Do They Cause Damage?
Stinkbugs do not cause any structural damage. In the home they are considered a nuisance pest. Their fecal material (a brownish liquid) can stain some fabrics. They may emit a foul odor when disturbed.
Do I Have An Infestation?
Most homeowners in Southeastern Pennsylvania are familiar with the stinkbug. The first indication is usually the large invasion that occurs in the late summer and early fall; the severity of which seems to vary from year to year. Overwintering insects can also be found inside around windows and doors in the winter and early spring.
What Can Masters Touch Do?
Control of stinkbugs can best be achieved with carefully timed applications of residual insecticides to the exterior of the structure. These applications must be performed in the late summer and early fall. Once inside, locating stinkbugs is difficult because they can hide almost anywhere which makes most treatments ineffective. Exceptions being void spaces such as attics and chimneys where they may congregate.
How Can You Help?
Maintenance of the building exterior is your best defense. Sealing cracks and crevices, screening vents and windows can help prevent entry by stinkbugs, but must be performed in late spring and early summer. Stinkbugs are excellent flyers, so removal of attractive vegetation and trees will yield limited results and is not necessarily recommended.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is believed to have been introduced to the U.S. from its native region (China, Japan, and Korea) in the mid 1990’s. It was first collected in the Allentown Pennsylvania area and identified in 2001. Since then it has spread to most of the contiguous United States.
BMSB is a plant feeder. They feed on the juices of succulent plants, fruits and vegetables and currently do millions of dollars in damage to these food products yearly. Their feeding activity disfigures these products reducing their market value.
They are not a social insect and they do not have nests. The female lays her eggs in clusters on the underside of leaves in the spring. These eggs hatch into the nymph, which by late summer, develop into the adult we are so familiar with.
As the nights begin to get cooler in September, adults seek locations to overwinter. This is when they congregate on the exterior of structures and find their way in through cracks and crevices. Warmer days in the winter will ‘fool’ them into thinking its spring and the will emerge from their overwintering points and migrate to windows and doors trying to exit the structure.
As the name implies, they can, and do, emit a rather unpleasant odor when disturbed or threatened. We don’t recommend vacuuming up live Stink Bugs, unless you need an excuse to buy a new vacuum! Instead, carefully pick up individual insects and discard outside, or drown them in soapy water.