It happens every year on Long Island. One minute, you’re washing dishes at the kitchen sink, looking out the window and you see one. Maybe you catch a glimpse of one on the leaves of your plants, or spot something crawling under your front door. Or, perhaps you discover them because you smell…an odor.
Stink bug infestations are common issues faced by Long Island homeowners each fall, and coming across these pests in your home is incredibly common. Luckily, with the proper planning before stink bug season, you can learn how to prevent stink bugs before they infest your house.
What Does a Stink Bug Look Like?
First and foremost, when you’re trying to prevent or eliminate stink bugs in the house, you need to know what stink bugs look like! The brown marmorated stink bug is a grayish brown color with patches of metallic blue or copper coloring on their heads. These brown stink bugs have distinct, triangular shaped plates on their backs, and have been referred to as “shield bugs” due to their unique shape. Stink bugs also have straight antennae and piercing, sucking mouthparts which they use for feeding. Stink bugs’ flat, symmetrical bodies range in size from around 0.63 inches long for smaller pests, all the way to giant stink bugs up to 2 inches in length.
Where Do Stink Bugs Come From?
Stink bugs are most often outdoor agricultural pests, however when the weather starts to cool in the fall, stink bugs will migrate to the sunny side of homes and other buildings to seek warmth. From here, they will enter the structures through any gaps, cracks, and crevices that they find.
Why Are Stink Bugs Hard to Treat?
Once stink bugs are inside a home they will make their way into attic spaces, wall voids, crawl spaces, and underneath floors. Once there, they will remain until the weather warms up again in the spring and then move back outside to feed and breed once again. It’s important to note, stink bugs will not eat or breed during their winter hibernation, and this is known as diapause. Essentially, treating your home before stink bugs make their way inside during the fall is the ideal course of action to take in order to prevent future stink bug infestations, particularly during the spring when the weather warms back up.
Risks Associated With Stink Bugs
While stink bugs don’t bite, making their danger to most residential homeowners minimal, they will leave a foul odor if they feel threatened or get squished (even if it happens by accident!). “Stink bug smell” is unpleasant, lingers in the air for hours, and is sometimes described as having a similar scent as rotten coconut. Stink bugs produce this odor in their thoraxes in an effort to ward off predators, and can actually spray the chemical several inches.
For farmers and gardeners, stink bugs can cause severe damage to crops and plants like apples, corn, and beans. They use their piercing, sucking mouthparts to cause permanent damage to plants. The agriculture industry has lost millions of dollars due to stink bugs.
How to Prevent Stink Bugs
The best way to prevent stink bugs before you have a full blown stink bug infestation is to make a few small fixes to areas in and around your home which may serve as entry points.
- Seal any cracks or holes in your foundation, and fix and/or replace any loose siding along your house.
- Caulk gaps around windows.
- Make sure screens in doors and windows are completely intact.
- Check existing door sweeps to ensure they’re in good working order, or install new door sweeps on all of your home’s exterior doors.
- Keep vegetable gardens distanced from the exterior of your home.
Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Suburban offers stink bug control services that are safe and effective against stink bug infestations. For the best pest protection for your home, we recommend our Seasonal Pest Protection. Offering homeowners year-round pest control services, this program targets stink bugs as well as many other household pests.
For more information about getting rid of stink bugs or to schedule your free inspection, call or text Suburban Exterminating at (631/516) 864-6900 today!