What's that Smell? The Stinkbugs are Back!

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an insect native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan that was accidently introduced into Pennsylvania in the late nineties.
What's that Smell? The Stinkbugs are Back! - Articles

Updated: September 4, 2012

What's that Smell? The Stinkbugs are Back!

The "stink" in stinkbug refers to the insect's scent glands that release a foul odor as a defense and when they are squashed. Although they are present throughout the spring, summer and fall, it's in the early fall when they begin to come into buildings looking for a warm, protected place to overwinter. They may also be seen in large numbers on the side of a building in the warm sun.

Stinkbugs are not known to cause harm to humans and don't reproduce or cause damage while inside a building. However, it can be distressing to have large number of them flying around inside, not to mention a bit smelly if they are squashed.

The best way to deal with stinkbugs is to prevent them from coming into the building in the first place. Practice integrated pest management (IPM) when dealing with stinkbugs.

Prevention: Inspect the building

  • Seal cracks around doors, windows, baseboards, ceiling lights, siding, utility pipes and other openings with silicon caulk or other suitable materials.
  • Replace or repair damaged screens in windows and doors. Don't leave windows and doors wide open without a screen in place.

Management: If stink bugs enter the building

  • Find out where they are coming in and seal the opening or crack.
  • Live and dead stinkbugs can easily be removed from inside by vacuuming. Seal the vacuum bag and dispose of it. Because of the scent glands, the vacuum may retain the smell of the stinkbugs for a period of time.