Wintertime can be a source of relief from pests. Many species die off after laying eggs that won’t hatch until spring, and others go dormant for the cold months. However, sometimes pests seek shelter inside from frigid winters. Unfortunately, brown marmorated stink bugs are one such creature. Those grayish-brown, six-legged, shield-shaped insects have a nasty habit of releasing a foul odor when threatened, disturbed, or squashed.
If you have found yourself asking internet search engines: “Why do I have stink bugs in my home in the winter?” then read on. Here are the reasons why you might find them inside this winter—and what to do about it.
Stink Bugs In My House
When the weather gets cold, brown marmorated stink bugs look for a place to overwinter. Some make their home underneath tree bark, mulch, stacks of firewood, or piles of dead leaves, but others will seek shelter in your house. They sneak in through cracks and crevices, often making their way to areas where you are unlikely to see them right away—in attics, basements, baseboards, siding, and more. Once there, they release pheromones that act like an invitation for even more stink bugs to come into your home. During winter, they enter a state called diapause. This is an insect’s version of hibernation, where they do not eat and are mostly inactive, though may be spotted crawling sluggishly around your home.
Because stink bugs respond to changes in the weather, a warm spell may convince them that it is spring and bring them out of hiding. Instead of making their way outdoors, however, they may wind up flying around inside. This is when homeowners will typically realize they have a stink bug infestation—spotting a few is usually a sign that there are many more. These pests also like warm areas, so cozying up to warm spots in a house might also trick them into believing it is spring.
Getting Rid Of Stink Bugs
While winter stink bug infestations do not pose a real risk to health or property, they are a nuisance. When squashed, they release a bad smell and can stain furniture and fabric. This makes them difficult to get rid of, because any mishandling might trigger one or both unwanted consequences.
One popular strategy for getting rid of stink bugs in the winter is to vacuum them up, though this only works if your vacuum has a bag that can be disposed of immediately afterword. The best method, however, is prevention.
How To Prevent Stink Bugs At Home
Stink bugs will find and use any available entry points into your home. By sealing all doors, windows, and any gaps, you can limit their ability to access the home. This may include things like replacing door sweeps, caulking cracks and crevices, and adding screens to vents.
McCarthy Pest & Termite Control performs a thorough six-point pest removal inspection process to assess your home infestation. We will work to identify how the stink bugs might be entering and take action to seal off those points from future use. To learn more about our methods, call today to schedule a free consultation.