Stink bugs in Tennessee – The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug or better known as the “stink bug” is a very unique pest. For starters, they are one of the only insects that release a foul odor when scared or crushed. Instead of a venomous bite or having a poisonous toxin, they have a foul odor. It is an interesting defense tactic I’d say! So, what exactly do these weirdly unique pests even look like?
Identifying stink bugs
These unusual pests can be identified primarily by the shape of their bodies. They are shaped much like a shield from medieval times and have a marble-like exterior. Here in Tennessee, the ones with marble coloring are the most common. Typically, adult stink bugs will be around 17 millimeters in length. They are not as big as some of the beetles here in the south, but they can still startle anyone not expecting their presence. Furthermore, stink bugs are excellent flyers, so if you leave any open windows throughout your house, you may have some unexpected company.
Where do Stink Bugs Live?
As it cools down and we enter the fall season stink bugs will begin finding their way into homes and buildings. Once inside, they will continue to reproduce. A couple of the popular spots for stink bugs within residential homes include inside crawlspaces, attics, walls, and any other nook and cranny they can find. Female stink bugs can also lay up to 20 eggs; these eggs hatch after five days. Therefore, there may be a lot of stink bugs living within your home by the time spring rolls around.
What do they eat?
Most stink bugs are plant feeders. As they grow into adults they move to different locations to find food. These locations include orchards or large residential areas with a lot of greenery. The variety of plants and trees provides plenty of food options for stink bugs. Some of the non-leaf options include apples, peaches, berries, peppers, beans, and pecans.
Stink bugs are notorious for feeding on the stems of plants, in turn making the fruits on the plant unfit for sale. Plants that are being eaten by stink bugs can quickly become contaminated and could result in a variety of diseases. Stink bugs can spread plant diseases. Therefore, in large commercial orchards or farms, these pests can become a serious nuisance. These plant-feeding stink bugs can become serious pests in farms, orchards, and gardens.
- Install fine mesh over air vents, and repair any torn window screens.
- Place sticky traps near baseboards, windowsills, and entryways.
- Rub dryer sheets, spread mint essential oil, or use other odor deterrents around stink bug entry points.
- Suck them up as you see them using a vacuum cleaner with a disposable bag.
- Spray or drown them with a solution of soapy water and white vinegar.
- Bring in pest control professionals for comprehensive solutions.
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