Bug Talk: Stink Bugs

Stink Bugs are now a common pest found throughout the Midwest, and have become increasingly prevalent over the last decade. There are several species of stink bugs in the world, but the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is usually what you’re seeing around the home. They are an invasive species that measures around 1.7 cm in length. Their bodies resemble a shield shape, with brown, black, grey, and white coloring. The term “stink bug”, comes from the smell they release when they feel threatened by a predator, which is often described as smelling like rotten cilantro.

Where Do They Come From

This particular species of Stink Bugs are native to Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan. They have many known predators in their native environments, but not here in the United States. They arrived aboard cargo ships in the late 1990s, and the first documented Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in the United States was found in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1998. They feed on crops such as soybeans and fruit crops, and have become an increasing pest for farmers.

Why You Are Seeing a Rapid Increase Around Your Home

The rapid increase of stink bugs in the United States is due to the lack of known predators. In Asia, they have many predators, one of them being the Trissolcus japonicus wasp. Discussion have been made as to whether the United States should introduce known predators to their ecosystem to combat increasing populations (or if that would open up another set of issues of its own).

What’s Up With Their Stink?

A Stink Bugs “stink” originates from glands found within their abdoments, that releases defense compounds to ward off predators. The compounds responsible for their foul scent include Trans-2-octenal and Trans-2-decenal, which are antifungal compounds.  

Protect Your Home From Stinky, Unwanted Guests

Fall is the time homeowners start to see stink bugs on the exterior of the home, window sills, and near doorways, as they attempt to move indoors to overwinter. Get a quote to protect your home from stink bugs, or give ProActive a call at (630) 286-6391 to discuss the treatment plan best for your home.