Smelly Stink Bugs Invading Knoxville

Smelly Stink Bugs Invading Knoxville

Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive insect species native to Asia but were introduced to the United States in the state of Pennsylvania in 1998. Since that time, stink bugs have become a widespread problem across our continent, causing many problems for U.S. residents, including those in Knoxville. Brown marmorated stink bugs are brownish-gray in color and often described as “shield-shaped insects.” These invasive insects got their name from the putrid smell they release when crushed or threatened.

Why do stink bugs invade?

Stink bugs are classified as an agricultural pest because of their tendency to destroy crops. Some of the plants stink bugs damage include fruit trees, ornamental plants, and gardens. Stink bugs aren’t threatening or dangerous to people, as they don’t bite or sting. Brown marmorated stink bugs are considered more of a nuisance pest. Stink bugs are a type of overwintering pest, which means they find warm, sheltered areas to become dormant during the colder months. Now that fall has arrived, stink bugs are actively searching for places to overwinter. They often try to invade Knoxville homes to hide in walls, attics, or crawlspaces. In winter, if the weather warms up, stink bugs overwintering in your home may be tricked into thinking spring has arrived and become active inside your home.

Stink Bug Prevention Tips

Stink bug infestations can be prevented with several basic pest prevention tips, as well as a few that are stink bug-specific. Keep stink bugs out of your Knoxville home by doing the following.

  • Cut thick brush and foliage away from your exterior walls
  • Remove clutter from your lawn
  • Reduce moisture on your property by repairing leaky faucets and dumping out items that have collected water
  • Replace torn window screens
  • Seal all possible entry points, including gaps in your foundation, holes made for utilities, and crevices around your exterior walls
  • Wipe your window sills and doorways with scented dryer sheets
  • Kill stink bugs found around the outside of your home to deter other stink bugs from invading

It’s important to remember that prevention tips are not 100% effective and you may still end up with an infestation. If you find stink bugs in your Knoxville home, it’s time to contact the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control. We understand how frustrating pest problems can be, which is why we are dedicated to keeping your property pest-free all year long. For assistance with your pest problem, give Russell’s Pest Control a call today.

5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Stink Bugs

5 Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Stink Bugs

Do you know what a stink bug is? If you live in our Tennessee service area, we’re sure you do. When temperatures drop, these crop pests start to become household pests. Here are the 5 things you need to know about stink bugs if you own a home.

  1. Stink bugs stink. This is not a pest you want to crush. Ever. They emit a foul odor when squashed. The better course of action is to suck them up with a vacuum and dispose of the bag. This is a great solution for inside your home and a reasonably helpful solution if you only have a few stink bugs come to crawl on your exterior walls, window sills, and screens.

  2. It is better to keep stink bugs out. If you have more than a dozen stink bugs visit your home this fall, it will be easier on your wallet to keep them out, rather than have them treated once they get in. Stink bugs get into wall voids and other hard-to-reach places. This makes them a difficult pest to treat inside.

  3. Screens. Screens. Screens. We can’t say this enough times. As a homeowner, your first line of defense against stink bugs is working screens. Stink bugs are notorious for exploiting entry points in–and around–window and door screens.

  4. It is important to seal gaps. When stink bugs crawl on the sun-warmed side of your home, it is only natural for them to look for a way to get under the “bark” of your home–after all, your house is nothing more than a tree or a log to those stink bugs. It is vital to do a detailed inspection of your exterior walls and look for any gaps, holes, cracks, or openings these bugs can use to gain entry. Cover vents with window-grade screening. Use mortar to seal foundation walls. Use a caulking gun to seal up gaps and holes you don’t have the time or money to fix right now. Exclusion is key in the fight against stink bugs.

  5. There are some things only a pest control company can do. Every home has its vulnerabilities. And sometimes it takes a trained professional to find them. A professional can also apply EPA approved products to make sure your defensive wall is impenetrable.

If you need help keeping stink bugs and other overwintering pests from getting into your home this fall, and you live in our service area, the pest specialists here at Russell’s Pest Control have the experience and the education to get the job done right.

The best defense against stink bugs is a good offense. Let Russell’s Pest Control help you pick out the best pest control options for your home.

How To Solve The Problem Of Stink Bugs

How To Solve The Problem Of Stink Bugs

Whether you have a small garden or a massive farm, brown marmorated stink bugs can become a problem. These bugs, that were originally soybean and fruit crop pests in Japan, deface fruit here in the United States when they pierce the skin with their mouthparts. This damage also allows other bugs to infest the fruit, making it unsellable and unfit for human consumption.

