Stink Bug Stress – How Can Homeowners Get Rid of Them?

Fall means change. For many animals this means migrating, gearing up for hibernation, or putting on fat to tough out the cold. Insects are not exempt from these changes. It’s true that many die off, the last of the season’s adults producing eggs that will overwinter, not to be seen until the weather warms again in the spring. Yet many find places to hide out. Often these places end up being in your house, garage, shed, etc. Places that many of us don’t want them.

The two most common examples around here are the Asian Lady Beetle (which resembles our ladybugs) and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

brown_mo_moThere have been several reports of the BMSB in particular this year. Several people have said they have seen unusually high numbers of them. While this agricultural pest has been in the U.S. since the late 1990’s and in Michigan since 2010, experts are predicting that their numbers will only increase in the coming years. These insects have very few predators here to keep their population in check. They also spread and multiply quickly, a nasty combination when it comes to a pest.

So if you get these insects in your house this fall what can you do about it?

Michigan State University Extension has put together a new homeowner tip sheet that can help you identify BMSB and how you can control them if you have them.

New tip sheet on brown marmorated stink bugs for homeowners

A new resource about brown marmorated stink bug identification and management in homes is now available.

Considering the diversity of agriculture in Michigan, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has potential to be a very damaging pest. In the eastern United States, crop yield losses in apples alone were 18-32 percent in 2010, with damage exceeding $37 million. Michigan’s economy depends largely upon agriculture, particularly specialty crops. We are first in the nation in specialty crops such as dry beans, red tart cherries, blueberries, squash and cucumbers for pickles, and are in the top 10 for 63 other commodities. Most of these are at risk of attack from the BMSB.

BMSB also feed on a wide range of native and introduced ornamental plants in the landscape and can be an unwelcome guest in homes during fall and winter. A new tip sheet, “The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB): Information for Michigan Residents on a New Home Invader,” has just been released by Michigan State University Extension. Written by MSU Department of Entomology’s Paul Botch and myself, the tip sheet provides a handy reference for homeowners who may have not yet encountered BMSB, or for those who are beginning to find it in their homes. It contains a guide for identifying BMSB and illustrates other common home-invading bugs. Tips on preventing its entry into homes and for eradicating it once it enters are also covered.

Download the tip sheet at: The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB): Information for Michigan Residents on a New Home Invader.

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