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Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

If you are a child or a teen, then you won't remember a time in Pennsylvania when stink bugs were not a reality. They started showing up at the end of the 90's here in PA. At first, there were just a few here and there. But today, they seem to be everywhere. These bugs can come in by the hundreds, crawling on curtains, perching on lights, and dive bombing your head from the ceiling. And they fly through the air in the most awkward fashion, which makes them difficult to swat. If you think about it--this is probably a good thing, since they put off a noxious smell when squashed. But their unpleasant smell isn't the only problem that comes with having these stinky bugs around.

Stink Bug Identification

The brown marmorated stink bug has a shield-shaped body which is characteristic of all stink bugs. Stink bug adults are approximately 17 mm long and are almost as wide as they are long. They are a mottled brownish grey color with patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored punctures on the head and pronotum. The next to last (4th) antennal segment has a white band and several of the abdominal segments protrude from beneath the wings, and are banded with black and white. Stink bug undersides are white, sometimes with grey or black markings, and their legs are brown with faint white banding.

Problems caused by stink bugs

  • As mentioned above, stink bugs stink. If they are crushed, they will excrete a viscous fluid from the abdomen that has a smell which has been described as smelling similar to dirty socks and fermented organic material. Even if a stink bug is not crushed, it can still emit a foul odor if it is startled. Some things that can startle stink bugs include being pressed on, being corralled, or being flicked.

  • When crushed, stink bugs can leave stains on objects, and these stains can be very difficult to remove, depending on the material the bug was crushed on.

  • Stink bugs fly erratically and can be distressing when they fly into people's faces or fall into your Froot Loops while you are trying to have a quiet breakfast.

  • Stink bugs crawl around on food and take bites.

  • Small children or pets may put stink bugs in their mouth (which will probably only happen once) but it can cause an unpleasant experience, and reaction, for sure.

  • Stink bugs can attract other insects. There are many insect predators that love making a meal out of a stink bug. And if these odorous insects are dying within your wall voids, many other insects will be attracted to your home, which can set off a whole new set of problems.

Stink Bug Prevention Tips

These tips will not keep stink bugs off your property, but they can help reduce the number of bugs crawling around inside your home.

  • In fall especially, stink bugs will congregate on the outside of your home and try to find places to hide from the coming cold. When they crawl underneath the "bark" of your walls, they may find holes to get inside. Do a thorough inspection of your foundation and walls and seal up any gaps, cracks, or holes that you find. Make sure to pay attention to areas where pipes, electrical wires, or other objects pass through walls.

  • Make sure your screens are all present and in good working condition. Stink bugs love to congregate on screens, and it doesn't take much of a hole for one of these creatures to squeeze through.

  • Check all of your weather stripping on sliding doors and make sure it has good contact from top to bottom. Also, check all door sweeps and make sure they make complete connection all the way across. Stink bugs will be drawn to these areas, especially if there is warm air escaping.

  • Apply screening over vents that may allow access to stink bugs or other pests.

How Moyer Can Help

Keeping pests out is easier than getting rid of an active infestation. If you need help in ridding your home of stink bugs or other nuisance or dangerous pests, reach out to Moyer Pest Control today. Our professional pest control technicians can make your home stink bug free in no time at all.

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