With the cold weather looming, you may be noticing more unwanted house guests, and we aren’t talking about your in-laws. Stink bugs are looking for a warm, dry place to stay for the winter and often times they prefer your home. The fall months are peak times for stink bugs to be in your home.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug was not found in the United States until 1996. By 2015, it was found in 42 states, including Missouri. The stink bug is an Asian species that was introduced in Pennsylvania.
Because of the Asian roots, the stink bug has very few, if any, predators in the United States, allowing them to spread rapidly. They have become a significant agricultural pest in the process.
Stink bugs pose no threat to humans, they don’t bite or sting, but they do smell like garbage when threatened.
HOW TO KEEP STINK BUGS AWAY
- Seal off entry points. Expect the outside of your home and find any nook or cranny stink bugs could get into.
- Repair and replace damaged screens. Stink bugs, and other pests, can enter your home through the smallest opening. Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.
- Turn off your outdoor lights. Like most bugs, stink bugs are attracted to light. Keeping your outdoor lights off overnight is a good idea.
- Do a bug check. Are you bringing holiday decorations out of storage and into the house? Doublecheck to make sure stink bugs aren’t hitching a ride.
What should you do if you find a stink bug in your home? It’s a tricky question. If you were to squash a stink bug, it releases its natural defense, and you will quickly realize why it is called “stink bug”. The best way to get rid of the pest is to vacuum up the stink bug and quickly dispose of the vacuum contents in the trash outside your home. Some people suggest flushing stink bugs.