The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is a pest of foreign origin and has been identified as an invasive species in the United States. The stink bug was introduced to the United States during the mid-1990’s and its origin is suspected to be of Eastern Asia. Thus, its nickname is yellow-brown East Asian stink bug. This bug's claim to fame comes from its ability to release a pungent odor when it feels threatened or has been crushed entirely. While there are a wide variety of species that mimic this behavior, stink bugs are by far the most prevalent in the United States and have become world famous for their distinct stink.
Stink bugs are often characterized as large, oval shaped insects. They can grow up to two centimeters in length and are almost as wide as they are long. Per their household name, the brown marmorated stink bug is a mottled grayish-brown with a set of dark colored bands on their wings and contrasting light colored bands on their antennae. While stink bugs are notoriously identified for their powerful odor, they are just as famous for being exceptional flyers. A very easy way to identify a mature adult stink bug are by their fully developed wings which fold on top of their body when not in use.
You are most likely to find stink bugs in your home during the late summer months and beginning of fall. Stink bugs tend to try and migrate inside households as the temperatures begin to drop. Stink bugs love to stay cozy and warm so you are likely to find them basking in the sunniest spots inside your home and on your property. Finding any concentration of stink bugs, whether dead or alive, is a sure fire sign of an infestation.
Stink bugs have a hard time keeping themselves warm, therefore they are most commonly found lurking anywhere they can find privacy and warmth. While they are not burrowing or nesting insects they can be found hiding in darker more secluded areas such as a basement or laundry room, given they are able to maintain their body temperature. The best indication that you may have an infestation on your hands is finding stink bugs in any quantity, whether dead or alive.
The number one stink bug prevention practice is to seal up any and all entry points. This includes sealing cracks around windows, doors, outdoor siding, and chimneys. The simplest way is using a silicone based caulk to ensure all your entrances are sealed tight. Another way stink bugs slip through is via damaged screen doors and windows so be sure to double check those. Stink bugs are naturally attracted to light so switching to dimmer patio bulbs or installing a bug zapper will greatly increase your perimeter defenses.