The first stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) were first discovered in the United States in 2001 in Pennsylvania. Since 2011 most Upstate residents have encountered the stinky bugs that are not indigenous to North America. The stink bug entered the U.S. from its native roots in Japan, Korea and China. It’s believed they were brought in on cargo ships and containers.
While the bugs are not poisonous, or dangerous, they can pack a punch with their odor when crushed or smashed. They have been spreading slowly south since 2001. According to Clemson University Extension the bugs can fly, but they typically hitch a ride on trucks, or cars to head south.
According to Clemson University, “The bug known as the brown marmorated stink bug (aka: BMSB) is a member of the insect family, Pentatomidae and is known as an agricultural pest in its native range. The host list includes ornamental plants, fruit trees, vegetables and legumes. The bugs can cause deep feeding injury in fruit [such as South Carolina] causing them to be unsalable.”
BMSB are probably in your house without your knowledge. As the temperatures get to freezing they look for warmth and enter homes through screens, porches, gaps in doors, thresholds, siding and caulking. They are pesky and persistent in their attempts to stay warm and survive the winter months. Crawl spaces and attics are great hosts for wintering BMSB. While they are in your house they are also breeding. Typically, the gather outside windows, on screens and in storage closets as the weather turns colder.
If you find an infestation do not crush, or smash the bugs. If you find an isolated soldier grab it and take it outside. If you smash it you are going to be in for one foul smelling insect carcass.
Clemson University Extension describes them, “Adults are about 1/2 inch long and are shades of brown on both the upper and lower body surfaces. They are the typical “shield” shape of other stink bugs, almost as wide as they are long. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for white stripes on the antennae and alternating bands of brown and white on the margins of the abdomen. Faint white bands are also evident on the legs.”
These invaders are typically more of a nuisance when outside, but once inside your home unnoticed they can breed and produce more. This can be problematic for people who are allergic to the foul odor they admit when smashed or they die.
A professional termite and pest control company is the smartest approach you can take for these uninvited pests. Certified technicians can inspect your home, crawl space, garage, storage buildings, attics and other hiding places for stink bugs. They can provide caulking and sealing measures to insure the bugs do not invade your home again. They can also kill the stink bugs through human and pet safe chemicals.
Apex Termite and Pest Control has been ridding homes of these and other insects, or pests for years. Their certified technicians are trained to inspect, assess and treat for stink bugs and more. Contact us today to set up a free inspection and recommended treatment plan. Quit trying to fight bugs yourself and call the professionals at Apex!
Austin Hamilton, General Manager
Apex Termite & Pest Control