How To Prevent Stink Bugs From Coming Into Your House This Fall
A small invader, a crunch underfoot, and the less-than-pleasant smell that seems to linger for hours.
If you’ve experienced anything like this during fall before, you know exactly what homeowners in New England go through when battling stink bugs.
But while stink bugs may be a regular problem for homeowners and businesses, they can be prevented - if you know what to do. Here’s a look at why these odorous fall invaders become such an issue when the temperature begins to drop, and what you can do to keep your home stink-bug free straight through until winter.
What Are Stink Bugs?
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs - known scientifically as Halyomorpha halys - are more than just a seasonal pest. They’re a veritable fall invader, making their way into homes and houses throughout the region each fall, and bringing their peculiar odor along with them.
And because simply squishing them releases the worst of what they have to offer, keeping them away from your home can be particularly difficult for the average homeowner.
You’ll be able to identify Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs by their brown or tan coloring, distinctive shield-shaped back shell, and (obviously) easily-identifiable odor upon being crushed or disturbed.
First introduced from Asia to Pennsylvania in 1996, Brown marmorated Stink Bugs have quickly become a highly-successful invasive pest, and can do significant damage to gardens and outdoor spaces - during September and October especially - if left untreated.
What Are They Looking For?
Like many other common insect pests, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs come into your home or indoor space looking for just a few key resources: food, water, and a warm place to hide from freezing temperatures.
That means keeping stink bugs out of your home this fall isn’t necessarily a difficult goal to reach - but it does take some diligence, a little know-how, and the right tools for the job.
Top Tips For Keeping Stink Bugs Out
When it comes to making sure your home stays free from stink bugs through the autumn, there are a few basic actions you can take that will make a big difference right from the start.
Seal Up All Entrances
Stink bugs come indoors looking for easy access to food sources, water, and shelter from the outdoors. That means the first step to keeping them from finding what they’re looking for is actually blocking that path inside.
Window screens with small tears, gaps in doorways, and holes in walls or ceilings can all offer an open avenue to stink bugs and other insects looking to take shelter for the fall. Be sure to check carefully all around your exterior surfaces for signs of cracks, gaps, or holes and seal them up as best as possible to keep stink bugs from making their way inside.
In some cases, you may need an experienced pest professional to make an additional sweep for any hard-to-spot openings.
Keep Spaces Clean & Prevent Water Buildup
Pests like stink bugs only go where they’re most likely to find the food and water they need to survive. That means keeping your home free from any food crumbs or pooled water is critical to keeping stink bugs from finding an invitation to stay if they reach your indoors.
As fall approaches and more pests look for shelter indoors, consider ramping up your regular cleaning schedule to ensure there is nothing tempting left lying around to draw pests attention. It’s also a good idea to thoroughly inspect your pipes and plumbing for any leaks, which can quickly pool and serve as an easy watering hole for insects in search of a drink.
Minimize Outdoor Lighting
Like many other insects, stink bugs are naturally attracted to light sources - meaning that outdoor driveway light or porch light can be an inviting temptation for any stink bug looking for a space to get warm.
If you have outdoor lighting near windows or doors to your home, consider shutting them off as the temperatures drop or finding ways to put distance between the light source and your home’s opening. This will help keep stink bugs away from key entry points into your home.
Work With A Pest Professional
At the end of the day, stink bugs will be fairly determined to get in your home - and keeping up the level of constant vigilance necessary to keep them out can be more than most homeowners can handle. That’s when it might be time to get in touch with an experienced pest management professional.
Our Fall Invaders protection program is specifically designed to guard your home against a wide range of autumn pests, including Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. If you’re worried about keeping your indoor space protected this fall, get in touch and see what our professional pest experts can do to keep your home safe through winter and right on to next spring.