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Stink Bug Armies Invading Homes Across the Northeast and Midwest
Residents in several regions of the U.S. are waging a battle against the brown marmorated stink bug. In its seasonal peak through mid-October, stink bugs are making their way into homes in preparation for winter- and this year there are more of them. Stink bug populations, much like many other insects, have increased due to the wet winter and spring months earlier this year, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
"Stink bug populations have increased steadily since the invasive species was first discovered in the U.S. in 1998. The massive amounts of snow and rain seen earlier this year in many parts of the country set the stage for an insect explosion, including stink bugs," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "While stink bugs don't pose a threat to humans, their appearance and smelly odor can be quite a nuisance."
NPMA offers the following stink bug prevention tips:
- Seal and caulk cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.
- Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens.
- If stink bugs have already found an entryway use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate live and dead bugs. However, empty the vacuum cleaner or dispose of the bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the area. Seal contents from the vacuum in a plastic bag and dispose of it with your normal garbage.
- If an infestation has developed inside the home or building, a licensed pest professional should be contacted to evaluate and assess the severity problem and help to identify the access the points for these invasive species.
- Remember that a licensed pest professional can pre-treat homes for stink bugs in the late summer or early fall just prior to their full maturation and congregation.
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.