Everything You Need to Know about Stink Bugs

With cooler temperatures on the way, stink bugs can’t be far behind.  We’ve had a break from these common pests over the last few months in the Mid-Atlantic.  But fall is often the worst time for these smelly invaders.  To protect your home from the damage—and inconvenience—stink bugs bring, here’s what you need to know:

Seeking Shelter from the Cold

You probably already guessed this, but most stink bug invasions begin as a survival instinct.  Once the temperatures cool down, they look for an overwinter site where they can spend their inactive months hiding out.  In an effort to stay warm, stink bugs will often look for weaknesses in entry points around various structures.  They’re known for invading RVs, campers, homes, office buildings, and more.  Essentially, any man-made or natural structure will do—as long as they can get inside. 

One or two stink bugs wouldn’t be so bad, even considering the unpleasant smell they emit.  However, once you have one, you can quickly develop a serious pest problem.  After finding a path indoors, stink bugs often release a specific pheromone designed to attract others to the same overwinter site.  Meaning the best way to prevent a home invasion is to properly seal entry points before they arrive. 

Check your siding, windows, doors, vents, and even your piping.  If you find any cracks or holes, be sure to seal them with a reliable caulk.  You may also need to repair or replace some of your exterior elements this autumn.  Keep in mind, stink bugs can enter your home through even the tiniest openings.  So, be prepared to update screens, weatherstripping, and siding as needed.  For professional assistance, you can always call Schaefer Exteriors!  We serve Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Northern Virginia, and Eastern West Virginia—all states where stink bugs have been found in record numbers.  

The Truth Behind Stink Bug Damage

Now, here’s where it gets tricky.  Some experts insist that stink bugs are harmless.  Since they don’t bite humans and they don’t eat common fabrics or building materials (like wood), how much damage can they possibly do?  Many farmers across the country have a very different opinion, though.  In recent years, they’ve been devastating fruit, vegetable, and other crops in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The agricultural industry is reporting millions of dollars in losses every year because of these invasive insects.  Plus, they’ve been known to damage ornamental plants and other landscaping elements in our area.

Even their entry into homes can leave damage behind.  Remember those small entry points around your home exterior that we mentioned previously?  Imagine what they’ll look like after thousands and thousands of stink bugs have forced their way into your house.  Then, there’s the smell.  Any time these common pests feel threatened, they release an unpleasant odor designed to deter predators.  (In this case, that would be us.)

But the stink doesn’t always leave with the bug.  That smell often clings to nearby surfaces, drawing even more stink bugs to the spot where you tried to squish or simply move one.  So, try one of these hands-free traps and be sure to inspect your home exterior this autumn.  If you spot any potential issues with your roof, siding, windows, or garage, don’t wait to contact the professionals!  Schaefer Exteriors can come quickly to help you prevent a stink bug home invasion this fall.   

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