Pest Profile: Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
What Are Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia. Experts from the National Pest Management Association say these pests were accidentally brought to Pennsylvania in 1996, and now they are found in most states, including Wisconsin. They look similar to insects native to the U.S., including other types of stink bugs, boxelder bugs, spined soldier bugs and western conifer seed bugs.
The stink bug family got its name because these bugs release an odor when disturbed or crushed. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania say the smell can cause allergic reactions for some people, especially those who are sensitive to smells from squashed Asian beetles and cockroaches.
Expect to See These Stinkers in 2017
Experts from the National Pest Management Association predict exploding brown marmorated stink bug populations this year because of our wet winter and early spring. This could spell bad news for farmers. Brown marmorated stink bugs feed on fruits, sweet corn, field corn, soybeans, tomatoes and more. They don’t have many natural predators to stop them either. Some growers in the mid-Atlantic reported total crop losses because of the bugs in 2010.
As you can see in this map from Stop BMSB, brown marmorated stink bugs are only a nuisance in Wisconsin. They can invade homes and businesses in massive numbers, but they are not a serious threat to crops in our state.
Preventing Stink Bug Invasions
Brown marmorated stink bugs are active during the warm months. They search for shelter when it starts to get cooler, and they often invade homes to survive the winter. They reawaken in spring, crawling into your house and becoming a nuisance.
There isn’t much you can do about these stinkers in the spring other than vacuum them up. Make sure you dump the bugs outside to prevent your house from getting stinky! In the fall, seal cracks around your windows, doors, siding, chimneys and other openings with caulk and replace holey screens. Then contact us to schedule a treatment to keep them out for good!