Fall Season Means Stink Bugs Trying To Enter Your Home

Mike Krauser
October 09, 2018 - 1:19 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- They've become a fact of life throughout the Midwest - stink bugs.

Brown Marmorated stink bugs are gathering on the outside of homes this time of year, looking for a way in. 

“Normally they’ll crawl under leaves or look for protected areas outside," said Allen Lawrance, Assistant Curator of Entomology at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.  "But while they’re doing that they’ll find houses, which are warmer, and so they’ll choose to go into there, instead.” 

The smell can be pretty awful.   

“It has a pretty foul odor,” he said. "It’s pretty harmless unless you have an allergy to them.” 

You don't want to crush them. You can vacuum them, but that’s not really recommended because the smell will be intensified.  You can grab them pretty easily with a tissue and set them free or flush them.  You might find them behind picture frames. 

Lawrance said they came to the east coast of the US about 20 years ago and slowly spread westward. 

“They’re an introduced species, non-native to the US from Asia and they’re actually a pretty bad pest of fruit and vegetable crops. They cause cosmetic damage to the fruit and vegetables, which make them unmarketable.” 

They can get in through tiny openings.  Caulking cracks and repairing torn screens can keep them outside.   

Lawrance said its not just stink bugs trying to get into homes in the fall. Asian multi-colored lady beetles and box elder bugs are looking for a way in, as well.