As we enter the thick of winter, stink bugs are likely to make an appearance in homes. Homeowners can take proactive measures to help keep these smelly pests at bay this winter.

“Fortunately, stink bugs do not pose a safety or property risk to homeowners,” says Mark Nadolski, owner/general manager of Russell’s Pest Control. However, they tend to invade homes in high numbers and can become a nuisance once inside.”

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offer a few simple tips to ward off stink bugs before an infestation develops.

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches to prevent stink bugs from entering the home.

  • Stink bugs are attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum.

  • Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas.

  • Install screens over the chimney and attic vents.

  • Keep branches and shrubbery well-trimmed, and make sure to store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

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