Stink Bugs

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) was first discovered in Oregon, in 2004. This pest, an invasive species that is native to China, Japan, and Taiwan. This pest reaches a length of 2/3” and is about as wide as it is long. It is sometimes confused with a slightly smaller Oregon pest—the Boxelder Bug. The Stink Bug is a multi-colored insect coming in various shades of brown with dull markings of various colors (i.e. black, white, gray, copper, and occasionally blue). The best way to avoid misidentification with indigenous species is to look for a white band on the antennae.

While not as common as the Boxelder Bug, the population of the Stink Bug in Oregon is growing exponentially, with future infestations expected to dwarf those of previous seasons.

The Stink Bug is a pest aptly named because it has several glands on its body that can release a pungent, coriander-like odor. Like many insects and animals, the Stink Bug uses its unpleasant ability to release its foul odor as a defense mechanism against predators like birds and lizards. Humans have learned the hard way to not pick up or otherwise harass the little critter.

The Stink Bug’s primary predator is a parasitoid wasp known as Trissolcus halyomorphae (no common name). Like the Stink Bug, this wasp is an exotic species. While introduction of the Trissolcus halyomorphae has been considered in the United State, concerns that it might feed on non-invasive, non-harmful insects makes the pest management community wary of its use.

The Stink Bug is considered an agricultural pest. It feeds on many different plants including, but not limited to, tomatoes, soy beans, lima beans, and sweet corn.

Although the Stink Bug is primarily considered an agricultural nuisance, it can also be a pest in homes. As many as 26,000 Stink Bugs were found in a single home, during a particular winter. Stink Bugs will enter homes to hibernate, making their way into walls and attics where it is dark and warm.

Characteristics important to control: Birds and wasps seem to be two effective control mechanisms for the Stink Bug. They are hearty creatures and have proven to be resistant to many chemical control applications. Some suggest everything from masking tape, to sandwich bags, to vacuum cleaners for ridding a home of the stinky pest. There are also other non-chemical as well chemical treatments for this invasive insect.

If you see inside your home, give Evergreen Pest Management a call. Before you start trying capture wasps, before you go to the pet shop looking for feathered bug catchers, and before you try to apply masking tape before the bug has a chance to release its odor, let Ed Belding bring his 20 years of experience and professionalism to your home. He will work with you to provide you and your family with the safest and most effective pest management.

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