FAQ

American Pest answers some frequently asked questions relating to pests and treatments.

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Stink Bugs FAQs

1 - Stink Bugs are Considered What Kind of Pests?

To Home and Property Owners, stink bugs are considered a nuisance pest, because they cannot bite or sting people, and will not cause structural damage to your home. However, they are considered an agricultural pest to local gardeners and produce growers due to the huge losses they incur for the produce industry every year, especially growers of apples, soybeans, peaches, and pears.

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2 - Why are Stink Bugs in My House?

Stink bugs will often enter homes in the fall through small cracks or openings around windows, doors, gable vents, chimneys, soffits, etc. to avoid the cold and find a place to overwinter. Once inside, the warm temperatures will keep them active, which will make their presence hard to miss. In springtime, they will emerge from their overwintering locations and venture outside to forage for food and mate. This is why you will often see stink bugs on or around windows.

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3 - Is Anything Being Done to Eradicate Stinkbugs from Our Region?

Yes. The US Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing other insect species from Asia to find a natural predator for stink bugs. Insects like the Trissolcus wasp act as a biological control, or a way of managing stink bug populations in Asia without human involvement, but it must be confirmed that these new populations can be introduced into our region and control the population levels of stink bugs without having a detrimental effect on insect species that already live here.

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4 - What Can I Do to Rid My House of Stink Bugs?

To prevent pest entry, inspect your home for openings or cracks that can be repaired. (Window screens, cracks in walls, etc.) You can also install insect screening over gable vents and chimney caps. For stink bugs that have already invaded your home, you can vacuum up these insects with a handheld vacuum or vacuum with a wand feature, and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag. If you have an infestation that has grown beyond control, it may be time to call a pest management professional.

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5 - Why Should I Call a Pest Management Professional to Resolve My Stink Bug Problem?

A Pest Management Professional (PMP) is licensed by the state and trained to provide integrated pest management methods to eliminate stink bugs and other pests from your property. The training and licensing procedures for PMPs have prepares technicians with the knowledge and expertise required to target pests using their behavior and biology against them. For the Do-It-Yourselfers at heart, a technician can also inspect your property and offer you valuable insights on what you can do to further prevent pest entry into your home, as well as reduce conducive conditions on your property that promote pest activity. Finally, Pest Management technicians also have access to pesticides and application equipment that are proven to be more effective at eradicating pests than most over the counter products available at local garden centers or retail outlets.

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6 - Can't I Take Care of Stink Bugs Myself?

A lot of DC residents are interested in controlling stink bugs in their homes by themselves, and American Pest respects their motivation and determination. While some cases of stink bugs can be managed with the Do-It-Yourself approach, the situation often grows out of the scope of a homeowner’s patience very quickly. When is it time to call a professional? The fact is, everyone has different limits on how much pest activity they can tolerate in their home. Some homeowners don’t mind what they see as “a few harmless bugs,” while others resort to panic at the first sighting of a stink bug. American Pest recommends referencing your own level of patience as the best indicator of when it is time to call a PMP to get rid of their stink bugs.

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7 - How Does the Stink Bug Life Cycle Work?

In early April, adult stink bugs come out of their overwintering locations to mate and lay eggs on the undersides of plant leaves. Nymphs, the immature stage of stink bugs, hatch in late April through May, and experience five molts before they become adult stink bugs. Molting is the process of outgrowing and replacing their exoskeletons. They will also develop their wings and become sexually mature throughout this period. The adults will begin looking for a place to overwinter in October, and will reappear in the following spring. In the warmer climates of southern states, stink bugs may be able to produce more than one generation in a single year.

Back To Top >>

8 - Why Are Stink Bugs in Our Region?

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are native to Southeast Asia. It is believed that they hitched a ride with packages that were shipped internationally when they arrived in this country. They are considered an invasive species to the United States, because they have been introduced into our ecosystem without natural methods of controlling their population levels (Predators, non-conducive conditions, etc.) Without natural population control, humans have to implement control methods before stink bugs deplete food and shelter resources that native species of insects depend on, and become a pest to humans too!

Back To Top >>

9 - How Long Have Stink Bugs Been in Our Region?

The first positive identification of stink bugs in the United States was in Allentown, PA, in the late 1990’s to early 2000s. Since then, they have spread out and currently inhabit about half of the country.

Back To Top >>

10 - How Have Stink Bugs Been Able to Spread So Fast?

Stink bugs have no natural predators in the United States. They may fall prey to certain types of ants, spiders, and the praying mantis, but these species do not consume brown marmorated stink bugs exclusively, so they will not prey on stink bugs enough to control their population numbers. In addition, a single female stink bug may lay as many as 400 eggs in her lifetime! That many eggs hatching every year without a predator to keep their numbers in check means that stink bug populations will only keep growing in our region every year unless pest management protocols are implemented.

Back To Top >>

11 - Why Are Stink Bugs Referred To By That Name?

Simply put, they stink! They have a natural defense mechanism in place that releases a foul-smelling odor from their abdomen to repel their enemies. This reaction can be triggered when they are handled by humans, injured, frightened, or squashed.

Back To Top >>

12 - What Are Stink Bugs?

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys) are from the order Hemiptera. They are commonly known as “shield bugs,” which refers to their body shape. Stink bugs are distinctly recognizable with their marbled brown color and “shield-shaped” form.

