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Stink Bug Forecast: Higher Numbers of the Smelly Pest Expected This Season
The National Pest Management Association Recommends Tips to Prevent Infestations
For residents on the East Coast of the U.S., stink bugs have become as synonymous with fall as the changing leaves. But entomologists with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are expecting higher populations of the brown marmorated stink bug this autumn than last year. As a result, the NPMA is recommending that homeowners take steps now to pest-proof their homes against this stinky pest.
“The Mid-Atlantic experienced long periods of sustained hot weather this summer, allowing stink bug populations to grow to much higher levels than we saw in 2011” explains Jim Fredericks, technical director for the NPMA. “Now that the weather is cooling off, there are more stink bugs seeking sites to overwinter.”
Stink bugs get their name from their habit of secreting a bad-smelling fluid when disturbed or crushed. They are not known to bite humans but caution should be used when handling them to avoid a release of their odor.
"Stink bugs do not pose serious property or safety threats to homeowners, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be a nuisance," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "Luckily, there are steps people can take to prevent stink bugs from entering their homes."
The NPMA offers the following prevention tips:
- Seal and caulk cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.
- Repair or replace damaged screens on windows or doors.
- Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.
- If stink bugs have already entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner for their removal and dispose of the bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area.
- If an infestation develops, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem.
For more information or to find a pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.