Brown marmorated stink bugs—the very name likely sends a shudder down your spine. The word “bug” combined with the promise of a bad smell warns that this is not something you want to find crawling around your home. What exactly is a brown marmorated stink bug, though, and what can you do if you have an infestation? Here are some basic facts about these smelly pests.
What Is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?
The brown marmorated stink bug (also referred to as the BMSB) is an invasive species native to East Asia that first appeared in the United States in the mid-nineties. Now, these stink bugs have made themselves at home in most states. As an invasive species, BMSBs can cause major damage to crop, but they are also a big nuisance to homeowners.
These six-legged, grayish-brown bugs are less than an inch long and have a shield-shaped body. They are equipped with glands on their abdomen that release a bad smell meant to ward off predators. The glands can also be triggered when the bugs are squashed or otherwise disturbed, which can made removing them from your home difficult.
When (and How) Stink Bugs Infest
BMSBs tend to infest homes in the fall, when they are looking for a place to hibernate for the winter. The warm indoors can sometimes cause them to become active even in cold months, however, so if you have an infestation, you may start to spot them bumping around light fixtures earlier than spring. Unfortunately, they like to gather in large groups—if you see one stink bug, it may be a sign that there are many more in hiding in your walls. The Journal of Entomological Science once reported on a home estimated to have an infestation of 26,000 BMSBs.
How to Treat for Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
What should you do if you have a brown marmorated stink bug infestation? There are a few ways to deal with these pests. Removal of the bugs themselves can be tricky, because disturbing them can trigger their stink glands. Vacuuming is generally a good method for removal, but you’ll want to discard the vacuum bag when you’re done to contain the smell.
The most effective treatment for BMSBs is preventative: stop them from entering your home in the first place. These intruders’ wide but nearly flat body makes it easier for them to sneak in through any possible entry point, including between slats of siding, under the door, through windows or broken screens, down the chimney, and via cracks in the foundation. Identify these entry points and seal them with caulking, screens, weather sweeps, etc., to stop stink bugs in their tracks.
If BMSBs are a recurring problem for you, another option is to get a professional pest removal service to spray a pre-treatment around your home in the late summer or fall—before the bugs start to seek winter shelter. This can help nip a possible infestation in the bud.
How McCarthy Pest & Termite Control Can Help
McCarthy Pest & Termite Control is your one-stop shop for brown marmorated stink bug control. We offer a 6-point inspection process that covers all your bases, from prevention to problem-solving to removal. Want to make sure you identify all potential entry points? Need help carefully removing stink bugs without triggering the stink glands? Want a pre-spray treatment before next season? Call us today to set up an inspection, get a quote, or learn more about our pest control methods.