What Is A Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Identification of stink bugs:

  • Grayish-brown
  • 6 legs
  • Triangular or shield shped
  • 2/4 in long
  • Found in eastern US, as well as California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas

What are stink bugs?

Brown marmorated “stink bugs” are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Why are they called stink bugs?

Stink bugs get their name from the odor they emit as a defense against predators, including birds, spiders and assassin bugs. When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies.

Are stink bugs more prevalent during a specific season?

Adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather, often from mid-September through mid-October. They reemerge from overwintering sites in early spring and try to exit, but sometimes enter living spaces instead.

Why are stink bugs problematic?

Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be increasingly harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops.

Do stink bugs pose a threat to human health?

Stink bugs are not known to bite humans, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers makes them a difficult pest to control once inside.

What can homeowners do to prevent an infestation?

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum because stink bugs are drawn to light. Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Repair damaged window screens. Don’t forget to check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Also, install screens over chimney and crawlspace vents.
  • A licensed pest professional can pre-treat homes for stink bugs in the late summer or early fall just prior to their full maturation and congregation.

How can a homeowner get rid of stink bugs once they are inside their home?

  • If stink bugs have already entered a home or building, use a vacuum cleaner to aid in their removal
    • Remove the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can stink up your home.
    • Seal contents from the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
  • If an infestation has developed inside the home or building, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem and help to identify the access points for these invasive species.

Source: Professional Pest Management Alliance

Photo Credit – Steven Jacobs Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

 

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849
 

September Pest of the Month: Stink Bugs

kudzu bug stink bug

Brief description:

The stink bug gets its name from its ability to release an odor when they are disturbed or crushed.  Stink bugs have a triangular or shield shape.

Habits:

  • Enter homes and other structures in the winter for shelter and emerge from their hiding spaces in early spring.
  • Mostly feed on plants and crops.
  • Some species feed off of other pests such as caterpillars and other crop damaging pests.  This species of stink bug is used as a natural pest control for crops.
  • When disturbed, they release a foul smelling fluid from their pores to protect themselves from predators.

Different species:

Threats:

  • Can damage plants and crops.
  • Invade homes in large numbers.

Prevention:

  • Seal cracks and crevices around the structure of your home so they cannot enter.
  • Do not shine outside lights directly onto your home…this will attract stink bugs to your home.
  • Use a vacuum to get rid of stink bugs.  Empty contents of vacuum into a tightly sealed trash bag and dispose of immediately.  Do NOT crush!  Crushing will cause them to emit their infamous odor.
  • Because of their ability to invade en masse, contact Northwest Exterminating if a stink bug infestation happens in your home or business.

Other pests to look out for:

 

Know Your Red & Black Bugs

Spring is a time when everything comes to life, blooming into an array of lovely colors. You’ll see flowers that are pink and purple, baby bunnies that are tan or gray and insects that are red and black. Just like every other little life form emerging this time of year, insects can also be a variety of colors and it’s important not to get them confused. Some bugs you might spot frequently are of the Georgia Bulldog variety – red and black spots, stripes and even a combination of both.

If any of these insects or other pests become too much of nuisance, Northwest Exterminating has the expertise and knowledge to take care of your bug problems.  Our Director of Pest Services Adam Vannest has provided some information about these bugs that will help you know the difference and what measures to take against them.

Lady Bug

Ladybug  – Beneficial insect

-  Overwinters

-  Feeds on aphids

- Control Measures: exclusion and vacuuming for long-term prevention. When necessary, chemical contact treatments can knock down a population

Box Elder Bug

Box Elder Bug

-  Overwinters

-  Female: Box Elder trees and Silver Maple trees serve as the primary host plant

-   Control Measures: Exclusion and a contact/residual application around the foundation and base of host plant

 

Milkweed Bug

Milkweed bug  – Found in gardens on Milkweed plants or around shelled sunflower seeds

- Control Measures: Over-the-counter garden insecticides

 

Leaf-Footed Stink Bug

Leaf-footed stink bug

-      Feeds on a wide variety of host plants

-       Besides birds, they do not have too many natural predators due to their taste and smell

-       Control Measures: Over-the-counter insecticides for garden areas. Outside of the garden, any contact or residual product labeled for stink bugs

Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug

 

-       Semicircular cogwheel-like crest on its thorax

-       Feeds on a wide variety of insects including caterpillars, beetles, aphids

Control Measures: Prevention is the key! All plants should be inspected before they enter the home. Exclusion should be performed for long-term prevention. All vegetation should be trimmed away from the home, at least one foot. Pesticides are rarely needed

 

The Return of the Stink Bug

The stink bug made it’s presence well-known this past Spring when we saw a large invasion of the pest.  Well it seems that they are back.

Stink bugs feed on leaves, flowers, fruit, crops, and even other pests, such as caterpillars.  They can damage plants and crops but luckily besides the foul odor they emit when they are crushed or threatened, they do not cause harm to humans.

 

 

Prevent stink bugs from making a comeback in your home:

  • Seal cracks around the structure of your home.
  • Replace damaged screens on door and windows.
  • Vacuum up stink bugs found in your house (DO NOT step on them.  They will emit a horrible odor.)  Tightly seal and throw away the vacuum bag outside of your structure, immediately.  It is important to dispose of the bag immediately.  Stink bugs tend to die or bust in the bags causing a horrendous smell that could be difficult to get out of your vacuum.
  • Call your pest control companyProfessionals can help you identify where these pests are coming from and what is attracting them.  They will also be able to help develop a customized plan that would get rid of any stink bugs and prevent them from coming back.
 

Carpenter Bees Are Making a Buzz in Atlanta

 

Carpenter bee

Last week it was the stink bug, this week it’s the carpenter bee!  We told you that the weird temperatures were going to bring out these pests…and here they are!

It’s officially spring which means that carpenter bees are out in Atlanta and other southeastern areas.  There is a good chance that you are seeing these large black bees along with the large black tunnels that they create in wood around your home.  Those are carpenter bees that have been living in those holes and tunnels throughout the winter and are emerging in the spring time to find places for new nests, which can mean new holes and tunnels in your wood.  Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but differ slightly in appearance.  The upper surface of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is bare and a shiny black color; while bumble bees have a hairy abdomen and yellow markings.

Carpenter bees drill through wood to build nests where they stay all winter and throughout the spring until they find a new nest or emerge to mate.  Although male bees tend to be aggressive, often hovering around people who are near their nests, they are mostly harmless since they do not have stingers.  On the other hand, females can inflict a painful sting but rarely do unless they are being handled.

Carpenter bee tunnel

You may find piles of wood underneath the hole where the bee has drilled their nest.  Carpenter bees prefer to make their nests in bare, untreated or weathered wood.  Wood that is painted or pressure-treated is much less susceptible to a carpenter bees nesting.  Common areas for nesting include window trim, facia board, siding, wooden shakes, decks and outdoor furniture.

The best control for carpenter bees is to treat or paint all exposed wood surfaces.  If you are using a spray, it is best to spray at night, while wearing protective clothing, when bees are less active to reduce your risk of being stung.  Each hole should be treated individually if the bees are inside the holes.  If they are not in the hole, seal or paint the hole so the bees cannot return.

As with most infestations, it is best to call a professional exterminator to ensure that the issue is taken care of quickly and thoroughly. Call Northwest Exterminating if you are seeing carpenter bees or other pests around your home.