Tips from UK extension entomologist on keeping stink bugs out of your home

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - According to University of Kentucky Extension Entomologist Ric Bessin, the brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species that started taking over around 2010.

Typically in the summer, they’re found in fields eating crops and other vegetation, but once fall arrives, that’s when you’ll notice them most around homes and businesses

“We start to get some of these cool nights and then we have these bright sunny days following these cool nights, it’s in those afternoons we see the most stink bugs moving to homes in the fall,” Bessin said.

The good news is they’re not looking to duplicate in your home or even get into your pantry, instead they’re just looking for a warm place to hunker down for the winter, but understandably many of us don’t want them inside our homes, so here are some tips to keep them away.

“We physically treat our home as a fortress, and we build that fortress so that nothing can get in. So, sealing cracks and crevices, making sure your doors seal well, your window screens are tight, and the screens are intact,” Bessin said.

But what do you do if they’re already in your home? Bessin said it’s best to use a vacuum to clean them up because as their name suggests, they can stink your home up if you use a broom or even your hand.

“When they’re disturbed they have these glands on their abdomen and they release this foul smelling odor to try and discourage predators from attacking them, so if you start hand picking them and holding them in your hand, you’ll get that odor, you’ll also get some staining of your skin,” Bessin said.

Bessin said while they come around every fall, stink bug numbers can vary year to year and some homes will experience them worse than others.

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