As their name implies, stink bugs are insects known for their unpleasant odor. Their brown color and shield-shaped abdomen make stink bugs easy to identify. They are about the size of a dime.
Stink bugs are an invasive species in the United States. They are particularly populous in the mid-Atlantic region, where they can cause some significant agricultural disruptions due to their diet of fruits and vegetables.
The best way of preventing a stink bug infestation is by contacting an exterminator. Through proactive pest management, stink bugs and all other insects can be kept out of your home.
The Problems of Stink Bugs
Stink bugs are relatively harmless to people, as they do not bite or damage structures, but the bugs can cause damage to gardens as they feast on fruit trees and other plants. They become a problem due to the noxious odor they excrete. While it is tempting to squash a stink bug, don’t do it, as this will cause the bugs to release their offensive odor. People may have allergic sensitivities to stink bug odors, and their scent is a nuisance to many homeowners.
Stink bugs often die in lighting units, and their bodies will stink up an entire room. They can be incredibly annoying for business owners as they stink up storefronts. The smelly pests are annoying to remove as stink bugs take shelter in large numbers, so one stink bug is representative of a much larger infestation. Currently, there is not an effective pesticide against stink bugs which makes them troublesome to manage. Therefore, the easiest way to avoid a significant stink bug problem is to take simple precautions.
Why Do Stink Bug Invade Homes?
As the seasons change and autumn begins, stink bugs will seek wintering sites, usually homes and other structures protected from the harsh elements. This process ensures that the pests will survive over the low-temperature months.
Stink bugs can be found inside or outside a home, especially near entry points such as doors and windows. Stink bugs will enter a home through cracks and gaps such as areas around utility pipes, loose floorboards, and door moldings. Once you see a single stink bug in your home, you can count on a more extensive infestation, as stink bugs will enter warm areas in large droves.
Sealing the Cracks
An effective way to stop stink bugs is to seal any crevices leading to your home with a strong silicone sealant. Similarly, add a weather strip to your door, and repair any damaged screens on doors or windows to prevent the pests from visiting. Also, remove any debris or edible vegetation around the foundation of your home, as stink bugs are frequently found in these areas. Sealing off any small crevices and tiny entrances in early autumn will prevent a potential stink bug infestation in the cooler months.
Reducing Excess Moisture
A significant factor in attracting stink bugs is excess moisture and the colder seasons naturally bring a lot of water to your property. Almost all bugs are attracted to moisture, as bugs need water to survive and repopulate. Leaky pipes, clogged drains, filled rain gutters, and moist rooms will naturally attract stink bugs and other pests into your home, and it can quickly become an infestation.
You can take preventative action against a stink bug infestation by eliminating sources of moisture, so tend to areas that are prone to moisture. Fix your leaky pipes, unclog your drains, clean your rain gutters and use a dehumidifier to catch any excess moisture around the house. These actions will keep your property cleaner and help in avoiding the smelly pests.
Dampening the Light
The common saying of “like a moth to a flame” is derived from a moth’s natural attraction to light, and stink bugs are similarly attracted to light. The stinky critters are especially attracted to a warm light as the weather cools down. Thus if you frequently leave your outdoor lighting on during the autumn and winter months, stink bugs will begin to assemble and possibly enter your home.
Reducing your typical amount of light in the winter months is an effective way to prevent a large and putrid stink bug infestation. Consider buying curtains to prevent your indoor lighting from leaking outside and getting the attention of stink bugs. Similarly, during the daytime, inspect sunny spots around your house for stink bugs, as these sunspots are popular areas for stink bugs to lurk and infiltrate into your home.
Remove Food Sources
Another effective way of preventing a stink bug infestation is to reduce their food sources around your property. A stink bug’s diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, and other plants, making them a serious garden pest. If you have a green thumb, make sure to trim your garden plants, as stink bugs are naturally attracted to them. Check your homegrown produce for the pest before you bring your harvest inside your home. To further keep the pest away from your property, make sure to regularly cut your grass and remove any weeds in your yard.
Similarly, if you have any firewood or logs in your yard, place them very far away from your house as they make the ideal habitat for stink bugs.
Stink bugs and people have similar diets, so make sure to keep them away from your kitchen! Simply taking your time trimming your garden and cleaning your kitchen is a great way to prevent stink bugs. Similarly, some effective kitchen cleaning methods can help keep stink bugs away, such as regularly sweeping crumbs and wiping down countertops of food residue. Store your leftovers and other food products in airtight containers and regularly take out the trash.
Stink bugs can easily enter your home during the cooler months, and no one wants multiple unwelcomed smelly visitors. However, you can easily prevent a stink bug infestation by sealing entry sites and filling up any small crevices that the bugs can infiltrate. Reducing any elements that naturally attract stink bugs, such as excess moisture, outdoor lighting, and potential food sources, will help prevent stink bugs from your home! All these measures will avert a stinky wintertime infestation!