Hold Your Nose! Stink Bugs Are On the Return!


Stink Bugs    Tips/Solutions   

Just as autumn begins to set in to give DC residents a break from the record-breaking heat waves, hurricanes, flooding and East Coast earthquakes, another menacing pest you’re all too familiar with is setting the stage for a comeback. In the next few weeks, thousands of brown marmorated stink bugs. will be at work seeking entry into your home to escape the rapidly cooling temperatures and find a place to overwinter.

While there is no need for concern over stink bug bites, (Their mouthpieces are structured to puncture fruit, not human skin.) their most recognizable characteristic is that signature stink bug smell that is often likened to cilantro. This odor comes from a defense pheromone, emitted when they are frightened or squashed. They bug us as much as they bug you and we are dedicated to preventing these bothersome insects from impacting your home life. The pest management industry is investing significant time and financial support into the research and development of new strategies for complete stink bug control in your area. The US Department of Agriculture is researching biological controls for the brown stink bug and new Do-It-Yourself products have been brought to market promising to trap the stinky pests.     

American Pest board certified entomologists have teamed up to offer DIY stink bug solutions to assist homeowners weather the imminent invasion of stink bugs.

Seal the Gate!

The most effective way to keep stink bugs from taking over your home is to prevent their entry in the first place. Trim back tree branches and foliage from the sides of your home so that they do not touch, paying special attention to gutter and rooflines. Stink bugs and other insects travel along these “natural bridges” to get closer to your home and find an access point to the inside. To eliminate these access points, quality sealants and caulking materials can be used to seal cracks in your home’s structure, around pipes and electrical conduit, and around door & window frames. Window screens should be inspected for signs of wear or damage and replace if necessary. You can also install specialized insect screening (in addition to hardware cloth) behind gable vents, over chimney caps or other functional openings in your home.

If stink bugs are already inside your home, there may be voids or gaps that they are using to move around your home, including those around recessed lighting, cable or electric lines and exhaust fans in the kitchen or bathroom

 Change Your Lighting!

Chances are good that you have heard the distinct “mini-aircraft” buzz past your ear as stink bugs flock towards your porch light or chandelier. Replacing regular light bulbs to yellow “bug lights” should divert their attention elsewhere, as insects are generally not attracted to amber or yellow lights.

 Evict Uninvited Guests! 

For the unfortunate stink bugs that have already made it into your home, the war isn’t over. As the cooler temperatures of fall set in, outdoor stink bug activity ceases as the pests have probably already infiltrated your home. At this point, it is going to require a great deal of due diligence to remove them, or to seal them off from parts of the home that you frequent. Any bugs within sight can be sucked up with a vacuum cleaner, (Just be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag promptly!) or they can be picked up with a tissue and flushed. Be careful to not squish them, lest you be subjected to their infamous “stink!”

Don't Give Up Hope!

For some DC residents, professional assistance may be required to bring stink bug numbers around your property under control in addition to these Do-It-Yourself tips. American Pest now offers a stink bug reduction service program that includes one spring treatment and two treatments in the fall, to target stink bugs in the critical stages of their life cycle when they are most interested in getting inside your home.

Unfortunately, stink bugs have become a part of our lives in the Mid-Atlantic region, but these tips should help you weather the situation for the next several weeks. To speak to us about obtaining professional stink bug services in Columbia, Maryland or elsewhere in our region, please fill out our contact form or call us at 1-877-282-1886,

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