The dreaded Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has been plaguing our area for years. This pest poses no substantial risk to structures or people but is a huge nuisance. As weather changes in the spring and fall, the phone starts ringing off in our office with horrified property owners who want us to rid them of their Stink Bug invasion.
There is a two prong approach to controlling Stink Bugs. Eradication is impossible. There are millions of them around your property and you will find them here and there at best. If you are located in a highly agricultural area, especially with soybean or corn crops, you’ll have even more activity from this pest. Once Stink Bugs get inside, there is little remedy except catching them and flushing them down the toilet. Some people prefer to vacuum them, but if this is the case, the pests may cause your vacuum to take on their odor. Grabbing them with some tissues and giving them a good lesson in diving is the quickest way to make sure they don’t come back. There are two methods of prevention, however, to help drastically reduce Stink Bug populations.
Physical Exclusion of Entry Points: How are they getting inside? You have to think like a Stink Bug. They can flatten their bodies out and squeeze in a lot of places. Address hot spots for entries. If you have a chimney, chances are you’ll have Stink Bugs. The heat from buildings will escape from chimneys and vents and they will find their way in as they are attracted to those areas in cold nights. In the case of a gas-fueled chimney, you can install fine wire mesh over the openings to keep them out. If you have a wood-burning fireplace be careful not to use fine mesh because it may get clogged since the exhaust is not as clean as gas. However, wood burns much hotter so a good fire here and there should kill off any inhabitants inside the chimney.
Another common entry point is through window air conditioning units. When you stop using them in September, get them out of the window opening and shut the window. A lot of property owners leave these units up until November and then take them down. These units always provide easy entry points for Stink Bugs. If you must leave them up, use more wire mesh to exclude these pests.
Look for other common entry points and seal them up the best you can. Make sure the screens in attics and storage areas are covered properly. Inspect all your window screens and make sure the frame isn’t bent and fits securely and tightly. Make sure there aren’t holes in the screens. Check the weather stripping around all doors and screen doors to have a snug fit.
Stink Bug Control Applications: The application of a registered insecticide can also help in Stink Bug reduction. Control is better achieved if the items above are also addressed. You can spray your structure exterior all you want, but if there is a huge, gaping hole, they’ll still get inside. Generously spraying the exterior of a structure with insecticide will really help. Treating around doorways, windows, soffit, and at siding joints will create opportunities for Stink Bug control as they attempt to get inside. Application should happen when Stink Bug activity is occurring. Stink Bug Control is just one of the pest management services that are included in a quarterly pest control program.
Physical Exclusion is most economically achieved when the property owner does this themselves. For larger or harder to accomplish projects, a handy-man service should be able to assist with this. Spraying of insecticides are often attempted by property owners, however most times this is better performed by a professional pest control company that has access to superior materials as well as specialized equipment that can reach higher than the typical household sprayer can.
If you’re having problems with Stink Bugs and are interested in controlling them for your home or commercial property, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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