If you were born before the 90's, you probably never saw stink bugs while you were growing up. The fact is, stink bugs didn't make an appearance in the United States until the late 1990's, or at least this was when they were first reported. It has only been 18 years since that first report of stink bugs in the U.S. but they haven't wasted any time spreading. They are currently in 38 of the 50 states, including ours. So the question is, do you want these odorous insects taking up residence in your Texas home? If you saw a few last year, this year they may come in larger numbers.
Normally these shield-shaped insects are happy to live outdoors, but when temperatures begin to dip, they look for warm spots, such as the sunny sides of rocks, trees, and, unfortunately, homes. And if the sunny side of your home has any spots where insects can squeeze in, then stink bugs will find their way inside. They can also come in through broken screens, open vents or chimneys, or even open doors. And when they get inside, especially in large numbers, they can cause issues.
Problems Caused By Stink Bugs Inside A Home
As their name suggests, stink bugs have a bad smell. They excrete a viscous fluid from their abdomen that has a foul smell. If they are stepped on, or otherwise crushed, this will very quickly become apparent. Their smell has been compared to dirty socks and fermented materials.
Even if a stink bug isn't crushed, it can still excrete a foul smell when startled. Things that will scare stink bugs include: being pressed, being corralled, or being flicked.
If crushed, stink bugs can leave stains on objects. And these stains can be very challenging to remove, depending on the material that the bug was crushed on.
Stink bugs are terrible flyers, and they can be very disturbing if they fly into your face as you are walking through the room, or dive bomb you as you are trying to have a peaceful breakfast.
Stink bugs get into food that is left out. If you leave vegetables on the counter, and you have stink bugs, you may find tiny bite marks when you return. And if you leave fruit out, stink bugs will love you even more for it.
Stink bugs can also feed on other things in your home, such as food in an open trash can, or even potted plants, and be quite content to live in your home all winter long.
If you have small children or pets, there is the risk that a stink bug can be eaten, which will probably happen only once but will be a very unpleasant experience indeed.
Stink bugs attract other insects. Wasps, spiders, and other insect predators love making a meal out of a stink bug. And if stink bugs are dying within your wall voids, this will attract many other insects which could be the cause of a whole new set of problems.
Stink Bug Prevention Tips
Carefully check your screens for holes or tears. Repair or replace any damaged screens that you find. It doesn't take much of a hole for a stink bug to slip through.
Look closely around all of your windows for gaps. Use tape or a caulking gun to fill in spaces.
Examine exterior walls and foundation for gaps. Pay attention to areas around fixtures, outlets, pipes, wires and the like. Rotted wood is especially attractive to insects. If you are unable to have areas of rotted wood property repaired, patch them until you can.
Change exterior lighting to yellow, insect-resistant lighting. Stink bugs are drawn to light.
Cover vents and chimneys with window-grade screening.
Employ the help of a professional pest control company.
Stink Bug Control For Your Home
If you would like assistance in keeping stink bugs out of your home, or if you are dealing with a current infestation, the professionals here at Innovative Pest Control can help. Our technicians know how to properly treat your home for stink bugs, and we have the equipment to reach rooflines and high windows. Reach out to Innovative today for prompt assistance.