It’s been no fun sitting outside today. Not that they ever really went away totally from last year – but recently the “Stink Bugs” have returned with a vengeance, re-infesting Harford County, the rest of Maryland, and most other states in the mid-Atlantic.
Named for the unpleasant odor that’s released when they’re squashed, brown marmorated stink bugs first arrived in Allentown, Pa., from Southeast Asia in the mid-1990s and have since spread from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and other states.
Rumor control has it that they got here by either hitching a ride in packing crates from Asia, or, that they escaped from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Vegetable Integrated Pest Management program in Milford, NJ.
Either way, they’re here now and have been growing in number and expanding their range of coverage throughout the mid-Atlantic region in recent years.
As the temperatures get cooler, Stink Bugs begin their march from your garden into your home. During the summer months, the brown marmorated stink bug lives in your landscape. When cooler temperatures arrive, these nuisance pests will make their appearance and invade your home to survive the winter.
As temperatures drop, stink bugs seek warmth, gathering on the south and west sides of buildings.
The brown marmorated stink bug is now present in at least 33 states and has been sighted as far west as Oregon and California. Stink bugs don’t bite or damage property, but they are becoming a major nuisance to homeowners and business owners alike.
It’s a different story for apple farmers in the Mid-Atlantic, stink bugs are a serious agricultural pest and were responsible last year for $33 millionin damage.
Effective stink bug control begins with some do-it-yourself prevention. As a homeowner you can do a number of things to prevent stink bugs such as:
- seal holes in exterior walls larger than the diameter of a pencil;
- check door and window frames for holes;
- ensure that door sweeps, doors and windows are tight-fitting; and,
- be sure your window screens fit tightly.
This examiner has heard that marigolds and mint serve as natural repellants – but hasn’t tried anything like that yet.
Anyone know first-hand of any good trap products or repellants? If so, please share!
(sources: Rentokil, and, Western Pest Services)