As if there weren't enough pests and creepy crawlies to worry about in the summer, experts say stink bugs will be trying to snuggle up with you this winter.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an Asian insect which was introduced to America sometime in the 1990s. They're brown, less than an inch long, and have a pair of "stink glands" on the underside of their cockroach-like bodies. And now these gross critters have decided to move in with you.
Stinkbugs like to stay outside eating crops during the spring and summer, but as the weather cools down they're known to migrate inside. This year, after a few seasons of stink bug-friendly weather and an unusually warm autumn, populations of the insect are expected to be huge.
If stink bugs make their way into your house you'll be able to tell - just follow your nose. These bugs have earned their name because of their signature aroma, which has been compared to rotting fruit, cilantro, or stale almonds. And crushing these pests is out of the question, because that only makes the small worse.
Here's how to deal with them instead...
Since you can't just squish these bugs, your goal is to play defense and keep them far away instead.
Farmers rely on harsh pesticides and colonies of bigger, tougher insects like Asiatic wasps to keep stink bugs away. Since you probably don't want to keep either of those in your garden, your best bet is closing any entrances to your home during stink bug season.
Keep your windows shut, or make sure you have screens behind them. Close up any cracks in your outside walls and keep an eye on the vents of your air conditioning machines. Stink bugs are also known to move from nearby tree to the roof of your house.
Once they get inside, stink bugs will nest in the upper floors of your house, so you'll notice flat, brown bugs on your ceiling, or inside your attic (even if you don't notice them, you'll probably smell them).
If you live in the Pacific Northwest or the East coast, where stink bugs are more common, you might consider getting your property sprayed before they have a chance to move in. You can also remove them from your home without squashing them by using clever traps, then freezing the bugs you catch or flushing them down the drain.
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