Spring is nearly here and warmer temperatures are bringing out the insects. Recently, you may have encountered a weird looking one that smelled terrible when you squished it. It was probably a stink bug – named for its smelly-foot-like odor when crushed. Although stink bugs are not known to bite humans, their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be a nuisance.
Stink bugs are brown, shaped like shields, and are 1/2 to 3/4 inches long. Young stink bugs are similarly shaped, but more rounded and may be black or light green. Although they don’t cause structural damage to homes or buildings, stink bugs can cause significant damage to trees, shrubs, tree fruits, blackberries, corn, beans, tomatoes, and other crops.
The best defense against the stink bug is a good offense. To prevent stink bugs from entering your home, seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings using a good quality silicone caulk. Repair or replace damaged screens on doors and windows.
To get rid of stink bugs that have already entered your home, vacuum up dead and live bugs and throw the vacuum cleaner bag in the outside garbage. Contrary to popular belief, dead stink bugs do not attract other stink bugs – but they can attract other insects, such as carpet beetles, and live stink bugs will emit odors to attract other stink bugs. If an infestation has developed, a pest control specialist such as Amco Ranger should be called to assess the problem.