It’s time for the home-invading insects to do what they do best. They are starting to invade homes looking for a really nice warm, cozy place to overwinter.
We are beginning to get phone calls from homeowners on how to manage these insects. However, we are not getting phone calls from the Springfield area regarding one of the newest home-invaders, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).
Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I am just not getting the calls and reports of this insect that my colleagues around the state are receiving.
I have had reports of heavy populations of the BMSB in Beavercreek and much of the Miami Valley area as well as down into Cincinnati and into Kentucky. I have heard reports from colleagues in Cincinnati that you can’t even open the screen door without bunches of them coming inside.
The BMSB is still relatively new to our area, though it’s been in the United States for several years. It was accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania and first reported in Allentown in 1998.
This bug is a serious pest of fruit, vegetable and farm crops but is also a real nuisance pest in and around homes in the fall. On warm sunny days it is attracted to the outside of houses, in search of an overwintering site.
The insect is a true bug and is shaped like the typical shield-like structure of other stink bugs. They are shades of brown and to identify these from other stink bugs, look for the lighter bands of brown on the antennae as well as darker brown bands on its back.
This pest is aptly named the stink bug. They have scent glands that when squashed, really give off a pungent odor. Therefore, keep this in mind when cleaning them off your porch or window screen.
With all home invading insects, the recommendation is exclusion. This sometimes is easier said than done but it is worth checking for cracks and caulking around windows and other entryways, and repairing screens, etc.
If they are coming into the house, try to figure out their main entry point and seal this off. Once they are inside, sweep them up and dispose outside. Be careful using a vacuum cleaner because it can eventually smell like stink bugs for a while.
Pesticides can be applied to the outside of the house but the problem is, they don’t last long as they are broken down by sunshine. If you are going to use pesticides, make sure the product is labeled for stink bugs.
There are several other home invaders and these are all treated in about the same manner. I have a tendency to just get used to them and sweep them up. Eventually they go away.