Stink Bug Season Is Here: Now Is The Time to Take Steps To Prevent These Bugs From Invading Your Home

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The stink bug population continues to explode across New Jersey. If you have not yet seen one of these prehistoric-looking creatures up close and personal inside your home, you are in the lucky minority. Stink bug control requires barrier control. Seal potential entries and have a pest control professional apply an exterior, preventative spray. It will mean the difference between a full-blown infestation and a few isolated sightings.

According to Bill Cowley of Cowleys Termite and Pest Services, "Stink bug control means barrier control. Close potential entry sites and have an exterior treatment applied before the bugs overwinter.

The fall season is approaching with and its brisk temperatures. There is always preparation as we transition from one season to another. Unfortunately, over the past few years, there is one more item that has been put on the to-do list. Now is the time for homeowners to take action to prevent the annual fall infestation of Asian stink bugs. As the temperature drops, so does the window of opportunity to keep these bugs out of New Jersey homes.

Many insects, including stink bugs, use the process of “overwintering” to survive the harsh winter. According to Bill Cowley, of Cowleys Termite & Pest Services, “Here in New Jersey, insects like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug survive by seeking out locations that provide them with warmth and protection once outdoor temperatures drop. These bugs look at our cozy homes as a five-star hotel, becoming a convenient, easy place to escape inhospitable outdoor temperatures.”

Said Cowley, “From my experience in pest control, stink bugs rank high up on the client frustration meter. Homeowners are at their wit’s end looking for solutions. These bugs are vile, leaving a noxious trail of fluids that stains walls, curtains, and other surfaces. Even worse, if these insects are disturbed, just like skunks, they discharge a pungent, acrid odor.”

Added Cowley, “Stink bugs don’t share their habitat. They boldly take over your house with a creepy and unpredictable presence, showing up anywhere and everywhere -- in your laundry basket, on your curtains, in your silverware drawer, on your lampshades. Anywhere and everywhere they can startle and surprise you.”

Stink bugs start sneaking into our homes as early as late August and continue through the early fall. They make their way through the thinnest of crevices, torn screens, unprotected vents, or loose flashings, often in large number. And once inside, they are not shy about overstaying their welcome, sometimes not leaving until the middle of June.

Said Cowley, “Every year, the stink bug problem for homeowners continues to escalate. I’m hopeful that government agencies and research labs will develop a coordinated initiative or we will be looking at a major problem down the road. Stink bugs, at least for homeowners, aren’t getting the attention they deserve. On the agricultural front, there are research efforts being made since these bugs pose such a serious threat to our mid-Atlantic crops. I’m hopeful that these efforts will spill over into reducing the number and degree of home infestations of these pests.”

Continued Cowley, “Stink bugs are not from New Jersey or anywhere else nearby. These bugs are native to Asia. As an introduced species with no native predator, its population has grown exponentially. They were first reported in Pennsylvania in 1996, most likely arriving as stowaways inside packing crates among the tons of Chinese imports. With our efficient inter-state movement of goods and agricultural commodities, it only took a few years for these bugs to become well entrenched throughout New Jersey.”

The primary strategy to avoid stink bug infestations is barrier control:

  • Seal any cracks with caulking or weather-stripping to keep the invaders out
  • Look for rotting windowsills, improperly sealed doors, and holes in window screens
  • Seal up or screen off any vents, especially those connected to an attic
  • Remove or properly cover window air-conditioning unit

Dead stink bugs should be cleaned up since they can attract carpenter beetles that feed off the carcasses. When bugs are found inside the home, vacuum them, and be sure to empty the bag. An alternative is to place the bugs in a small jar filled with soapy water or rubbing alcohol.

Stated Bill Cowley, “There is a popular misconception that pest control professions can’t do much about stink bugs. The reality is that we can do plenty. A professional pest control service can treat the outside of a home to help keep them from entering. Spraying creates a highly effective residual barrier. By applying chemical barrier control now-- before temperatures drop-- along with sealing cracks and exposed areas can make all the difference. This upcoming winter, instead of a major stink bug infestation, homeowners can instead deal with just a few sporadic, isolating sightings.”

Cowleys Termite & Pest Services, founded in 1991, has been helping New Jersey homes and businesses resolve all of their pest infestation problems including overwintering bugs such as stink bugs, ladybugs and boxelder bugs. Cowleys also offers bird, rodent, and wildlife removal. For more information visit or call 866-9-COWLEYS.


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