What’s That Smell? : How to Properly Identify and Remove Stink Bugs

A stinkbug crawling on a tree branch.

The brown marmorated stink bug—commonly known as a stink bug—is a fairly new, but annoyingly invasive species in the U.S. They hail from Eastern Asia, but today homes in 44 states are affected by their smelly presence. Read on to learn more about how to identify and get rid of these bugs and how contacting PURCOR can help with these stinkers.

What does a stink bug look like? 

At first glance, stink bugs may look like a dead leaf you accidentally tracked inside. However, a closer glance reveals these insects have a shield- or oval-shaped body and adults can be almost 2 centimeters in size. The bug sports a set of antennae, six legs, and a pair of wings. Their brown, grayish color and rough texture helps them blend into buildings and plants. 

In the summer months, adult female stink bugs lay about 30 green or yellow eggs, usually on the underside of leaves. Once hatched, these baby stink bugs—called nymphs—are smaller and yellower in color than adults, and have undeveloped wings. 

In the fall, you may see more adult stink bugs seeking shelter inside your home. 

The Stink Bug Smell

Stink bugs are most known for their unique and unpleasant odor. Like skunks, stink bugs release their odor when they feel threatened. The smell of their chemically produced odor is compared to a strong spice or herb like cilantro. 

What problems do stink bugs create?

For the average homeowner, stink bugs are more of a nuisance than a threat. Stink bugs don’t bite and aren’t known to carry disease. Many people may find their allergies or asthma triggered by the allergens attached to stink bugs and the odor they release. 

Homeowners also don’t have to worry about stink bugs causing structural damage to their homes. However, stink bugs love to hang out and nibble on vegetation, so plants, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens can easily be destroyed by these pests. Plants damaged by stink bugs may look wilted, and damaged fruits and vegetables appear as though the juice has been sucked out. 

Because of their love for fruit and vegetables, stink bugs pose a threat to the agricultural industry. Many states also have export laws to prevent stink bugs from hitchhiking to a new country. 

What to Do About a Stink Bug Infestation

Stink bugs are relatively harmless, but there are a few simple ways to remove them from your home when they get annoying. 

Since stink bugs release their smelly odor when threatened or killed, avoid squishing them in your home or using something like a vacuum to sweep them up. Instead, try scooping them up gently with a plastic bag or cup and bringing them outside to finish the job. 

Alternatively, traps made from a plate of soapy water close to a light source will lure them in. 

However, DIY tricks can only go so far in dealing with stink bugs. For effective solutions for stink bugs, contact the residential pest team at PURCOR; we’ll handle your stink bug problem for you. 

Keep Stink Bugs out of Your Home with PURCOR

Stink bugs are a nasty nuisance and the easiest way to ensure they don’t come back is by contacting us at PURCOR to solve your pest problem. Request a free quote for residential pest removal today!

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