Gardening Tips and Highlights

Stink bugs

by Christine Yesko

 

When you think of annoying household pests, your mind jumps to crickets, flies, centipedes, and spiders. But there’s one home invader that is very different from the rest: Stink Bugs.

 

Not all stink bugs are alike. There are many native, non-invasive native species, but the type that usually gives homeowners trouble is the brown marmorated stink bug—an invasive species from Asia that was first discovered in early 2000. These are large insects that reach crazy-high densities both inside and outside of your home. They spread quickly in large numbers, wreaking havoc on plants and gardens, and eventually sneak their way into houses during early autumn.

 

They are brown in color, up to nearly two centimeters long and wide. They have a hard outer shell and like a shield shape and give off a smell if crushed. This odor is used as a repellent to ward off predators, and can’t harm humans. They do not bite people, they won’t harm your pets, and they don’t spread diseases. They prefer to feed on plants, fruits, and sometimes even nuts and seeds. While this is good news for you, but it can lead to costly damage if you have a vegetable or fruit gardens.

To keep these bugs from invading your home, take a few steps to upgrade your home’s energy conservation and that should put a stop to the stink bug invasion. Seal up cracks, crevices, and any openings around utility boxes using caulk or foam sealant. Insulate windows and doors using weather stripping foam tape. Place screens over vents and crawl spaces. Cover your air conditioner if you have a window unit, and calk around any cracks and crevices. Invest in door sweeps or stoppers for any entrances that lead outdoors.