Stink bugs invade Michiana homes
Stink bugs invade Michiana homes

Stink bugs invade Michiana homes (Video)

Stink bug season in the Tri-State Area has just begun, and there are measures that people are advised to take before the bugs become a real nuisance.

“The reason they become a problem is because we have warm houses. They will move into the wall void thinking they [have] a nice place to settle down and hibernate,” said Phil Sutton, an extension educator for Purdue Extension in St. Joseph County.

Known scientifically as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, the species is invasive in the US. They were first spotted in the 90’s and have steadily increased in numbers across the country. The bugs are not dangerous to humans, as they don’t bite, but they are obnoxious.

“The reason they stink, that’s their defense mechanism,” said Sutton.

Sutton says there isn’t a sure fire way to keep stink bugs out of a home, especially since they can easily crawl between the crevices of vinyl siding, chimneys and screen doors. He suggests drawing the bugs in with a light at night then trapping them in warm, soapy water.

The bugs can be identified by the hard, flat shells and white marks on their antennas and bodies.

Here are a few tips for avoiding the pests:

Inspect the outside of homes

Check doors and windows for cracks, torn screens and loose caulking. Seal gaps with caulk, and use weather stripping on doors. Use screens to protect vents in attics and crawl spaces.

Check the yard

Firewood, boxes and clutter left in the yard can provide a home for overwintering stink bugs.

If they’re already inside

Contact a pest-control professional. Stink bugs don’t feed or reproduce once indoors, but if they’ve made it into open spaces in the walls, they are likely to reappear year after year. You may also attempt to catch them inside of a plastic baggie with a zip closure.

Don’t vacuum

Vacuuming the bugs may seem like an easy way to avoid the stink that comes with squishing them, but the stink bug smell can linger in vacuums for months.

Peppermint spray

A mix of mint oil and water may be sprayed around entryways and hidden spots. It acts as a repellent.


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