It is that time of year again for football games and cool and crisp air, watching color- changing leaves, smelling aromatic tea-olive flowers and fruits, enjoying pumpkins and harvesting. However, fall is also the time for unwelcome stink bugs invading homes.
Stink bugs are creepy, noisy and notorious for their pungent smell. They enter homes in the fall seeking place to overwinter.
Stink bugs do not bite, do not sting, do NOT pose serious property or safety threats. However, their tendency to enter homes or cover your house in high numbers can be an odoriferous nuisance and disaster. They emit an unpleasant odor that can be hard to get out of your nose, your furniture, your carpet, etc. Crushing the bugs thus becomes a problem, as they emit an unpleasant odor and may stain the surface they are crushed upon.
They enter homes that are not properly sealed. Once inside they will get in the cracks of your house, get in your wall, and anywhere they can hide.
Problematic stink bugs commonly seen in Alabama consist of kudzu bugs and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). Other fall invaders that can be stinkers are the Asian lady beetles and boxelder bugs.
Kudzu bugs and the BMSB are both exotic invaders from Asia.
Kudzu bugs adults are 3.5 to 6 mm long, oblong, olive-green colored with brown speckles. Their primary hosts are kudzu vine and soybean crop. They migrate from host plants to overwintering sites in later fall. If you have wild kudzu patches near your property, you are most likely to have this bugs. You may find them resting or even feeding on a verity of landscape and garden plants. This is their effort to get all the nuisance they need preparing for overwinter. They overwinter sites include any crack or crevice where a group of bugs can aggregate. Gaps under the bark of trees, gaps under the siding of homes, high places (such as the fascia boards and gutters on the edges of homes), and leaf litters are only a few examples of overwintering sites.
The brown marmorated stink bugs are 16-18 mm long, shades of brown on both upper and lower body surface, with shield shape like other stink bugs. BMSB are not a picky eater, but suck fluid from a wide variety of host plants, including many tree fruits, vegetable fruits, and crops. If you grow garden plants and fruit trees, you are most likely to have this bugs. Like kudzu bugs, they overwinter under tree barks, sheltered and protected places. Oak and locust trees seem to be their favorite overwintering sites. Photo credit of Brown Marmorated Stinkbug, Home Team Pest.
Advices to keep smelly stink bugs at bay
Suggestions for control
Xing Ping Hu
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