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Stink Bug


stink_bug01Infestation levels of Stink Bugs are reaching incredible dimensions in New Jersey. Now is the time to combat these insects as they try to harbor in your home. Contact Action for a complete pest control program to control this vile pest.

Native to China, these pest were introduced to the US in the 1990s. They are now in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Glands that the bugs have between their legs, which produce an offensive odor that is commonly used as a defense mechanism, is the reason for their name and odor.

Identification: The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has a “shield” shaped body that is characteristic of all stink bugs. The adults are approximately 17 mm (5/8 inch) long with a mottled brownish grey color. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has five nymphal stages, or instars, and ranges in size from 2.4 mm to 12 mm in length.

Eggs: The eggs of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug are often laid on the underside of leaves and a light green in color. They are elliptical in shape and are often deposited in a mass of approximately 28 eggs.

How to Control the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) adults primarily overwinter inside protected shelters, such as homes and not in the leaf litter as many other species of stink bugs. The adults begin moving to their overwintering locations in early-mid September and continue until the first frost. During the winter, they do not reproduce and feeding, if any occurs, will be minimal. They are plant feeders and will not bite people or pets.

To control BMSB, the best method is to prevent them from entering. Placement of screens over windows, doors and vents, removal of window air conditioners and caulking cracks in windows and doorframes will deter the adults from entering. Removal of window air conditioners is important, as numerous BMSB will enter this way. If small numbers occur indoors, they can be removed either by hand or by using a shop-vacuum.

If large numbers are observed or have been observed in previous years, Action Termite and Pest Control will perform a perimeter pesticide spray. This must be done at the appropriate time (when the insects first appear.)

About the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Halyomorpha halys (Stål), the “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug,” was accidentally introduced into Allentown, PA around 1996 from China or Japan.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug feeds on a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and other host plants beginning in late May/early June including peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherry, raspberries, and pears. Damage to host plants from the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is typically small necrotic areas but ranges from leaf stippling, catfacing on tree fruits, seed loss, and transmission of plant pathogens.

During the summer the stink bug produces offspring that survive the winter as adults by entering houses. They enter houses through cracks in windows and the foundation and may be seen in large numbers during September and October. Due to the noxious odor produced as a defense mechanism, the stink bug causes a nuisance to homeowners. Since its introduction into Pennsylvania, it has established itself as a potential risk to agriculture as well as a nuisance to homeowners and has been steadily spreading throughout the eastern United States.

For more information please see the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension fact sheet FS002.

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