The Stink Bug has returned with a vengeance in 2010!
These annoying insects have come out in large amounts and in a much more wide-spread area compared to prior years. They have made it to Washington D.C. and out towards Frederick, MD. There are a number of newspaper and web articles and TV reports on these invaders this year.
The stink bug that has become a problem in this area is the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys Stål. This stink bug is a non-native species which was accidentally introduced into the mid-Atlantic area. It is believed to have gotten into the country in shipping material. The first area that had these critters was Allentown, Pennsylvania in the late '90s/early 00s.
The reason these insects have become a problem pest is that, unlike other stink bugs, they like to overwinter (hibernate) inside structures, such as houses. They spend the winter in cracks and crevices in and out of the structure, occasionally being found inside during warmer days or due to heating of the house. In the spring, they become a problem again as they "wake up" and look to head back out to reproduce and feed on plants. At this point, homeowners can feel overwhelmed with the number of stink bugs running and flying around inside their homes.
As for treatment, the best time to treat for these pests is in the late summer/early fall as they begin to look for their overwintering sites. If the treatment is timed properly, the number of overwintering insects can be greatly reduced and less will be seen "awakening" in the spring.
APM has a number of effective products for treating in and around homes. We are testing newer products and procedures as well, to provide you with a stink bug-free home!
Here are some pictures (from the University of Florida and USDA) of this pest: