Over the past 20 years, a foreign invader has swept across the U.S.
They’re everywhere in your garden, in crop fields and orchards, and inside your home. They’re annoying and hard to kill.
If you’ve spent any amount of time in Southern Maryland or Northern Virginia, you have probably already guessed that it’s the stink bug. Specifically the brown marmorated stink bug, a foreign species introduced to the U.S. years ago.
You’re not alone in wanting to get rid of them. Here’s how to do it.
What Is a Stink Bug?
The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species. They belong to the Pentatomidae or shield bug insect family. Originally native to Asia, the species was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the late ’90s.
They are shield-shaped, with dark brown coloring on top and a paler white-brown color on their undersides. They have marmorated or marbled style markings on their antennas, legs, and parts of their abdomen, giving parts of their body a striped appearance. They have a proboscis or snout which they use to feed on plants and fruits.
As their name suggests, stink bugs have a pungent odor that they emit from their abdomen. It is a defense mechanism. However, they can easily admit their odor after being handled, killed, or harmed. Anyone who has accidentally crushed or vacuumed one up without thinking can attest to the stink bug smell and how terrible it is.
Stink bugs do severe damage to crops. They are found throughout the U.S., but Maryland, Virginia, and the surrounding states have been hit the hardest. The Mid-Atlantic region has the highest concentration of stink bugs.
They feed on all kinds of plants and crops, including apples, hops, nuts, peaches, soybeans, corn, and many, many more.
It’s hard to estimate exactly how much damage the bugs have done to crops. However, in the Mid-Atlantic alone, they have caused millions of dollars in damage to apple crops.
Preventing the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug From Entering Your Home
The best way to get rid of a pest is to avoid attracting them.
Like many insects, stink bugs like light and food sources. By eliminating these, you can prevent and minimize attracting stink bugs.
You can turn off or minimize your outdoor lighting at night to prevent exterior lights from attracting bugs. You can also close your blinds and curtains to prevent interior light from spilling outside and attracting them.
Food should be stored in airtight containers. Floors and countertops should be cleaned regularly to eliminate crumbs and food access.
Stink bugs are also adept at entering small spaces and finding their way into homes. Repair any damaged window screens and seal off any entry points to prevent them from entering your home.
Get Rid of Stink Bugs for Good
When it comes to irritating pests like the brown marmorated stink bug, it can seem like they are impossible to get rid of. You can try to get rid of them on your own using a jar full of soapy water, but that requires trapping each bug individually and forcing them into the jar. Needless to say, if you have an infestation of them, this is a very time-consuming process.
What you shouldn’t do is use pesticides. For one, they are resistant to many pesticides. Spraying them won’t do much good.
Pesticides are also harmful to the environment and can be harmful to humans and pets. Some pesticides are neurotoxins.
That’s why you need an environmentally friendly pest control service like Planet Friendly. The name says it all-we can protect your home from pests and protect the environment.
Contact us today to find out how.