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Get Rid of Stink Bugs this Winter

Christmas is coming, but so are the pests. The brown marmorated stink bug, or Halyomorpha halys, is a prime suspect for pest management around your Rockland area home this season. This nuisance pest eats fruit, corn, and ornamental plants around your home or garden. Stink bugs will seek a safe place to hibernate during the cooler weather, a process called diapause. So, prevent stink bugs from doing what they do best: invade homes, including yours in the Rockland area.

Stink bug invasion into your home in the winter months is a sign to take action now. Just remember, stink bugs emit a nasty smell when threatened or squished, and their excrement could leave a stain on your walls, carpet, or clothes. Stink bugs aren’t considered dangerous, but in extremely rare cases, they can bite. The bite is similar to a mosquito bite, with redness and swelling around the affected area, but again, they only bite in extremely rare cases. The other good news is that stink bugs don’t carry diseases contagious to humans. If you are bitten by a stink bug or sprayed by the smelly compound they emit and experience a reaction, consult your physician immediately.

What exactly are Stink Bugs?

There are two major species we’re focusing on. The brown marmorated stink bug BSMB, or Halyomorpha halys and its almost identical cousin, Euschistus servus eat fruit and ornamental plants. The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species, which means it originates from a foreign country, and its cousin is native to the United States and North America. The brown marmorated stink bug was introduced to the United States in the 1990s from Eastern Asia, China, Japan area, and was formally discovered in 2001. We’re focused more on the brown marmorated stink bug, but the native types are almost identical in appearance and habits.

Stink bugs emerge from diapause, or hibernation, in March or April, and immediately begin laying eggs. You might see the red or yellow nymphs, newly hatched insects, crawling over a host plant such as maple trees, ash trees, or on their favorite fruit trees or plants: apple, pear, peach, grape, blueberry, soybean, tomato, corn. When stink bugs feed on a developing fruit, it can cause the fruit to grow malformed and cause what is called a cat facing injury.

Okay, but now what?

Warning: Severe infestations

First, a word of caution: If a severe stink bug infestation has entered your home, do not try to get rid of stink bugs on your own.

Do not try to get rid of a large infestation on your own.

Over-the-counter pesticides will most likely make these insects delve deeper into the cracks and crevices of your home, and the bug carcasses will attract bacteria and other pests, such as carpet beetles, that eat away the dead insects. Professional pest control services have at their disposal commercial products that will force stink bugs out of their hiding places, and residual products for long-term protection.

    Signs of a serious infestation:
  • When they have infiltrated your walls and into the insulation
  • You find them coming out of electrical outlets or cracks around light fixtures and air ducts or air return vents.

Things you can do

  • Seal Entry Points

    Repair or replace window screens and use silicone caulking to seal cracks around the frames around your doors and windows. Check the cracks around the foundation and sill plates of your home. Repair cracked mortar and fill any holes or cracks you see there. Install and maintain weather strips and exterior door sweeps. Remember, the most common entry points are near doors and windows, so be sure that every crack is completely sealed.
  • Remove Food Sources

    Keep your landscaping clean and well-maintained. Trim shrubbery at least one foot from the sides of your house, keep short grass two feet from the home perimeter, and keep firewood or compost piles at least twenty feet from the home and raised at least 1 foot off the ground. Collect fallen fruit, birdseed, nuts, or berries from your yard. At night during late fall and early winter, turn off porch lights that attract insects after nightfall and cover windows to keep the insects from seeing and being attracted to the light. Keep the crawl space, attic, garage, and shed free of moisture. Repair and ventilate leaky pipes and keep them dry.
  • Home Solutions for Stink Bug Removal

    Prevention works if you don’t already have a problem. Remember: Do not squish stink bugs. They will release a nasty smell, and their body excrement can leave a stain. Here are some things to do if you already have a problem. Pour dish soap and water mixed into a spray bottle or hose sprayer and apply the soapy water liberally to stink bug gatherings on the siding of your home or your car or other places outside your Rockland area home. Use a vacuum to suck them up if they have come inside, or you can use a shop vacuum on the exterior. Place the vacuum bag in the freezer overnight to eliminate live bugs, then empty and reuse the bag. Don’t empty the vacuum cleaner bag into the garbage can without eliminating the stink bugs collected there.

Pest Control Professional

Stink bugs are a nuisance this time of year in the Rockland area, so do what you can to keep them from coming now and in the spring. Don’t squish them if you encounter them to avoid their nasty stink defense. If you suspect you have a serious infestation between your walls, do not wait to call. Call today for timely, friendly service from our pest professional technicians. Our products will root stink bugs out of your walls, off your siding, and away from your Rockland home this season. Pests … it’s what we do.

Posted on December 2, 2019.

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Rockland County Pest Control & ExterminatorsFox Pest Control proudly provides expert pest control and bed bug control in Rockland County. We have helped over 20,000 homeowners manage and exterminate their pest problems and look forward to putting over 8 years of experience to work for you.

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