Stink Bug Season In New Jersey
Fall is chilly mornings, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, and stink bugs
Back to school pictures have flooded social media feeds, Dunkin’ has brought back Pumpkin Spice, and you can find fall décor everywhere you shop. Yes friends, fall is almost upon us. On September 22, some of us will cry as we bid adieu to summer while others will joyfully embrace autumn and all its wonder. Whether you hate fall or love it, we must issue this reminder - it’s also the season for stink bugs in New Jersey.
First of all, what are stink bugs?
Great question. The brown marmorated stink bug is friend to few and enemy to crop growers in New Jersey and several other states. The website, Stop BMSB, calls stink bugs voracious eaters that damage fruits, vegetables, and nut crops. Originally from Asia, the BMSB was accidentally introduced into the United States in the late 1990s and spread quickly to mid-Atlantic states, causing significant damage to crops as they went.
Stink bugs are named for the foul-smelling odor they release from a gland found on their thoraxes. A defense mechanism to deter threats, their smell and stink bugs as a whole are not dangerous to human health. They just really stink – in more ways than one.
What do stink bugs look like
In order to identify stink bugs in and around your home, here’s what you should look for:
- Shield shaped bugs that are mottled gray to brown in color
- Abdomens that have alternating dark and light bands
- Antennae and legs that have white bands
Why do I have stink bugs in my house and on my property?
When it gets cold out, we throw on sweatshirts or coats and grab our favorite beanies to stay warm. Stink bugs look for warm, safe places to overwinter. As temperatures start to cool down in Montclair, Chatham, and Clarksburg as well as communities throughout New Jersey, these pests will start moving indoors in large numbers in order to secure shelter. How do they get inside? Here’s few potential entry points:
- Gaps around pipes and other utilities
- Vents not covered
- Cracks and crevices found around the foundation, windows, and elsewhere on the structure
- Gaps under doors where weather stripping is failing or not installed
On a sidenote, it’s not just stink bugs that sneak inside via the avenues we just discussed. Ants, spiders, termites, and other household pests find their way inside using these same routes.
But what’s attracting stink bugs to my home?
Outdoor lighting, moisture, and food are the likely culprits attracting stink bugs. Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum, eliminating moisture build up inside and outside of your home, fixing clogged drains, repairing leaky pipes, and keeping your kitchen clean and foodstuffs contained in containers with tight fitting lids are a great tips to keep stink bugs (and a whole slew of other bugs out as well as a couple types of rodents in New Jersey) out of your home!
Killing stink bugs won’t attract other stink bugs
Sounds weird but trust us, we get asked a lot if killing a stink bug attracts other stink bugs. You’ll be glad to know the answer in short is no. While stink bugs will emit an odor to attract other stink bugs, killing one will not attract more to your home.
Ways you can keep stink bugs away from your home
Essential oils like mint are said to be a natural stink bug repellent but it will not kill stink bugs. Another DIY suggestion is Diatomaceous Earth. A natural sedimentary rock that contains compounds which naturally break down the protective waxy layer on stink bug exoskeletons, it works by dehydrating stinks bugs.
Professional stink bug removal is the ideal solution to combat a stink bug infestation. It is best scheduled ahead of time – meaning before these pests become a problem. At Arrow Pest Control, we start scheduling stink bug control services midsummer BEFORE these bugs start looking for their winter home. This service includes an exterior treatment that prohibits stinks bugs from making their way inside as well as exclusion work. Pest exclusion, in layman’s terms, is the act of pest-proofing. A licensed Arrow pest control technician will seal off potential entry points.
Should you sign up for stink bug treatment?
Sure, you can live with stink bugs in your home. They will not bite and do not reproduce inside. BUT they are bugs… inside your home. Uninvited. Servicing Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Somerset, and Union counties, Arrow Pest Control is ready to help you avoid stink bugs in and around your home this fall. Contact us today to schedule your stink bug treatment or visit our stink bug control page for more information!
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