“They’re coming off a feeding frenzy and they’re congregating in homes they haven’t been in all summer, ready to hibernate,” Peter Jentsch, director of the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, told the Times Union. “The next six weeks are going to be mayhem.”
Howard Russell, an entomologist from Michigan State University, agrees. “If you’re seeing a few now, you’re going to see them by the dozens — maybe even hundreds — as we get closer toward the end of October,” he told WZZM. “And it won’t stop.”
Native to Asia, brown marmorated stink bugs only arrived in the United States in mid ’90s, but now appear in 44 states. They usually live outside in warmer weather, plaguing farms and orchards by eating their crops. As the temperature drops, the agricultural pests gravitate towards protected buildings to overwinter until spring, when they become active once again.
While the insects don’t bite, sting or carry diseases, any homeowner who’s experienced a scourge before knows why they’re so unwelcome. Their eponymous self-defense habit makes disposal almost impossible. Squash the bugs, and they stink. Vacuum the bugs, and then the vacuum stinks. Basically, they stink.
Like most other household pests, experts agree it’s best to prevent an infestation before it starts by blocking off as many potential entryways as possible. First check doors, windows, attics and crawl spaces for cracks and torn screens, Orkin advises. Use caulk to plug small gaps, weather stripping to seal exterior doors and screens to block off vents. Some homeowners claim that rubbing screens with fragrant dryer sheets will also reduce an invasion by up to 80%, according Bayer Advanced.
If the bugs have already found their way indoors, use a dustpan to sweep them up and into the toilet instead of squishing. You can also vacuum stink bugs and dispose of the bag immediately to help reduce the odor. Another method is drowning via soapy water. Just choose a straight-sided container so they can’t climb out.
Via: Good Housekeeping