The Stink Bug most common to New England is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It is an invasive species originating in East Asia. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is named as such because of its marking and colors, and because of the stink glands it uses when threatened. It poses a significant problem for New England Agriculture, as it attacks and feeds on fruits, vegetables, and other plants.
Since it is an invasive and a relative newcomer to the region, the brown marmorated stink bug population has ballooned with no natural predator. While birds and wasps have begun to feed on them, stink bugs remain an extremely destructive force on farms, orchards, and vegetable/fruit gardens.
In addition to the problems for growers, stink bugs, like west conifer seed bugs, will invade homes as the weather cools. They will often infest homes in large numbers which, combined with their predilection for releasing unpleasant odors, makes them a very unwanted house guest.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Facts:
- ~ ⅗ inch long, nearly as broad
- Brown with white & black markings
- release an unpleasant smell when disturbed
- feed on fruits & veggies by sucking on them
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Control & Prevention
Because of their large numbers and wide distribution, Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are proving difficult to control. Farmers use insecticide on their crops, but due to the stink bugs feeding style (using their mouth like a straw to pierce the fruit) they often avoid being overly dissuaded from feeding. Stink Bug traps might also be used to lure and capture the pests. Some farmers are trying to release predatory wasps to combat stink bugs.
For home gardens, using physical barriers or encouraging birds to frequent the yard are the best bets for saving fruits and veggies from stink bugs. Physical barriers could be netting, or perhaps using a greenhouse, if possible.
To prevent stink bugs from invading homes during cooler months, the following actions can be taken. First, inspect the exterior of the home or office building in the waning months of summer. Identify and seal any openings or exposed areas in the siding, foundation, or around windows and doors; replace broken screens and check flues and chimneys. Second (and optionally) apply a light insecticide or repellant to the outside of the building as the weather cools in the fall.
Always be careful when choosing and applying pesticides; just because it is over the counter does not mean it will be safe or effective. When unsure, consult a pest management professional. At Bain, we’re always happy to offer free consultation.
Stink Bug Control Experts
We’ve been on the frontlines of Stink Bug control since the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug arrived in New England over a decade ago. If you’re dealing with stink bug issues, don’t hesitate to contact us for consultation or to learn about our treatment plans.
We offer individual treatment plans that combine inspection, treatment, and monitoring to ensure complete elimination. We highly recommend our Home Protection Plan, which covers both stink bugs AND all the most common pests that might attack your home. Three inspections and treatments (if necessary) a year mean you’re covered!