Stink Bugs

Biology

Stink bugs are typically known for their pungent odor and are recognizable by their “shield shaped” body and off brown color. Adult Stink bugs will begin to find overwintering sites in mid-September up to the end of October. After the winter season ends, they’ll become more active in April. In Pennsylvania, they are most often found on foliage in August. Their mating season lasts from May until August, and they’ll lay about 20-30 eggs, usually also found in foliage. In 4-5 days the eggs will hatch and begin their life cycle.

Habits

Stink bugs have been observed eating many different ornamental plants and trees. Among them are crab apple, American holly, Norway maple, pyracantha, and butterfly bush. They may even eat many of our foods such as raspberries, pears, peaches, asparagus, and string beans. Usually adults will be found eating on fruits and nymphs on leaves, stems, and fruits. Sometimes, when they are looking for places to overwinter, you can find them in mass groups on the sides of buildings.

Control

There are a few things you can do at home to reduce the risk of a stink bug infestation. They are attracted to bright lights, so replace any outdoor lighting with less attractive yellow bulbs. They are also attracted to the warmest side of the house, so you’ll commonly find them wherever the sun hits most. They can get inside through door and window frames, electrical outlets, skylights, and ceiling fans. Although it’s tempting to simply vacuum them when you see them, it’s highly recommended to use a broom and dustpan to remove them instead. Once vacuumed, the stink bugs will travel down the vacuum hose, where their smell will become more noticeable, and you may have to replace the vacuum hose because of it. Seeing many of them inside could be an indication that there are more within the walls. It’s always best to call the professionals. We’ll be able to treat their points of entry and reduce the amount of stink bugs gaining access into the home.