The brown marmorated stink bug attacks a wide variety of crops. They will eat most fruits, but prefer pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, raspberries, blueberries, and grapes. They can also be found eating snap peas, lima beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, field corn, soybeans, cucumbers, bush beans, and peppers. But their diet isn’t limited to these.

Stink bugs are also known to eat seeds and seed pods of ornamental trees and shrubs. This can make them a major pest to residential landscapes. And, when they feed, they can affect plant health because they spread plant disease from one plant to the next.

The primary way stinks bugs make themselves a pest to residential homes is in the way that they congregate on the warm, sunny side of homes and eventually find their way inside when temperatures drop. While stink bugs don’t reproduce inside homes, preferring to wait until spring to lay eggs on outside plants, they can be a serious pain for homeowners when they crawl around in curtains and congregate on light fixtures.

The effective solution for stink bugs is an application of EPA-approved insecticides to targeted areas. Insecticides are used by farms and orchards to protect crops and control these bugs. And, home and business owners have insecticides applied to exterior walls to keep these pests from overwintering. All insecticides should be applied by a licensed professional. Inappropriate use of insecticides can be a danger to humans and pets.

If you are concerned about getting stink bugs in your home, here are a few things to remember:

  • Your door and window screens are the first line of defense against overwintering pests.

  • Make sure all of your door sweeps and weather strippings are in good working order.

  • When stink bugs find an entry point, they release a pheromone scent. It is important to vacuum up any stink bugs you see crawling around on your exterior walls, balcony, deck, or patio.

  • These bugs can get in through vents. Make sure you have screens covering them.

  • They can get in through chimneys, so consider covering your chimney with a cap.

  • Do a close examination of your exterior walls and use a caulking gun to fill in any gaps or holes.

  • Sealing up exterior walls from the invasion of stink bugs is very difficult. Sometimes it is only possible to exclude these bugs with the added protection of an insecticide application.

If you live in our Tennessee service area, let Russell’s Pest Control protect your home from the invasion of stink bugs. We offer safe and effective management for these and other invasive pests.

3 Ways Stink Bugs Get In

3 Ways Stink Bugs Get In

This is the time of year when you’re going to start seeing these shield-shaped bugs crawling all over your exterior walls and clinging to your door screens. It happens every year when temperatures drop. Stink bugs, which normally live in crop fields, start looking for a warmer place to be. They begin by congregating on the sun-warmed sides of residential homes, but as temperatures drop further, they start looking for ways to get in. And, boy aren’t they good at finding them! Next thing you know they’re climbing on your television, crawling through your curtains, and buzzing around all your lights. If you’ve spent any time at all fixing screens or caulking holes in your exterior walls, you may be wondering: How are these stink bugs getting in? Here are three ways stink bugs will get into your home, even after you’ve sealed everything up.

Doors: Sadly, you may be letting stink bugs in through your doors. After you put all that time into sealing your exterior walls, you might be accidentally letting them in when you enter or exit your home. This is especially true if you have a sliding door that opens out into the back yard or onto a balcony. These doors get a lot of use and have the potential to give a stink bug entry every time they are used. If you have children, you’re in even more trouble.

What is the solution? If you don’t have kids, simply pay more attention when you enter or exit. If you have no control over who comes in or goes out, the only way to protect against this is to make sure you don’t have any stink bugs out there waiting to come in. A treatment from a pest control company will do the trick.

Any holes: You may have used a caulking gun to fill all those rotted areas, but homes can have a ton of entry points. These bugs can get in through vents, exhausts, gaps around air conditioning units, gaps around fixtures and pipes, rotted holes under siding, and hard-to-see holes under decks.

What is the solution? Do a more thorough inspection of your exterior walls, install screening over any openings that could give bugs an entrance into your home, and use that caulking gun to seal around anything that has a gap.

Chimney: This is an entry point that many homeowners miss. Stink bugs don’t generally go higher than the first story of a home, but they can. If they get in your chimney, they can fly down and wait on the damper till you open it up.

What is the solution? Some homeowners invest in a damper that sits on the top of their chimney, so that bugs can’t climb down and wait to come in.

If you’re fighting stink bugs in Tennessee, give us a call. At Russell’s Pest Control, we have the most advanced pest solutions available, and our team is recognized by the national authority on pest management as a QualityPro pest control company. We have the solutions that will keep stink bugs out of your home.