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It doesn’t take a professional exterminator to draw the conclusion that stink bugs likely stink. It’s right there in their name. However, do you know the reason for their foul smell? Likely not, and it is this along with understanding their nature that will give you a better interpretation of the insect. The more you understand, the better prepared and equipped you will be in dealing with the insect.
If you live in the United States, there will likely be a time when you come face to face with one of these creatures. You might even face an entire colony. Regardless, you want to be prepared.
What Is A Stink Bug?
The best place to start tackling stink bugs is by understanding exactly what they are. If you are more familiar with cooler climates, you might not be familiar with this species. This is because they don’t fair too well in cooler conditions. Understanding that is just one piece of the puzzle. Stink bugs, also commonly referred to as Marmorated Stink Bugs, are invasive pests with triangular plated backs.
They usually have white stripes on their antenna and can range anywhere from brown to gray in color. They also range anywhere from 1/2” to ¾” long. As you can likely imagine, they get their name from the fact that they emit a foul-smelling odor from their thorax glands.
Seeking Shelter From Cold Conditions
If you’re more conditioned to cooler climates, you likely aren’t familiar with the stink bug. This is because these guys aren’t conditioned for cooler regions either. As a matter of fact, this is likely the reason they are in your home or structure in the first place. Stink bugs fall into what could be classified as overwintering pests.
These, as you can likely imagine, as pests that seek shelter from the cooler conditions. Some will seek shelter in trees, plants, and nearby objects, while some seek shelter in homes, buildings, and structures. The stink bug just happens to be one of those insects that seek shelter inside homes.
They migrate toward the home as the cooler weather approaches. They usually like to take up residence in the walls, crawl spaces, or attics. Most homeowners don’t even know they are present in the home until the warmer weather starts rolling back around. This is because they enter a hibernation-like state when they come into the home.
They’ll remain hidden in the walls until they feel the warmer weather approaching. Some might even be duped into revealing themselves with the heating unit running. Regardless, when they sense that it is warm outside, they emerge from their hibernation state and try to re-enter outdoor society.
How To Deal With Stink Bugs
When you see stink bugs in the home, it is because they are trying to make it back outside. Sometimes just helping them back out can be the answer. However, this approach is more difficult than one might imagine because of the foul-smelling odor the bug emits. You come within three feet or closer and it will likely sense this as a threat and start emitting odors like a skunk.
The very best way to deal with these creatures is by preventing them from entering the property in the first place. Of course, this is much harder to accomplish than one might imagine. It is also something a friendly, local exterminator can help you with.
The very best way to deal with any unwanted guest or invader is by stopping them from getting inside the home in the first place. While this might be easier with the species of two legs, it is still possible with the variety of 6 legs. One of the most strategic places to start is with the foundation of the home. Do a perimeter check of the home, keeping a close eye on the foundation, exterior walls, and mortar joints.
Ensure there aren’t any cracks, slits, or tiny openings. Even the tiniest of openings will need to be dealt with, as stink bugs are extremely resourceful. Sealing such openings with caulking or mortar will do the trick. Next, you’ll want to tackle all your windows and doors. Check around the framing and joints to make sure there aren’t any openings. If there are, you can seal them in the same manner with caulking or mortar.
Lastly, you will want to check any vent opening. And ventilation, utility open, or outside breach will need to be properly sealed. Since these areas and openings are specifically designed with the purpose to bring fresh air into the home, you’ll want to seal them with a type of mesh material or screening. Something that blocks the entrance of insects, but still allows fresh air to pass through.
Doing this will not only prevent the invasion of common pests, but it’ll likely make your home or structure much more energy-efficient.