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Debbie Hadley

Where the Heck Did All These Stink Bugs Come From?!

By May 24, 2010

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I spend the weekend answering bug questions for people at a NJ festival. What did people ask me more than any other question? Where the heck did all these stink bugs come from?! I heard many stories from people who've been battling infestations of stink bugs in their homes.

Brown marmorated stink bug nymph, with characteristic antennae markings.
Brown marmorated stink bug nymph, with characteristic antennae markings. Photo: Gary Bernon, USDA APHIS, Bugwood.org

The stink bug in question is without a doubt the brown marmorated stink bug, an exotic, invasive insect from Asia. In the late 1990's, the brown marmorated stink bug has been spotted in numerous states, particularly in the Middle Atlantic region and on the West coast. Over the past two years, these pests seem to have multiplied in NJ. According to the Jersey Journal, pest control companies report a rise in calls from homeowners trying to rid their residences of the Asian stink bugs. You can differentiate this brown stink bug from other similarly brown stink bugs by looking at the antennae. The Asian stink bugs have alternating bands of dark and light colors along the length of their antennae.

While stink bugs in your home probably aren't your idea of fun, they aren't going to do any damage to you or your possessions. Farmers are the ones that have to worry about brown marmorated stink bugs, which feed on fruits like apples, peaches, and citrus crops. They've also been found on ornamental plants and crops like soybeans.

For homeowners, your best weapon against a stink bug invasion is your vacuum. Use a vacuum hose to suck the bugs up, and then remove your vacuum bag, place it in a garbage bag, tie it up tight, and take it outside to your garbage can. Do I need to state the obvious? Don't squish them - they stink! And don't bother with a bug bomb or other pesticide treatment; these are not shown to be effective for an indoor stink bug infestation.

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February 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(1) Susan Petey says:

All the articles to cure stinkbugs in the home only suggest vacuuming them. This is really little help when you’re lyng in bed and one buzz-bombs around the room. As for not squishing them, I do it – wait for them to land, get a tissue, enfold it alive, carry it l into the bathroom, squish quickly and flush. My greatest concern is come spring they will start reproducing in my home and we’ll never be rid of them.

February 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm
(2) insects says:

Susan, you don’t need to worry about these insects reproducing in your home. They lay their eggs on the leaves of their host plants. The nymphs need to feed, and won’t have anything to eat inside your home. In fact, any overwintering stink bugs in your home should leave voluntarily in the spring, when food becomes available to them again.

March 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm
(3) spero says:

pirethran kills them within seconds

January 16, 2012 at 7:01 pm
(4) Mark says:

Thanks for all the info on where they came from. I’m 55 and have never seen one till last year. Now they are everywhere.

October 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm
(5) wanda lindner says:

I live in Ringgold Ga. Just outside of Chattanooga Tenn. And these stink bugs are ever where.I only seen them last year for the first time. Now they are back. Please can some one come up with something to kill them.

February 27, 2014 at 11:39 am
(6) Marianne, says:

What about all the ladybugs?

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