What Are These Stinky Pests In Memphis?

September 17, 2019

a stink bug crawling aong a lime green plant in a memphis tennessee garden

As fall arrives in Tennessee, you may notice small bugs in and around your house. You may squish one and realize that a strange odor is coming from the squashed bug. The smell lingers in your home, and these insects continue to appear. You probably have stink bugs, which are common along the east coast and can be incredibly frustrating to get rid of.

What Exactly Are Stink Bugs?

The most common species in Tennessee is the Asian stink bug, also known as the brown marmorated stink bug. This insect is shaped like a shield and can range in color from red to black to brown, and is often similar to the color of tree bark. They are usually around ¾ of an inch and can fly.

Stink bugs are distinct because of the strong odor they emit when crushed. Some people hate the scent while others don’t find it as offensive. In any case, it’s a pungent smell that’s hard to ignore. These bugs came to the new world from China in the late 90s and have quickly multiplied and spread. They don’t pose much of a threat to individuals, but they are incredibly harmful to agriculture.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Stink bugs aren’t poisonous, and they don’t bite humans. They can cause allergic reactions in some people, set off by a compound they release—the same compound which earns them their name. Although the smell they emit when killed or when threatened isn’t dangerous, it is a strong smell that many people find unappetizing.

The real danger stink bugs pose, however, lies in their impact to agriculture. Since first arriving in the United States, stink bugs have caused millions of dollars of damage to crops. They are attracted to fruits, but they don't only invade fruit crops. They've also been known to eat soy, corn, and almost any fruit and vegetable. They can cause significant damage and have huge economic effects.

How Can You Deter Stink Bugs from Entering Your Home?

Stink bugs mostly come into homes during the fall months to find a place to overwinter. The cold won't kill them, but they do try to find a protected and sheltered hiding place, and may also get into the siding of your house. Here are some things you can do to make your house less appealing and to eliminate stink bugs that have already found your house:

  • Keep the moisture levels in your home low. Stink bugs love moisture and will be more attracted to damp areas due to leaks or high levels of humidity. By keeping your home dry and immediately fixing leaky pipes or drainage, you’ll discourage stink bugs from coming inside.
  • Turn off outdoor lights. Keep lights turned off as much as possible to avoid attracting stink bugs. This will also save you from many other pests since several species of insects are attracted to lights and will congregate near porch lights, eager for a way inside.
  • Repair any cracks and holes on the exterior. Check your foundation for cracks and seal the edges of windowsills and doors, making it harder for stink bugs, and other insects, to get inside.
  • Make a deterrent spray. A homemade garlic spray may repel stink bugs or a spray made of soap and water. You can apply these around the exterior of your home or over plants that may be attracting stink bugs.

Call Mid South Pest & Termite, LLC. We have years of industry experience and will gladly help you eliminate stink bugs already living in your home as well as deter any future ones looking to come in. Our professional services are far more effective than a series of do-it-yourself solutions.

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