While stink bugs are not typically dangerous to humans or pets, they can be a nuisance inside your home, especially during the fall and spring. Most stink bug infestations occur when it starts getting cold and when it begins to warm up, since the bugs are actively looking for ways into or out of your home at these times.
How to Identify a Stink Bug.
The most common characteristic that almost every variety of stink bug shares is the wide and flat design of its exoskeleton. To most people, it appears as though there is a hard shield on the back of a stink bug, with some specimens growing up to three-fourths of an inch long and wide. A putrid odor comes from the underside of the insect when it senses it is in danger, which can be another telling sign that you are dealing with a stink bug.
When and Where are Stink Bugs Usually Seen?
Stink bugs do not tolerate cold weather very well and will try to get to a warmer, protected area before the weather turns too cold. This results in the bugs trying to get into your house around the middle of fall, when it starts getting fairly cold at night. The bugs tend to hibernate during the winter if they haven’t completely made it inside your house, but their hibernation mechanism does not kick in if they make it inside a living area. Once it warms up outside, they will usually try to exit your home, but may end up coming right into your living space instead.
They can usually be found in areas that do not see a lot of foot traffic, especially somewhere like an attic or behind drywall in on exterior walls. During the winter, you will probably see very few stink bugs, even if you do have an infestation, but during the spring you may see a lot of them coming out from any cracks in your drywall and ceiling, as well as from older HVAC vents that are not properly sealed.
What do Stink Bugs Eat?
Stink bugs generally stick to fruits and vegetables as they are an agricultural pest. In the summer, you might see them in your garden where they can do some damage by killing any growing vegetables. In your home, they typically do not eat anything as they are just trying to get outside in order to reproduce. As with most pests, if you see one or two of them in your house, you can bet that there are many times that number hiding just out of sight, requiring the services of an exterminator to get rid of them.