Stink bugs are known by their shield shape, unpleasant odor. They are typically marked by their brown color and frequently have light bands on their antennae and dark colored bands on their wings. Homeowners are often shocked by the size of stink bugs; the average stink bug is typically about 1.7 centimeters in length, but are sometimes larger. Because these bugs—native to China, Japan, and Taiwan—were not introduced into the United States until 1998, many homeowners know little about them, making it even more startling when they appear.
Stink bugs are a pest that feeds on plants like vegetables and fruits and can sometimes be predatory. Although they are best known as an agricultural pest, they also frequently infest homes. They are well known for piercing fruits and vegetables to feed, sucking out juices and injecting their saliva. This causes the fruit to have a dimpled or pockmarked appearance, rotting of the flesh, and destroyed leaves.
Stink bugs most frequently enter homes through cracks and small holes during the winter, burrowing within walls, ceilings, and beneath floors. They are most frequently discovered in spring, when they become active and begin to emerge, looking for a way to get back outside.
Although Stink bugs do not bite humans or cause destruction to home structures as many other pests do, their odor and presence can be unsettling. Stink bugs do not eat or breed during the winter, so it is usually best to stop an infestation before spring comes; at this time populations can quickly gain very quickly; each female will lay between 30 and 40 eggs.
Once signs of an infestation have been noted, it is important to contact a qualified exterminator to examine the best options to treat your home.