Where Do Stink Bugs Hide In a Home
Where Do Stink Bugs Hide In a Home
With their unpleasant odor and knack for infestation, stink bugs do an excellent job of making sure nobody likes them. However, they don’t do well at taking the hint that nobody wants them around, as they continue to invade our homes, gardens and fields in rising numbers. To combat their persistence, it is important to know where to find stink bugs so you can put up the proper defenses in your home or building.
With this article, we’ll tell you all about stink bugs, including information on popular stink bug hiding places and how to get rid of stink bugs.
Understanding a Stink Bug’s Lifecycle
All stink bugs have a hemimetabolous lifecycle consisting of egg, nymph and adult life stages. Hemimetabolous lifecycles are also called incomplete metamorphosis. In contrast, a butterfly goes through a complete metamorphosis because it involves a pupation stage when it is inside a cocoon, where it transitions from a larva to its final adult form that bears little resemblance to the larva.
As a hemimetabolous insect, a stink bug’s lifecycle does not include a pupa stage. Stink bug nymphs, or teenagers, transition directly into the adult stage through frequent molting, where they cast off their outer layer and form a replacement layer. While butterflies undergo a complete transformation, stink bugs just get larger.
The length of each stage varies with each type of stink bug — of which there are a lot! For example, green stink bugs develop from eggs to adults in approximately 30 to 45 days, while brown marmorated stink bugs take between 40 and 60 days before they transition to their adult form. Other types of stink bugs include the harlequin bug, southern green stink bug, spined soldier bug, two-spotted stink bug and rice stink bug.
Since the brown marmorated stink bug is the most common culprit in the mid-Atlantic region, we will focus on their lifecycle stages. The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species and has around one to two generations per year.
Female brown marmorated stink bugs lay approximately 212 to 486 eggs in their lifetime in clusters of 20 to 28. They lay their light-green eggs on the underside of leaves. The eggs typically hatch within six to 26 days, depending on the temperature. Brown marmorated stink bugs begin their reproductive activity and lay eggs in the spring.
Nymphs experience five different molting phases, known as instars. During these five phases, the nymphs develop yellow and red markings on their abdomen, black rectangular spots, reddish-black antennae and grow from 1/10 inches to ½-inch long. These changes occur over five weeks.
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs live for approximately six to eight months. As such, the eggs that the stink bugs lay during spring eventually become adults in July and August. Those adults then repeat the cycle of mating and laying eggs for the next generation of stink bugs.
In the Winter
During the winter, adult brown marmorated stink bugs enter a phase of reproductive diapause or overwintering, which is similar to hibernation. As the days shorten, they cease reproductive activity and seek sheltered areas to conserve resources and survive the winter.
Unfortunately, stink bugs might find your home as cozy as you do when winter dawns and take up residence during their reproductive diapause. Should they decide to spend the winter months in your home, here are some areas where they may hide:
- Cracks and crevices in the walls or floors
- Drapery folds
- Inside hollow curtain rods
- Walls or crawl spaces
In the Summer
Once spring arrives, adult marmorated stink bugs wake up from their slumber and begin looking for a hearty breakfast consisting of fruits, seeds, nuts and flowers to bulk up for the mating season. Thus, as the days lengthen and temperatures rise, stink bugs become much more active. Whereas you will likely find them resting in cracks and crevices in the winter, you are more likely to find them crawling or flying around in the summer, gathering around lights and windows or other reflective surfaces.
You may also find piles of dead stink bugs in one area if you have a stink bug infestation. Finding dead stinkbugs indicates some of those who overwintered in your house did not survive the winter months. Such piles are a telltale sign of a stink bug infestation. These piles will most likely appear in warmer areas of your house, such as those exposed to sunlight, as the stink bugs will collectively emerge from hiding places to seek warmth if they sense impending death.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
If you find large numbers of stink bugs in your home, the best plan of action is to call a professional pest control company to get rid of them. Since they enter structures in large numbers and secrete pheromones to attract other stink bugs to their location, it can be challenging to get rid of them all on your own.
You may be tempted to squash any bug when you see one, but you don’t want to do that with stink bugs — they release a foul smell when threatened, giving them their characteristic name. You can get rid of small numbers of stink bugs on your own using a vacuum. However, they will likely stink up your vacuum when doing so!
Although you may not be able to entirely get rid of stink bugs on your own, you can take various steps to prevent them from entering your home. Here are some steps you can take:
- Seal any cracks in the walls, foundation, doorways or windows with caulking sealant
- Place screens over windows and vents
- Remove window air-conditioners
Since stink bugs are more likely to enter your home in late fall and early winter as the weather gets colder, it is important to show extra vigilance during those months to prevent stink bug infestations.
At Pestech Pest Control, we get rid of stink bugs by focusing on your home or building’s exterior, attic and walls where stink bugs are like to hide or enter the premises, using a combination of sprays and fogs.
Call Pestech to Take Care of Stink Bugs
If you notice signs of a stink bug infestation, take the necessary steps and call Pestech for an inspection before they start emitting their trademark odor. Our pest control technicians have been effectively taking care of stink bugs and all kinds of other pests around New York since 1989.
Contact us to learn more about how you can prevent stink bugs and what we can do to help!