What’s that Smell? It’s the Stink Bug

What brown marmorated stink bugs look like in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Many people in Wisconsin have noticed an uptick in the amount of stink bugs around their homes over the past several years. They have been swarming our properties by the hundreds for years, but it seems that their numbers only continue to grow. So, what exactly are these pests, why is this happening, and what can we do about it? Keep reading for answers informed by the experts at Batzner Pest Control.

What are Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs?

Some stink bug varieties are native to the United States, but the brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species from Eastern Asia. It was accidentally introduced to our environment after being brought over by cargo ships. The brown marmorated stink bug was first noticed in Pennsylvania in the 1990s but has since spread to most of the continental United States. Given that it has barely any natural predators here, it is projected to spread across our entire continent soon.

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be told apart from other stink bugs by their brown coloration with scattered markings of white, black, and different shades of brown, as well as their white-striped antennae. They have a shield-shaped body and are usually a little over half an inch long.

Are Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Harmful?

Brown marmorated stink bugs are not dangerous to have around, but they’re called stink bugs for a reason. As a method of defense, they release a pungent gas from their scent glands to keep predators away. You can trigger them by trying to grab or crush them.

Stink bugs in your home are probably looking for your produce or your plants. They are a notorious agricultural pest; they feed by extracting nutrients from plants. When one brown marmorated stink bug is nearby, hundreds or even thousands of others could be present as well. This newfound environment free of predators here in the United States allows for rising numbers of stink bugs.

How to Prevent Stink Bugs in Wisconsin

Brown marmorated stink bugs will try to find their way into our homes in Wisconsin this fall. They often sneak in through ventilation systems, gaps by doors and windows, and torn screens. Caulking or sealing potential entry points will help to keep infestations from happening. You can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of an already existing stink bug problem.

That being said, we know that a few stink bugs in the house can quickly lead to a huge problem. It can be a hassle to get rid of a small infestation, let alone hundreds of stink bugs. If you need help removing brown marmorated stink bugs from your home, the residential pest experts at Batzner Pest Control can remove current infestations and take preventative measures to ensure that they never return. For a free quote, reach out today!

Why Do Stink Bugs Stink?

Learn why stink bugs release a foul odor in Wisconsin - Batzner Pest Control

Stink bugs weren’t given their name for no reason. Just as you might expect, these little insects are known for the foul odor they release when they are threatened or crushed. But where does that stench come from, and what exactly does it smell like? For the most part, this odor is a defense mechanism used to deter predators when they feel injured or in danger. The smell is also known to linger for hours! Read on to learn why stink bugs release this odor.

How Do Stink Bugs Produce Their Odor?

Whenever they feel threatened—or are crushed or injured—stink bugs release a strong, odorous deterrent from a body gland in their abdomen. Much like a skunk’s defense mechanism, stink bugs will only use this function from time to time. The scent itself is a mixture of chemicals that is released through the exoskeleton. The odor is spread through the air and has been known to linger for a long time, which is why you should never crush one of these bugs when you see one!

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

These bugs are certainly smelly, but do they cause any harm? Even though these stink bugs are everywhere in the fall, they are not known to bite or attack people. Some of the things to know about the threat of stink bugs include:

  • The odor they release will not harm anyone and only occasionally causes mild irritation or agitation when the liquid gets on a human.
  • While they don’t pose any immediate threat to humans, stink bugs can still be dangerous when infestations get out of hand.
  • They don’t typically cause structural damage, but will invade homes in large numbers.
  • Additionally, they are a huge nuisance in the agriculture industry because they feed on fruit and vegetables.

How to Prevent Stink Bugs

In the fall months as the weather cools down, stink bugs begin to search for warm spots inside buildings to overwinter. The best way to prevent these smelly insects from getting inside is to safeguard your home. Inspect your property for cracks and crevices that would allow them in and fix any problems in the foundation of your home. If you need help protecting your home from stink bugs or if you have noticed them inside your home, it’s time to call a professional such as Batzner!