Watch out for stink bugs!
For homeowners, fall means stink bug season in the northeast United States. You can now find these smelly Asian insects out and about looking for over wintering spots, particularly inside of people's homes.
Originally native to Korea and Taiwan, and was accidentally introduced into the United States in 1998. They are a significant problem to farmers in the United States, and are a nuisance to homeowners, too.
You may find stink bugs near windows and lights, and TVs and computer screens, looking for light and warmth. Once stink bugs find a home, they will release a chemical smell through holes in its abdomen, alerting others that they've settled. Once inside the house, they will go into a state of hibernation. The smell itself has been characterized as a "pungent odor that smells like cilantro."
Here are some steps to keep stink bugs safely outside of your house this winter:
- Seal cracks around windows and doors with caulk.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house, and 6 inches off the ground.
- Keep branches and shrubbery at least 1 foot away from the house.
- Replace outdoor lights with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
- Take out window air conditioners.
- Pre-treat your home with a licensed pest control expert.
Although they are a nuisance, stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans. Happy Halloween!