Perhaps you have noticed more of these critters in your home this season? This fellow is known as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Like box elders, they tend to cluster around homes in the late fall. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species originating from Asia, similar to the Asian lady beetle. It has few predators here in the United States, so in the past decade it has spread across the Midwest at an alarming rate. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an agricultural pest; it feeds on plants and can cause massive damage to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and other valuable crops in Michigan. 2016 was a record year for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug sightings, with one home reporting over 25,000!
As a home invader, most Michigan residents will notice the stinkbugs showing up in early fall. As the weather begins to cool, the stinkbugs start congregating on the outside of homes in sunlit areas, especially on the south and west sides. They will attempt to get into a home through any way they can. Entry points can include gaps around doors, windows or air conditioner units. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs can crawl behind vinyl and shingle siding to enter attics or wall spaces. Attic vents, loose or cracked fascia, and utility interfaces can also serve as entry points for the stinkbugs. Once inside, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs can infest living spaces through out the home and also hide in large numbers in attics, walls and crawl spaces. And yes, they do stink. When crushed, they will emit and very unpleasant odor.
As winter sets in, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug will slink away tom a dark, out of the way place in the ho
me to overwinter. They may go unnoticed until spring, when they emerge, seeking to leave the home and breed.
The best way to deter the activity of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is to exclude them by making sure your house is properly sealed against insect invaders. Screens on windows and doors should be replaced or repaired if they have any holes or do not fit tightly. Screening can also be used to block access through window air conditioner units, chimneys, and dry‐ er or attic vents. Damaged weather stripping on doors and windows should be replaced. Gaps surrounding window air conditioners, utility lines or other cracks can be sealed using silicone caulk or insulating foam sealant. Special attention should be given to any gaps on the south and west facing sides of buildings because stink bugs will tend to aggregate on these areas when the weather starts to cool.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs that get into the home can be vacuumed up. Creature Control technicians can provide pesticide deterrents against stinkbugs by applying perimeter treatments to your home’s foundation, as well as spot treatments of windows, doors, and places where stinkbugs can get in. Attic treatments are also helpful, since the stinkbigs like to over-winter in attic spaces. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug treatments are also effective for the deterrence of box elders and cluster flies.