When September and October hit and the leaves begin to change colors in the Midwest, these days our annual rituals of fall are also accompanied by some unwanted guests. Stink bugs are becoming a big nuisance in Missouri and 37 other states including the Mid-Atlantic region. Missouri just joined the list of stink bug territories, contributing to the increase from the 33 states dealing with the issue last year. Scientists are noticing large increases in the stink bug population and cite the unusually warm weather we’ve had in Missouri and Illinois as the cause. Because the warm weather lasted so long in the affected areas, two generations of stink bugs were able to breed.
Stink bugs are brown- or green-colored bugs that often infest soybean fields, but stinkbugs can be found in a number of different locations and are typically most concentrated in the southern United States. They have a piercing sucking mouth part that assists in removing fluids from a plant. As a self-defense mechanism, the stink bug emits a foul smelling odor. The bug hibernates in the winter months under materials such as leaf litter or tree bark. Once the spring temperatures begin to rise, the stink bug emerges, feeds on the plants and lays eggs around late summer. It only takes about two months from egg to maturity, leading to high populations in the fall months before they begin their hibernation period.
While the most serious instances of infestations are in farm fields, many homeowners have to deal with stink bug infestations as well. Homeowners could see a large number of stink bugs invading their property, which can be a major nuisance, but they typically don’t do any damage or pose any safety threats. The signs of a stink bug infestation may include noticing the bugs entering the home or seeing them on your outdoor plants. You may also smell the odor, which gets worse if one of the bugs gets smashed. If the stink bug population is particularly high or annoying, it may be best to call in a professional exterminator to quickly and effectively eliminate the pest. They can also inform you about the areas the where the stink bugs will likely get into the home so you can make necessary adjustments. If you are a homeowner who wants to rid your house of a stink bug infestation, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bugs by Brian if you’re in St. Louis and surrounding areas.