In lieu of the usual “Happy Fall, Y’all!” cheer, we want to talk about something a little more stinky.
Before you click away, stick with us! Fall may be the season for cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, but it’s also prime time for the smelliest of garden and home-invading insects: stink bugs. And nothing stinks up your fun fall season like a bug invasion!
Here’s everything you need to know about these red-eyed pests, from identification to prevention to halting an infestation in its tracks!
What are Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs — also known as “shield bugs” due to the triangular plate on their backs — are most well-known for the foul odor they emit when they feel threatened or are squished. Stink bugs are typically either green or brown, depending on the species and grow to around ¾ inch long. In addition to the shield they carry on their backs, stink bugs can be identified by their unique red eyes during the nymph stage of their life cycle.
If you’re a Kansas homeowner, you’ve likely encountered stink bugs before. While typically more of an outdoor pest found in gardens and yards, a more exotic, invasive variety has made its way over to the United States from Asia in recent decades and has been found entering Kansas homes.
The brown marmorated stink bug is originally native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea but began appearing in the United States in the 1990s. Since then, this invasive species has become increasingly common in American households, especially as the weather cools off in the fall and they wander indoors seeking warmth.
Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?
If you find a stink bug or two in your home, there’s no need to panic. Though they are rather smelly house guests, stink bugs are otherwise harmless to people and animals in your home. The biggest problem homeowners tend to face with stink bugs is when they multiply in gardens, where they can quickly damage many varieties of plants, fruits, and vegetables as they feed.
How Can I Prevent Stink Bugs From Entering My Home?
Keeping stink bugs out of your home involves similar methods to general pest prevention practices. One of the best things to do is seal up possible entry points. Here are some examples:
- Seal foundation cracks and crevices
- Caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors
- Replace door sweeps and weather stripping if needed
- Repair broken or loose shingles
- Have a tightly fitting cap on your chimney
- Seal any other open spaces (i.e. around utility entry points, air conditioning units, and exhausts)
Trimming back trees and bushes from your home’s exterior can also reduce the likelihood of stink bugs that are looking to migrate indoors.
What Should I Do if I Have a Stink Bug Infestation?
If you find stink bugs in your home, it’s important to remember not to squish them! A mashed-up stink bug is an extra-smelly mess you don’t want to deal with. To avoid the unpleasant odor, it’s better to seek out professional help.
The appearance of only one or two stink bugs doesn’t necessarily mean an infestation, and you can quickly vacuum them up and throw out the vacuum bag right away in your outside trash can to avoid an odorous situation. If stink bugs are persistently appearing, however, then it’s time to contact professional pest control experts for help eliminating the issue (and the odor) in a safe and efficient manner.
Take Advantage of Our Stink-Free Pest Control Program
Prevention may be the better part of valor, but it won’t guarantee a stink-bug-free home, let alone a pest-free home. Bugs and other small pests are notoriously talented at finding the smallest entrances into residential homes, no matter what you do to keep them out! It’s not uncommon to discover a stink bug problem after they’ve already settled in and unleashed the wrath of their scent upon your household, so why wait to stop them?
At Advantage Termite & Pest Control, we make it our mission to end your pest woes through our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. With semi-annual and quarterly preventative pest maintenance solutions available, you can maintain a pest-free home all year long, with a 30-day guarantee on all treatment appointments!
Whether you’ve found a stink bug army or just have a smelly suspicion, our experts will bring non-invasive and eco-friendly pest inspection and treatment methods to guarantee a household free of creepy crawlies (and stinky smellies). Plus, our methods are long-lasting, meaning they can help keep pests away for months after treatment!
Ready to get rid of the reek this fall? Don’t waste time with DIY pest control attempts. Call us at first sight because we do it right! Schedule your appointment with Advantage today.