The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

What is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?

stink bug controlThe Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) was first noticed in the state of Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s. Although it is not for certain how they arrived in the United States, it is speculated that they arrived by a shipping container from Asia. The BMSB is native to China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. The BMSB is a nuisance to homeowners across the US and is also considered a risk to agriculture. They have done noticeable damage to apple and pear orchards in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

During the winter months, they live in dead trees. During the summer and fall, they like to find shelter in homes and buildings. How do they get in? The stink bug easily gains access to homes and buildings through cracks in either windows or the foundation. The stink bug produces a terrible odor, which is used as a defense mechanism against predators (such as birds and lizards).  The smell that they produce is sometimes described as rotten cilantro or coriander.

The BMSB does not bite. Their only defense is the pungent odor that they emit. They also emit another scent, which is a chemical called an aggression pheromone. This scent is what they use to attract other stink bugs to the area. Usually the stink bug will emit this scent when they want to notify other stink bugs of a great place to stay for the winter (i.e. little nooks and crannies in floor boards in the basement).

Prevention of Stink Bugs

The best way to prevent stink bugs from invading your home is to do a thorough check of your foundation and windows. Replace any broken windows and fill any cracks in your foundation. Additionally, check around your house for any cracks in window screens, utility pipes, siding, etc. You can use a sealant such as a silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Another good tip is to install weather stripping around door frames.

Stink bugs are attracted to light (just like almost every bug). At night time, they like to gather around porch lights. Consider turning off your porch light, and any lights that are near that doorway.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

If you have stink bugs in your home, place a foil roasting pan with some water and a five to six drops of dish soap. Place in a dark room and point a light at the pan. The stink bugs will be attracted to that and drown.

During the months of September and October, the infestation might be overwhelming. The do it yourself method may not work with the amount of stink bugs. At this point, you will want to call an exterminator. A professional exterminator knows the best way to control the current stink bug population and can prevent repopulation of the stink bugs.

Total extermination on your own might be unrealistic. A professional exterminator will take care of not so obvious areas to treat for further infestations. For example, shrubbery around houses should also be treated because stink bugs lay their eggs on leaves.

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