Frequently Asked Questions About Stink Bugs in Wisconsin
Finding any pests in your home or business can be problematic, but stink bugs pose an issue. Squishing these pests, either purposefully or accidentally, results in a strong, skunk-like odor. This can make eliminating them from your home or business difficult.
Brown marmorated stink bugs are common in Wisconsin, especially as we head into the spring or summer months. If you’ve spotted these pests in your home or business, or think you have an infestation, here’s what you need to know.
What Are Stink Bugs?
The stink bug is native to China, Japan, Korea, and other Asian regions worldwide. In September 1998, the stink bug was found in Pennsylvania, where it was believed to be accidentally introduced in the United States. The first bug was spotted in Wisconsin in 2010 and is known as an invasive and exotic species in the area.
An adult stink bug has a lifespan of 6-8 months. A female will commonly lay eggs on the underside of the leaves on a host plant and can produce anywhere from 30 to 100 eggs at a time, placing them in rows of a dozen or more.
Stink Bug Eggs Hatching
What Do Stink Bugs Look Like?
Stink bugs are shield-shaped with a broad abdomen, six legs, and three body segments. They are approximately ⅝ of an inch long.
Most are brown or brown-gray with black speckling across their bodies. They have brown legs, white undersides, and white banding on their antennae and abdomens. You might also find gray or dark or light green bodies.
Stink bugs are shield shaped and commonly brown with irregular black speckling across their bodies.
Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?
Unlike fleas, ticks, bed bugs, and other common Wisconsin pests, stink bugs haven’t been known to bite humans or pets and aren’t known for causing damage to property.
However, these creatures have a tendency to invade homes and businesses in high numbers, making it difficult for you to rid your home of this invasive species. As noted, use caution when handling these bugs as they release a strong, unpleasant odor, similar to a skunk when threatened or killed.
What Do Stink Bugs eat?
Stink bugs feed on leaves, flowers, fruits, and crops like soybeans. They’ve also eaten other insects, such as caterpillars. Their favorite foods include beans, okra, tomatoes, peppers, apples, peaches, pears, corn, and berries. They’ll also eat flowers, grasses, and buds of plants.
How Do Stink Bugs Get in the House?
This invasive and exotic species is most attracted to the warmth and shelter of your home or business but also attracted to the light as well. Bugs enter the building through any cracks or openings. These include cracks, crevices, gaps, and holes in your foundation or roof.
Stink bugs will also seek shelter in your home or business through windows or door frames that aren’t properly sealed/screened.
Since they’re attracted to common crops we grow here in Wisconsin, you may also accidentally bring one of these smelly pests inside while working in your garden or bringing home a farmer’s market haul this spring and summer months.
Once they’ve entered your residence or place of work, you can find them hiding in cracks or crevices, typically around baseboards, windows, and door trims. You can also find them in lights or external exhaust fans.
How Do I Deter Stink Bugs?
Here are a few ways to deter stink bugs and keep them out of your home or business:
- Inspect the inside and outside of the building to seal any openings with caulk
- Place screens over windows and doors and check the screens for tears or holes
- Eliminate food sources that attract them and wash produce carefully
- Reduce moisture sites
- Use essential oils like clove oil, lemongrass oil, and spearmint oil that stink bugs don’t like.
- Place dryer sheets at points of entry to keep stink bugs from entering the building.
Keep in mind these are only short-term solutions to your stink bug infestation. If you have a large infestation or don’t fully seal up the entry points in your home, you’ll likely have a recurring stinky problem throughout the year and may require ongoing pest management.
Contact the Professionals at K&C Pest Control
Contact a pest control specialist for long-term solutions to your stink bug problem! Pest control professionals can determine points of entry, what attracts them to your building, and how to prevent them from entering your home or business.
If you’ve already consistently seen stink bugs in your home or business, contact the professionals at K&C Pest Control today! We can seal entrances and implement barriers to keep pests out while ridding your establishment of the stink bugs that have already made your building theirs.