"Stink Bugs" are a very common sight this time of year for Carolina homeowners. You kill them or otherwise get them out of your home, and it seems as though more appear magically overnight. What is this common pest, and what are some steps that you as a homeowner in the Carolinas can take to prevent or eliminate these inside your home? Nelon-Cole, the most trusted name in pest control in the Carolinas, has you covered with helpful information.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS A "STINK BUG"?
A stink bug, scientifically known as the family Pentatomidae, is a type of insect found in various parts of the world. They are named "stink bugs" because of the pungent odor they emit when disturbed or threatened. This odor serves as a defense mechanism against predators. Stink bugs have a distinct shield-shaped body with six legs and a pair of antennae. The colors and patterns on their bodies can vary, but they often have a mottled appearance, helping them camouflage with their surroundings. Many species of stink bugs feed on plants and crops, and some are considered agricultural pests because they can damage crops by piercing the plant tissue and sucking out the juices.
Stink bugs are notorious for their ability to invade homes and buildings during the fall season as they seek shelter to overwinter. Once inside, they can become a nuisance, and if disturbed, they release their characteristic foul-smelling liquid. It's important to note that stink bugs play a role in the ecosystem as both predators and prey. Some species feed on other insects, making them beneficial in controlling pest populations, while others are prey for birds and other insect-eating animals. HOW DO I GET THEM TO STAY OUT OF MY HOME?
It seems that these bugs appear at the most inopportune times around your home. You could have just finished a comprehensive house cleaning and BOOM - you see one crawling around the inside of a lamp, or on a window blind. How does this happen? While preventing stink bugs from entering your home can be quite a challenge, there are several steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of an infestation.
Inspect the exterior of your home for any cracks, gaps, or openings in doors, windows, siding, and foundation. Seal any visible entry points using caulk or weather stripping to prevent stink bugs from getting inside (hey, this works for other home intruders as well!).
Make sure all doors, windows, and vents have properly fitted screens that are in good condition. This will prevent stink bugs from flying or crawling into your home through these openings.
Expanding on the point above, regularly check and repair any damaged screens on doors and windows, as even small tears can allow stink bugs to enter.
Install door sweeps on the bottom of exterior doors to create a tight seal and prevent stink bugs from crawling underneath.
Stink bugs are attracted to light, so try to minimize the use of bright outdoor lights, especially near entry points (see them crawling around your lamp? Light attraction!).
Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to your home, as stink bugs can use these as pathways to access your house.
Be mindful of leaving doors open for extended periods, especially during the fall when stink bugs are more actively seeking shelter.
If you find stink bugs inside your home, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. However, be prepared for the stinky odor they may release when disturbed. After vacuuming them up, empty the contents into a sealed bag and dispose of it outside to prevent the odor from spreading indoors.
DO STINK BUGS POSE ANY DANGERS TO MY PETS AND FAMILY?
Stink bugs are generally not considered dangerous to people in the sense that they do not pose a direct threat to human health or safety. They are not known to bite or sting, and they do not carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. However, stink bugs can be a nuisance, especially when they invade homes in large numbers seeking shelter. However, their defensive odor can be unpleasant and difficult to remove from surfaces and fabrics. In an agricultural setting, some species of stink bugs can be considered pests because they feed on crops, potentially causing economic damage to farmers and affecting agricultural yields.
STINK BUG BEHAVIOR AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE YEAR
During the winter, adult stink bugs enter a phase which is similar to hibernation. As the days shorten, they cease reproductive activity and seek sheltered areas to conserve resources and survive the winter. Stink bugs simply cannot resist a comfortable Carolina home home as a cozy place to reside during winter. Should they decide to spend the winter months in your home, here are some areas where they may hide:
Cracks and crevices in the walls or floors
Inside hollow curtain rods
Walls or crawl spaces
During the warmer months of spring and summer, stink bugs wake up from their winter sleep and begin looking for a hearty breakfast consisting of fruits, seeds, nuts and flowers to bulk up for the mating season. So as the days lengthen and temperatures rise, stink bugs become much more active. Now is when you will likely find them crawling or flying around, gathering around lights and windows or other reflective surfaces.
You may also find piles of dead stink bugs in one area if you have a stink bug infestation. Finding dead stinkbugs indicates some of those who overwintered in your house did not survive the winter months. Such piles are a telltale sign of a stink bug infestation. These piles will most likely appear in warmer areas of your house, such as those exposed to sunlight, as the stink bugs will collectively emerge from hiding places to seek warmth if they sense impending death.
YOU CAN RELY ON THE PROS AT NELON-COLE
Just like every pest that troubles homeowners across the Carolinas, stink bugs are no match for our trained professionals. We utilize safe and effective control measures that do not affect your family or pets. Our quarterly treatment solutions are both effective and affordable, and we encourage you to trust your biggest investment (your home) to our award-winning services. Call 1-888-7-TheWeb and get a FREE no-obligation consultation on the issues you are seeing around your home. We will get to work on affordable solutions right away. We look forward to clearing your stink bug problem for good! Charlotte Pest Control - Gastonia Pest Control - Asheville Pest Control - Spartanburg Pest Control - Hendersonville Pest Control - Lincolnton Pest Control