Stink Bug Pest Control in Central Illinois

If there are stink bugs on your property or in your crops, they can damage or ruin plants by promoting the spread of plant diseases. In the winter, they may also infest the inside of your home or business.

The brown marmorated stink bug is the most common type you’ll find in Central Illinois. It was originally found only in Asia, but it was accidentally introduced to the Eastern US during the 1990s. It has been spreading west ever since as an invasive species.

Stink bugs send out a powerful defensive odor when they feel threatened. They also smell terrible when they are smashed. Because of their bad taste, most predators don’t eat enough of them to stop an infestation. If your plants or home are being invaded, get a quote for stink bug pest control services now.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Stink Bug Appearance

You can recognize stink bugs by their:

  • Shape: Similar to a medieval shield or family crest
  • Color: Brown, with lighter speckles on their backs, along with alternating bands of darker color on their sides
  • Length: 1/2 an inch to about 7/10 of an inch
  • Antennae: Straight, pointing diagonally away from the head, with light bands around them
  • Young (Nymphs): Red eyes, and red and yellow bodies that grow whiter with age

Types of Stink Bugs

There are several types of stink bugs in the U.S. All of them are brown, and they all feed on plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and field crops. Species include:

  • One-spotted stink bug
  • Brown stink bug
  • Dusky stink bug
  • Consperse stink bug

However, the brown marmorated stink bug is the most common species in the U.S., and it’s the type you’re likely to confront here in central Illinois, either on your plants or in your home.

Stink Bug Behavior

Stink bugs can’t bite people, and they don’t have a stinger. They use piercing, sucking mouthparts to feed on plants and certain insects. However, they can cause skin irritation if they scratch you with their exoskeletons.

The brown marmorated stink bug is known to feed on and damage:

  • Cabbage
  • Green peppers
  • Corn
  • Honeydew
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Soybeans
  • Lima beans

When stink bugs feed on a plant, they pierce a hole in its skin. This leaves a damaged and dying spot on the plant, which can open the plant to diseases. It may also cause some plants to lose seeds. A group of stink bugs can significantly damage crops and gardens.

Why Do Stink Bugs Come Inside?

As winter approaches, adult stink bugs look for places to rest. They go dormant for several months when the weather is cold. They stop feeding and stop developing.

They are known to gather inside of:

  • Walls
  • Crawl spaces
  • Attics
  • House sidings
  • Campers
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Recently dead trees

Wherever they are resting, they will not do anything if they are not disturbed. However, as the weather warms again, if they are in your home, they will crawl back outside to feed on your plants. And some of them may take a wrong turn and come into the rooms where you live.

In the wild, stink bugs find any natural feature they can use as winter protection from predators and cold. But if they encounter your warm house near their feeding grounds, they might sense it’s an easier and warmer resting place than any natural shelter.

Dangers of Stink Bugs in the Home

Do you need pest control for stink bugs? They don’t represent a threat to the structure of a house, as termites do. They also don’t threaten people directly, like mosquitoes or wasps do. However, they can cause problems when they infest a home:

  • Stink bugs in your home will repeatedly leave again each spring to feed on your garden plants, fruit trees, rose bushes, and other ornamental plants.
  • They emit a pungent odor when threatened, which smells even worse when they are crushed.
  • They crawl into light fixtures and die, releasing their bad smell, making you clean up their carcasses.
  • They may gather in large numbers on ceilings or walls, flying through living spaces.

If you have crops that you sell or eat, stink bugs can threaten your livelihood or your own foods—your fruits, vegetables, nuts, or herbs. It’s extremely frustrating to try to harvest crops and find that foul-smelling insects are destroying them.

It’s best to get rid of an infestation as soon as possible. If stink bugs are in your home, you will likely have to deal with them year after year, unless you can prevent them from getting inside or can kill them while they’re on your plants.

Signs of a Stink Bug Infestation

How can you tell if you have found an isolated stink bug or if you have a real infestation?

Large Gatherings

First, if it’s late summer or autumn, you might see a large number of stink bugs gathering on crops and other plants. Check all the walls of your house and other structures, such as barns. Stink bugs search for the warmest walls, especially those that get a lot of sunlight. They’ll rest there to get warmer.

Damaged Plants

You might also notice new damage to your fruits or vegetables. There will be small patches of dead skin with pierced areas in their center. That’s where the stink bugs have pushed their proboscis into the plant.

Dead Stink Bugs

You may also see dead stink bugs under your plants or around your property. This may seem like a good sign because the stink bugs have died. But unfortunately, dead stink bugs simply tell you that many more live stink bugs may still be in the area.

How to Get Rid of a Stink Bug Infestation

It is sometimes possible for homeowners to get rid of stink bugs through their own efforts. Here are some ways to stem the tide of stink bugs.

Prevention

Keep stink bugs out of your home or business. They can get inside through cracks and openings as small as 1/8 of an inch wide. Here are some methods for prevention:

  • Seal: Put caulk into cracks and openings in siding, near pipes and chimneys, and under fascia. Install new screens over vents.
  • Repair: Fix holes and rips in your door screens and window screens. Repair damaged mortar and weather-stripping.
  • Darken: Turn off outside lights at night, which attract stink bugs. You can also keep window blinds shut.
  • Dry out: Stop any leaks or other sources of standing water near your home.
  • Clean up: Trim branches and bushes around your property. Stack your firewood off the ground about 20 feet away from your home. Check trees for dead bark that may harbor stink bugs.

Removal

Don’t let stink bugs release their foul odor on you. That means you shouldn’t grab them or smash them. Instead, suck them up with a vacuum cleaner. Then, immediately empty the vacuum cleaner outside, or they will make your vacuum smell terrible—and the odor can waft out of the machine.

Call the Professionals

All these do-it-yourself methods might still leave you with an infestation. But a pest control expert may find additional openings where stink bugs are getting inside. Your technician can apply proven methods to deter or kill them wherever the bugs are hiding.

Stink Bug Pest Control Services

American Pest Control can clean up stink bug infestations both in residences and in businesses. We can perform pest control services in many areas of Illinois, including:

  • Bloomington
  • Canton
  • Champaign
  • Galesburg
  • Greenville
  • Lincoln
  • Pekin
  • Peoria
  • Sterling

You can order a single inspection and treatment for stink bugs. You can also get quarterly pest control services, which are valuable because new stink bugs can enter your neighborhood and re-invade your plants or your home.

With quarterly services, we will check for new infestations every season. And we will expertly re-apply our best products to kill and keep out stink bugs, stopping them from becoming a problem for you.

Contact us now to get a free quote for stink bug pest control services. It takes just a minute or two to complete the form, and there’s no obligation to buy. Don’t let stink bugs take over your property in Central Illinois. Contact American Pest Control now for quality pest management.

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