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Stink bugs get their name because they emit a unique stink when handled or crushed. Most stinkbugs are an outdoor garden pests, but some species of stink bugs invade homes by the thousands. The most common stink bug invader is the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). This species was introduced to North America in the mid 1990’s and has quickly spread along the mid-Atlantic region. The brown marmorated stink bug has a unique shape and color pattern from many other common insects. This invader is about ¾” in length, and shaped like the shield of a medieval knight. The MBSB is amottled brownish-grey in color, but it is most notable for the large crowds into which they aggregate.
With their piercing-sucking mouthparts, stink bugs can decimate important agricultural crops. Farmers in Georgia work diligently to keep their cotton, pecan trees, vegetables, soybeans, and corn stink bug free. Stink bugs not only destroy the cotton seeds and prevent the growth of the usable part of the cotton plant, but they can spread fungus and disease to other economically important crops.
Despite the economic impact in Georgia of stinkbugs, homeowners despise these pungent pests for other reasons. Depending upon the weather and season, an army of stink bugs may enter your home. They enter by the thousands and attempt to overwinter in the safety and warmth of your home. Homes that are situated in more rural/agricultural areas may experience more stink bugs, but be sure, they are found in the yards and leaf litter of suburban Atlanta homes as well. When stink bugs invade, they enter through small cracks and crevices.
Once inside, they seek out warm areas with little to no activity. You may awaken to find the sunny wall of your breakfast nook covered in stink bugs. Or, you may pull open the curtains to welcome the morning light into your home, only to be appalled at the thousands of shield shaped mottled insects contained in the curtains.
Wherever the stink bugs decide to warm themselves, do not take off your slipper and begin swatting at them… there is a good reason for their name.
When handled or crushed, stink bugs emit an unusual/foul odor; especially when they operate in tandem with the many other stink bugs in the area! Stink bugs have a gland that produces this aromatic chemical, and when they feel threatened, they will release the spray to deter their attacker. Some species of stink bugs can expel this chemical spray several inches from their abdomen.
But what does the skunk of the insect world smell like? Of all the pungent odors stink bugs could replicate, such as a rotting carcass or a steaming pile of trash, it could be much worse. Many people liken the odor emitted from a stink bug to the kitchen herb cilantro or coriander. However, this earthy scent from thousands of insects is mighty overpowering in our homes and businesses.
Stink bugs are what we in the pest control industry call Occasional Invaders. They prefer to live and eat outdoors, but when their instincts warn them of seasonal changes, they often make their ways indoors. Many homes and businesses that suffer from stink bug invasions are raided on a regular schedule. In some areas of the country, stink bugs enter homes in the summer and fall. Some species of stink bugs overwinter inside the attic, crawlspace, and in the walls of your home. If they were successful in surviving the winter indoors, they emerge in the spring and accumulate in massive quantities on walls, windows, and other living areas of your home.
Once stink bugs are inside, carefully remove them either with a broom or a vacuum cleaner. Be aware though, your vacuum may remain pungent for a while!
The best approach to managing stink bugs is to prevent their entry into your home. An experienced and licensed Pest Management Professional from Nextgen Pest Solutions can inspect your home and develop a plan to keep stink bugs out of your home for good. Our professional stink bug exterminators will use a multi-faceted approach to properly seal your home to prevent stink bugs from entering. Every home is unique, and areas of potential stink bug entry need to be dealt carefully. Stink bug pest control utilizes all of the tools of Integrative Pest Management (IPM). A properly executed IPM procedure will include sealing, caulking, and repairing stink bug entry areas, in addition to sprays to prevent their entry. By carefully applying quality insecticides outside, we can stop stink bugs on their quest to enter your home.
Call Nextgen Pest Solutions today to discuss a plan to get rid of your stink bug problem today.