insects after nightfall, and cover windows to keep the insects from seeing and being attracted to the light. Keep the crawl space, attic, garage, and shed free of moisture. Repair and ventilate leaky pipes and keep them dry.

Solutions for Stink Bug Removal

Prevention works best if you don’t already have a problem.

  • Do not squish stink bugs They will release a nasty smell, and their body excrement can leave a stain.
  • Dish Soap Pour dish soap and water mixed together into a spray bottle or hose sprayer and apply the soapy water liberally to stink bug gatherings on the siding of your home or on your car, or on other places outside your Eastern Massachusetts home.
  • Vacuum them up Use a vacuum to suck them up if they have come inside, or you can use a shop vacuum on the exterior. Place the vacuum bag in the freezer overnight to eliminate live bugs, then empty and reuse the bag. Don’t empty the vacuum cleaner bag into the garbage without eliminating the stink bugs collected there.

Pest Control Professional

Stink bugs are a nuisance this time of year in the Eastern Massachusetts area, so do what you can to keep them from coming now and in the spring. Don’t squish them if you encounter them to avoid their nasty stink defense. If you suspect you have a serious infestation between your walls, do not wait to call. Call today for timely, friendly service from our pest professional technicians. Our products will root stink bugs out of your walls, off your siding, and away from your Eastern Massachusetts home this season. We aren’t afraid to do what it takes to get the job done and do it right. Pests … it’s what we do.

Posted on November 27, 2019.

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