The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species in the United States that is most well known for being a pest of fruit, vegetable, and other crops, but these bugs are rapidly becoming known for infesting homes in large numbers. This insect has established habitats in 43 of the 48 states within the continental United States, and they are quickly becoming one of America’s most economically significant insect pests.
Indoor infestations of brown marmorated stink bugs are particularly difficult to control given the massive number of individual stink bugs that appear within the affected homes. Several years ago, not long after stink bugs were first discovered in the United States, a wildlife biologist in Maryland decided to count the number of stink bugs that he killed within his infested home. The whopping amount of stink bugs that infested his home made control efforts a waste of time. After six months, the biologist decided to call an end to his unofficial experiment, but not before racking up 26,205 stink bug kills.
At around the same time that the above mentioned biologist had been indulging in his stink bug killing spree, entomologists counted 30,000 stink bugs within a small shed in Virginia. This shed was no larger than an outhouse. Later on, this same team of entomologists found 4,000 stink bugs within a small container the size of a breadbox. Perhaps most amazingly, bank employees in West Virginia arrived to work one day to find what experts estimated to be one million stink bugs on one single side of the building.
While the brown marmorated stink bug is, without a doubt, the most troublesome stink bug species that exists, there actually exists around 5,000 documented stink bug species in the world, most of which are native to Asia. In addition to being the most troublesome species, brown marmorated stink bugs may also be the smelliest, and they can cause dermatitis in individuals who make contact with their oily exoskeletons. Preventative measures are preferable when it comes to avoiding stink bug infestations, but insecticides are largely successful in cases of full blown infestations.
Have you known anyone who fell victim to a hard to manage stink bug infestation within their home?