When fall comes, our minds typically turn to a host of things we’ve ignored through the summer. There are appointments to be made, clutter to conquer, schedules to get back on track with. Life begins to fall into a predictable rhythm again after being less structured through the summer months. As the weather starts to cool, we start to prepare for the winter months. Humans aren’t the only ones who prepare for winter. Many animals and insects must also make plans for where to live and what to eat through the winter in order to survive. One of those insects is the stink bug.
Stink Bug Identification
Adult stink bugs are about 2 cm in both length and width, are a mottled brown color, and their bodies are similar in shape to a shield. Stink bugs do not enjoy cold weather. As soon as they sense the shift in temperature, they’ll begin to look for a warm place in which to spend the winter months. As long as they can find an area that provides both warmth and a food source, they’ll survive through the winter and head back outdoors again when the temperatures warm up in the spring.
Common Stink Bug Hiding Places
As you may imagine, your home is prime real estate to stink bugs looking for a safe place to live this winter. And since they are not large bugs, it is relatively easy for them to find a way into your home. They accomplish their mission by entering through doors, windows, chimneys, soffits, and even cracks around your foundation and outer walls.
Stink bugs are considered more of a nuisance than a threat. They are not known to carry diseases that transmit to humans, nor are they the type of pest, like termites, that will cause significant damage to your home. However, they can damage your houseplants while feeding upon them. They may also eat fruit you leave out on your counter, leaving it with damage that will render it inedible for your family. Of course, when it comes to stink bugs being a problem, their name says it all. If you find these pests in your home and try to vacuum them up or kill them, they will emit a very unpleasant odor. While a stink bug here or there isn’t that big of a deal, when confronted with a large number of them, they can become a nuisance very quickly.
Stink Bug Prevention Tips
In order to prevent stink bugs from entering your home this fall, try these prevention tips:
- Inspect the outside of your home for cracks, holes, and gaps where stink bugs could get in. Remember that they are small and even the smallest spaces may allow them access.
- Fix and/or fill all cracks and holes along your foundation or walls.
- Repair screens that have holes or other damage.
- Make sure your windows and doors seal tightly with no gaps.
- Cover all vents.
- Cap your chimney.
- Consider using door sweeps on outside doors.
If you find stink bugs in your home, vacuum them up then immediately dispose of the vacuum bag in an outdoor receptacle to keep the stink out of your house. If you find that the problem has grown to an unmanageable level, however, give us a call to learn more about our residential pest control options.