Stink bugs have been taking over a major portion of the United States since the mid 1990’s. They normally invade in the autumn time, and can be seen in big numbers outside and inside. These bugs are native to China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. However, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that they showed up in Pennsylvania and began to infest. According to the chart below provided by the University of Kentucky’s Agriculture, Food, and Environment program, Tennessee is ranked as “severe agricultural and nuisance problems reported.”
Though stink bugs are completely harmless to humans if disturbed, they are known to completely ruin crops. They will eat and lay their eggs in everything from wheat to cherries. According to the above study, “Besides injuring berries, seeds, stems and foliage, the bugs may feed directly through the trunk, releasing sap, which attracts nuisance ants and wasps.” So, not only are they destroying crops, they are attracting more and more pests to the surrounding area.
Interestingly enough, stink bugs are related to bed bugs, but do not bite humans. They do have mouthparts that are elongated, and those are used for when they feed on fruits. They are called “stink bugs” for the odor released when crushed. While this odor can irritate the skin, it is not lethal.
Stink bugs are attracted to lights just like moths. You might see them surrounding the light fixtures around your home at night. During the day, you will see them indoors if they have access to cracks and crevices around the home. However, if you’re being overrun by stink bugs, it might be time to call a pest control professional!
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Potter, M. F., & Bessin, R. (2020, September). Stink bug infestation of dwellings. Entomology. Retrieved September 29, 2021, from http://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef654