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Stink Bugs in Pittsburgh
Stink bugs are primarily annoying because they emit a foul odor that tends to linger long after the insect has been removed. Since these bugs naturally move indoors during the winter, contracting them can be a real nuisance. Here’s what you need to know in order to prevent them from getting inside your home.
What are Stink Bugs?
The stink bug is actually an insect native to Japan and China that has recently been introduced into the United States. Stink bugs are just over ½” long, brown or tan in color, and shaped somewhat like a shield. They also tend to have alternating light and dark bands on their antennae and abdomens. Their legs can be various shades of brown, and may have white molting or bands on them as well.
Primarily considered an agricultural pest, stink bugs can be found on a variety of fruits and vegetables during the spring and summer months. Once crops are harvested, they then begin moving indoors in order to hibernate for the winter. Even so, the warmth of your home can once again cause them to become active. Some homeowners have noticed swarms of thousands of stink bugs during the winter months.
Increase in Eastern U.S.
The Eastern United States has seen a dramatic increase in the number of stink bugs in the past few years. An unusually warm spring and summer in 2010 is thought to have caused these insects to produce two additional generations during that year’s growing season. The warmer temperatures also resulted in many stink bugs living longer than normal, and even having longer reproductive cycles. Widespread damage from stink bugs has been noted as a result, particularly in Pennsylvania orchards.
Eliminating Stink Bugs
Stink bugs are particularly troublesome to eliminate, since squashing them results in a foul odor being left behind. Instead, the best course of action is to catch them one by one and then release them outdoors or flush them down the toilet. Be very gentle when trying to catch stink bugs to avoid squashing them. You can also try flicking them into a plastic bottle with a tight-fitting lid to help contain their smell.
Preventing Stink Bugs
Most people agree that the best way to eliminate stink bugs is to prevent them from coming into your home in the first place. The best way to do this is to seal all cracks around your windows, doors, and vents. Inspect siding seams to ensure they fit tightly, and repair or caulk as needed. Make sure all screens are in good repair and fit tightly against your windows. Use door sweeps on all exterior doors, even the ones on your garage, to prevent them from crawling underneath them. Spraying around the perimeter of your home with an insecticide will also create a barrier that few stink bugs will be willing to cross. Stink bugs can produce great harm, which is why you should be constantly on the lookout for them. If you do become infested, seek advice from a licensed exterminator rather than trying to control the problem yourself. Thank you for considering Spectrum Pest Control Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for all your pest control needs.
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