While summer is in full swing, preparing for the winter is probably the last thing on the mind of most homeowners. But as fall and winter approach, the cooler temperatures will drive pests into your home, where they will take shelter against the colder months.
One of the most common pests you will see in your home this winter are stink bugs. The brown marmorated stink bug is identified by its large, shield-shaped body with lighter bands on their antennae and darker bands on their wings.
These pests are a nuisance and can cause a foul odor to fill your home if they infest your property.
When Do Stink Bugs Begin to Invade?
Jeff Phillips, President of Blue Chip Pest Control, said St. Louis homeowners can expect to have issues with stink bugs in both the fall when they enter the home to overwinter, during September, October, and November, and in the spring when they re-emerge in the spring. Phillip said when they re-emerge in the spring, their sense of direction is lacking, causing them to sometimes venture farther into the home.
What Attracts Them?
Phillips said stinkbugs tend to gather on the south or west sides of the home and particularly attracted to lighter colored homes or homes with light or white colored siding because it reflects more light, creating a warm space for them.
They also tend to enter the home through windows, cracks, and crevices, where they will seek shelter and hibernate for the winter. Stink bugs will usually make their home in your crawl space, attics, or in the walls of your home where they will remain until the winter season has ended.
How Do Know My Home is Infested?
In many cases, the first place homeowners will see stink bugs is on the sides of the home where the stink bugs will cluster and soak up the warmth of the sun. According to Phillips, the most common sign of a stink bug infestation is seeing live or dead stink bugs in large numbers near entry points of the home such as door, window frames, utility pipes. Stink bugs also emit a foul odor that you may notice if they have invaded your home in large numbers.
Phillips said they are easy to spot because they are large, clumsy flyers and are attracted to light. He said in some cases you might hear them clinking against your lights before you see them.
Issues Caused by Stink Bug Infestations
When it comes to stink bugs, Phillips said they are mostly a nuisance pest. In addition to the unpleasant smell, Phillips said if the stink bug infestation isn’t taken care of or prevented, they can attract other pests such as dermestid beetles which are attracted to the stink bugs carcasses left behind in areas of the home such as the wall voids.
Stink bugs do not typically pose a health risk to people or pets and are not known to bite. “They cause more of an ick factor than anything else,” Phillips said.
What Can I Do to Prevent Stink Bugs This Winter?
“What homeowners should focus on with preventing them is to attempt to seal up the house as much as possible and also being sure to close blinds or shades at night, so they are not attracted by light. Once the stink bugs are inside, we suggest that the homeowner use a vacuum to remove them or pick them up with a paper towel,” Phillips said.
Smashing them releases an odor that may attract more stinkbugs or other pests to your home, leaving with an even bigger pest issue. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of the warmer weather of the summer season and inspect your home inside and out for possible cracks or crevices where stink bugs could get it.
Take the time to seal them up now and enjoy a stink bug-free home come wintertime — caulk areas of the home such as windows and doors. Also be sure to use weather stripping on doors, install a screen cap on the chimney and take the time to seal any foundation cracks. You should also rake debris away from the house to help deter stink bugs from taking shelter.
While there are plenty of gadgets and sprays out there to treat stink bug infestations on your own, the most effective way to hire a professional pest control expert. Home remedies for most pest control issues tend only to treat one source of the problem which will not effectively eliminate the pests. Many DIY Pest control methods lead to wasted time and money.
Professional Stink Bug Extermination for a Bug-Free Winter
At Blue Chip Pest Control, Phillips and his team of stink bug exterminators take a comprehensive and effective approach to eliminate stink bugs from your property and keep your home stink bug free throughout the winter and when the spring thaw begins.
“Our treatment is focused on the exterior of the home, treating all those entry points. When they are attracted to the home, they pick up a lethal dose,” Phillips said. They treat areas such as exterior windows, doors, siding, eaves, and overhangs using sprays.
In the fall, to help prevent them from entering the home, Phillips said they treat cracks and crevices as well as vinyl siding with residual powder as a last line of defense against a stink bug invasion.
He said their comprehensive treatment plan, which includes treating around the outside of the home to create a barrier of protection, works to reduce the population of stink bugs in the immediate vicinity, reducing the chance of an infestation.
They will also focus on the inside of the home, paying special attention to the basement which tends to be most humid. The Blue Pest Services team will also treat around the floor joists and the perimeter of the basement floor. With their regular maintenance service program, they will maintain this barrier of protection both inside and out to keep stink bugs and other pests out of your home. Contact Blue Chip Pest Services today to make sure your home stays stink bug-free this winter!