stink bug

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Stink bug control

Stink bugs are small, but they carry a powerful defensive weapon. They get their name from the stink glands located just under their thorax (chest) between the first and second sets of legs. These glands release a powerful, stinky, chemical substance that bursts out of the bug when crushed. Stink bugs can also use this substance as a defense mechanism.

Stink bugs are approximately one centimeter across, brown and white in color, and their back forms a shield-like shape, which gives them their secondary nickname of "shield bugs." Due to their marbled appearance, they are sometimes referred to as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

For years, stink bugs were found only in China, Taiwan and Japan, but they are notorious for being great hitchhikers. They likely ended up in the United States by getting a ride on shipping crates. Stink bugs appeared first in Pennsylvania, but quickly scattered and have now infested much of the eastern seaboard including New Jersey and New York, southern states such as Alabama and Louisiana, and Midwest states like Indiana and Illinois.

If you have a problem with stink bugs in your business, contact the Rentokil experts today at 1-855-633-6260.

Contact a Rentokil expert

Destruction caused by stink bugs

Stink bugs are destructive pests to crops. They love to devour fruits and vegetables and are particularly fond of soybeans and corn. They are not poisonous, but they pierce the skin of fruits and vegetables to get at the nectar and leave stippled marks that are unattractive and render crops unsaleable.

As for stink bugs in your business, they are a nuisance because of their smell and sheer numbers. An infestation can start easily and rapid breeding causes the bugs to soon be everywhere, causing major disruption to your business environment. They get in via any opening such as cracks beneath doors, holes in screens, window air conditioners, open windows or other access points.

Signs of stink bugs

You can actively look for typical signs of stink bugs in your business, such as:

  • Live stink bugs - If you’ve spotted a live stink bug in your business, you may be experiencing an infestation. The brown marmorated stink bug is known to invade structures in large numbers.

  • Dead stink bugs - It is also common to notice dead stink bugs around frequently used entry points, including doors, window frames and utility pipes.

  • Foul odors - True to their name, stink bugs release a foul-smelling odor when threatened or handled. This odorous chemical toxin is a defensive mechanism used primarily to discourage predators - like birds and lizards - from eating them.

Can stink bugs bite or sting?

The brown marmorated stink bug is not capable of biting or stinging humans. There are some other predatory and planting-eating species, however, that may bite when handled.

Why do stink bugs stink?

Stink bugs rely on their foul smell for protection against predators such as birds, lizards, and mice or any other animals that prey on them. The noxious chemical flows from the two glands on the stink bug’s thorax.

Preventing stink bugs

The first step in preventing stink bugs is to get rid of the current infestation. You can use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the visible stink bugs on the carpet, but empty the vacuum bag right away or it might start to smell. You can also sweep them up using a broom and throw them away, but again use caution so as not to trigger their defenses.

You can help to prevent future stink bug invasions by doing the following:

  • seal holes in exterior walls larger than the diameter of a pencil
  • seal gaps and cracks around door and window frames
  • install door sweeps
  • ensure doors and windows are tight-fitting
  • screen exterior attic openings/vents
  • seal entry points with caulk or good quality silicone sealant

A professional pest control specialist can provide an integrated pest management solution that involves a treatment around the perimeter of the business and advice on sealing up potential access points. Regular inspections to determine if a further infestation is occurring will be beneficial and further treatments may be in order.

Rentokil stink bug control

While there are do-it-yourself solutions that claim to effectively kill and prevent stink bugs, your best bet for a complete year-round solution is to call a professional.

Our stink bug solutions include:

  • Fall Insecticide Treatment – Licensed technicians will treat the outside of your business, which will aim to reduce the stink bug population on your property. Two treatments are carried out in the fall and applied to external areas of your property, including behind shutters, along the foundation, eaves, and exterior lighting.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – this method focuses on exclusion methods first. We will identify stink bug entry points around your building and work with you to address them.
  • Year-Round Protection Plan - Regularly scheduled preventive services and inspections with reports a minimum of every four months.

Call Rentokil today at 1-855-633-6260 or contact us online to arrange a FREE inspection of your business.

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