The Stink Bugs Are Back

They’re brown, numerous, and annoying. And right now they’re trying to make their way into your homes. Brown marmorated stink bugs.

Every year people are plagued with these pests as they look for warm places to hide for the winter. Unfortunately for us, we’ve made lots of them with our obsession for cozy homes, insulated garages, even storage sheds and barns. All of these provide great protection for these insects during the harsh temperatures of winter.

If you find yourself infested, don’t panic. While irritating, they’re harmless. And there are ways to keep them out of your house.

The article below from Michigan State University Extension gives you a few tips and resources to help.

 

Brown marmorated stink bugs are moving into Michigan homes again

What they are, why stink bugs are entering houses, and what you can do about them.

The brown marmorated stink bug is a shield-shaped, plant-feeding bug native to Asia. It has distinctive banding on its antennae and around its abdomen. Photo: Jeff Wildonger, USDA-ARS-BIIR.

The brown marmorated stink bug is a shield-shaped, plant-feeding bug native to Asia. It has distinctive banding on its antennae and around its abdomen. Photo: Jeff Wildonger, USDA-ARS-BIIR.

It’s that time of year again when brown marmorated stink bugs invade structures humans create looking for a place to hunker down for winter. Since last fall when Michigan residents were asked to report brown marmorated stink bugs in their homes, we now know that brown marmorated stink bugs are well-established as a nuisance pest in homes in the southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

What are they doing?

Brown marmorated stink bugs are looking for a protected place to hibernate over winter. They will leave your house again in the spring – if they can find their way back out – to look for plants to feed on and lay their eggs outside.

What are they NOT doing?

They are NOT nesting, laying eggs or feeding on anything or anyone in your house. These are plant-feeding insects with straw-like mouthparts for drinking plant juices – they are harmless to humans and pets.

What do you need to do?

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Look for gaps around window air conditioners or holes in window screens and block them off – these are easy access points for brown marmorated stink bugs to enter houses.
  3. The easiest, non-toxic way to dispose of them is with a couple inches of soapy water in a bucket – the soap prevents them from escaping the water. Sweep them into the bucket and they will drown in the soapy water, which you can then dump outside. Or you can do the same with a Shop-Vac – add the soapy water to the canister before vacuuming them up with the Shop-Vac.
  4. Report how many you’ve seen at a given location using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network. If you have trouble entering the information on the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network website, leave a message for Julianna Wilson via email at jkwilson@msu.edu or by phone at 517-432-4766 with your name, address (or nearest crossroads), the date you saw them, and how many you have seen.

The map below shows where we have received reports to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network of brown marmorated stink bugs in the Lower Peninsula since Sept. 25, 2015.

Map of Michigan counties that have received brown marmorated stink bugs reports

Biology and other tips for managing them in your home: download the free Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB): Information for Michigan Residents tip sheet from Michigan State University Extension.

Prevent them from entering your home: see “Managing brown marmorated stink bugs in homes.”

Report sightings of brown marmorated stink bugs: see “Report sightings of brown marmorated stink bugs in your home or business.”

Visit MSU’s Brown Marmorated Stink Bug website for 2016 monitoring network reports and additional information.

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