Back To Top >>

13 - What Can I Do to Rid Stink Bugs From My House?

To prevent pest entry, inspect your home for openings or cracks that can be repaired. (Window screens, cracks in walls, etc.) You can also install insect screening over gable vents and chimney caps. For stink bugs that have already invaded your home, you can vacuum up these insects with a handheld vacuum or vacuum with a wand feature, and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag. If you have an infestation that has grown beyond control, it may be time to call a pest management professional.

Back To Top >>

14 - Why Should I Call a Pest Management Professional to Resolve My Stink Bug Problem?

A Pest Management Professional (PMP) is licensed by the state and trained to provide integrated pest management methods to eliminate stink bugs and other pests from your property. The training and licensing procedures for PMPs have prepares technicians with the knowledge and expertise required to target pests using their behavior and biology against them. For the Do-It-Yourselfers at heart, a technician can also inspect your property and offer you valuable insights on what you can do to further prevent pest entry into your home, as well as reduce conducive conditions on your property that promote pest activity. Finally, Pest Management technicians also have access to pesticides and application equipment that are proven to be more effective at eradicating pests than most over the counter products available at local garden centers or retail outlets.

Back To Top >>

15 - Can't I Take Care of Stink Bugs Myself?

A lot of DC residents are interested in controlling stink bugs in their homes by themselves, and American Pest respects their motivation and determination. While some cases of stink bugs can be managed with the Do-It-Yourself approach, the situation often grows out of the scope of a homeowner’s patience very quickly. When is it time to call a professional? The fact is, everyone has different limits on how much pest activity they can tolerate in their home. Some homeowners don’t mind what they see as “a few harmless bugs,” while others resort to panic at the first sighting of a stink bug. American Pest recommends referencing your own level of patience as the best indicator of when it is time to call a PMP to get rid of their stink bugs.

Back To Top >>

16 - What Are Stink Bugs?

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (Halyomorpha halys) are from the order Hemiptera. They are commonly known as “shield bugs,” which refers to their body shape. Stink bugs are distinctly recognizable with their marbled brown color and “shield-shaped” form.

Back To Top >>

17 - How Does the Stink Bug Life Cycle Work?

In early April, adults come out of their overwintering locations to mate and lay eggs on the undersides of plant leaves. Nymphs, the immature stage of stink bugs, hatch in late April through May, and experience five molts before they become adult stink bugs. Molting is the process of outgrowing and replacing their exoskeletons. They will also develop their wings and become sexually mature throughout this period. The adults will begin looking for a place to overwinter in October, and will reappear in the following spring. In the warmer climates of southern states, stink bugs may be able to produce more than one generation in a single year.

Back To Top >>

18 - Why Are Stink Bugs Here?

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are native to Southeast Asia. It is believed that they hitched a ride with packages that were shipped internationally when they arrived in this country. They are considered an invasive species to the United States, because they have been introduced into our ecosystem without natural methods of controlling their population levels (Predators, non-conducive conditions, etc.) Without natural population control, humans have to implement control methods before stink bugs deplete food and shelter resources that native species of insects depend on, and become a pest to humans too!

Back To Top >>

19 - How Long Have Stink Bugs Been In DC, Maryland and NOVA?

The first positive identification of stink bugs in the United States was in Allentown, PA, in the late 1990’s to early 2000s. Since then, they have spread out and currently inhabit about half of the United States of America.

Back To Top >>

20 - How Have Stink Bugs Been Able to Spread So Quickly?

Stink bugs have no natural predators in the United States. They may fall prey to certain types of ants, spiders, and the praying mantis, but these species do not consume brown marmorated stink bugs exclusively, so they will not prey on stink bugs enough to control their population numbers. In addition, a single female stink bug may lay as many as 400 eggs in her lifetime! That many eggs hatching every year without a predator to keep their numbers in check means that stink bug populations will only keep growing in our region every year unless pest management protocols are implemented.

Back To Top >>

21 - Why Are They Called Stink Bugs?

Simply put, they stink! They have a natural defense mechanism in place that releases a foul-smelling odor from their abdomen to repel their enemies. This reaction can be triggered when they are handled by humans, injured, frightened, or squashed.

Back To Top >>

22 - What Type of Pest Are Stink Bugs?

To Home and Property Owners, stink bugs are considered a nuisance pest, because they cannot bite or sting people, and will not cause structural damage to your home. However, they are considered an agricultural pest to local gardeners and produce growers due to the huge losses they incur for the produce industry every year, especially growers of apples, soybeans, peaches, and pears.

Back To Top >>

23 - Why Are Stink Bugs in My House?

Stink bugs will often enter homes in the fall through small cracks or openings around windows, doors, gable vents, chimneys, soffits, etc. to avoid the cold and find a place to overwinter. Once inside, the warm temperatures will keep them active, which will make their presence hard to miss. In springtime, they will emerge from their overwintering locations and venture outside to forage for food and mate. This is why you will often see stink bugs on or around windows.

Back To Top >>

24 - Is Anything Being Done to Eradicate Stinkbugs from Our Region?

Yes. The US Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing other insect species from Asia to find a natural predator for stink bugs. Insects like the Trissolcus wasp act as a biological control, or a way of managing stink bug populations in Asia without human involvement, but it must be confirmed that these new populations can be introduced into our region and control the population levels of stink bugs without having a detrimental effect on insect species that already live here.

Back To Top >>