Stink bugs, often called kudzu bugs, are classified as occasional invaders and usually make an appearance in the Spring in Georgia. They look similar to brown lady bugs, feed on plants (like kudzu), and give off an unpleasant smell when threatened. Because of their small size, stink bugs can fit in the smallest cracks and crevices, making their way into your home in search of water and shelter. Most likely, at this time of year, they’re looking for somewhere warm to escape the cold winter temperatures. Once inside, your attic or other infrequently used spaces for storage will likely be their preferred residence. If not controlled and eliminated, stink bugs will infest the area and remain inside your home until Spring, when they will start moving outside in search of food.
Because of their strong smell, it’s recommended to call a pest control company that specializes in stink bug control to get rid of them. Temporarily, you can dispose of them by using a vacuum but this can cause a lingering smell. If you choose to do this, they should be emptied outside of your home immediately.
Prevention is key with stink bugs. Prior to seasonal changes in weather, make sure your home is airtight. Cracks, crevices, and gaps around doors, window, and pipes should be sealed and broken screens or attic/crawl space vents repaired. Once inside, it can be extremely difficult to control them.
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.