What are stink bugs?
Stink bugs are a non-native species of insect only recently introduced into the United States. In 1998 these pests made their way over from Asia inside packing crates and machinery. Initially introduced into Pennsylvania, their populations have since flourished, and they live across much of the United States.
Stink bugs are most well-known for the foul smell they emit from a small gland located on the thorax. In addition to their odor, we identify a stink bug by a shield-like plate on its back that gives them a triangular shape. They are a mottled brown color and sometimes have copper or metallic-colored patches on their head. Covering the antennae and edge of the abdomen is alternating dark and light bands of color. These pests have wings and are capable flyers.
In addition to being problematic in our gardens, these smelly, agricultural pests are also a problem in our homes during the colder winter months.
Are stink bugs dangerous?
Damage to plants and crops is the biggest reason to want to control populations of stink bugs. They have specialized sucking mouthparts they use to feed on the juices of fruits and vegetables. Their feeding habits cause cosmetic damage to fruits and vegetables in conjunction with creating a mealy texture.
Stink bugs are not dangerous to people, although having them living in our homes in large numbers is never ideal. Stink bugs are difficult to control, and the odor they produce is unpleasant at best!
Why do I have a stink bug problem?
Stink bugs will become a problem on any property that provides them with plenty of food to consume during the spring, summer, and early fall months. These agricultural pests will happily feed on the fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants planted on any property.
When the weather begins to cool in the late fall, they migrate, looking for a safe place to overwinter. Often they gather on the warm sunny sides of our Midwestern homes. As they crawl up the walls, they move indoors through any openings they find. Once inside, they will hide in hard to reach areas and stay until spring when the weather warms back up and food is plentiful once again.
Where will I find stink bugs?
Orchards, farms, and gardens are all places sink bugs hang out. Any suburban or rural property could become home to stink bugs. In warm parts of the country, stink bugs are active and will reproduce year-round outdoors; however, in the colder parts of the country like Illinois, they move inside to overwinter.
If stink bugs have traveled into your home, you may notice them crawling on walls, curtains, lampshades, and window sills. Eventually, they will move into dark, secluded areas of your home like crawlspaces, attic, walls voids, and gaps under floors.
How do I get rid of stink bugs?
Get help protecting your Illinois property from stink bugs with the help of Aerex Pest Control. With over 70 years of experience, our family owned and operated business is committed to helping Chicago area home and business owners protect their properties from pests. You can count on our professionals to provide you with the inspection and biannual treatments needed to guard your home or business against stink bugs and other common pests.
For more information about our pest control options, call Aerex Pest Control, and speak with one of our helpful professionals!
How can I prevent stink bugs in the future?
We have put together a list of stink bug prevention tips to help you keep stink bugs out of your home.
- Make it as difficult as possible for stink bugs to move into your home by sealing any openings in the exterior, placing covers over vents, and caps on chimneys.
- When possible, place gardens and fruit trees as far away from the walls of your home as possible.
- Cut tree branches and shrubs back away from the outside walls of your home; stink bugs will use their branches to access your house.
- Rake back leaves from your foundation and store woodpiles away from the immediate perimeter of your home. Stink bugs will hide under both.
- Turn off outdoor lights when they aren't needed because stink bugs are attracted to light. If possible, trade out regular white outdoor lights for LED or yellow lights that are less attractive to insects.