Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are considered true bugs. As the name suggests, they release an unpleasant smell. They have a shield-shaped body with wings, antennae, and piercing-sucking mouthparts. Some species are predatory and most feed off plants. The most common stink bug in Tennessee and Kentucky is the brown marmorated stink bug, which measures between 12 and 17 mm in length. Nymphs are yellow and red and have red eyes. Stink bugs are a nuisance for agriculture because they mainly feed on vegetables and fruit.

In the fall when the climate changes and temperatures drop stink bugs seek shelter and infest homes across Tennessee and Kentucky. Entering the home through cracks and holes in windows and doors, stink bugs can be found inside walls, attics, or crawl spaces. During the spring, they are most active and bother homeowners throughout their houses. They usually cluster on walls and around windows trying to get outside again. Stink bugs also gather in sunny areas to warm themselves. Infestations usually occur during fall. Females attach between 20 and 30 eggs to the underside of plant leaves which serve as a host for the emerging nymphs. During the winter they do not require a food source to survive.

To help prevent and control infestations it is important for all entry points to be sealed. A trained pest management professional can locate entryways and provide advice on how to control the pest. Caulk can be used to seal cracks and holes in walls and around windows and doors. Window screens should be checked for tears and damages and there should be a screen installed in the attic and crawl space vents. Additionally, the gap under doors can be sealed using door sweeps. While the homeowner can use traps, and vacuum up the bugs, once stink bugs have accessed the home only a pest control professional can provide successful treatment.

Fun facts about stink bugs:

1a stink bug’s most dangerous predator is a parasitic wasp, which lays her eggs inside the stink bug’s eggs
2there are bright red and orange colored stink bug species
3mice, spiders, and beetles consume stink bugs
4they seek out the color yellow
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