image of a stink bug in pittsburgh

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Stink bugs are nasty, especially if you step on one. They don't call them stink bugs for nothing. These critters get their name from the foul odor they emit through holes in their abdomen--a defense mechanism they use to ward off predatory birds and lizards. This is not an enjoyable aroma, and squishing them is not advised. If you have stink bugs crawling across your wall, in your cabinets, and on your walkway or patio, suck them up with a vacuum, and dispose of the bag.

Stink bugs are a brown shield shaped bug, with grey speckles, six legs, and two antennae. These are an agricultural pest, with a reputation for disfiguring fruit all across this great land of ours. In the Pittsburgh area, you'll usually find them pestering homes with fruit trees, tall grass, or lots of weeds, because they feed on these.

In fall, stink bugs will begin coming inside of homes, to overwinter. This makes them a horrible pain for homeowners. But there are some things you can do to prevent them from getting in.

Stink bugs are attracted to light. Removing or keeping exterior lights off, is a good way to not draw them in close to your home. If you have large sliding glass doors, keep the curtains closed in the evening. Once stink bugs get onto the outside of your home, they will explore, and that leads to entry. If you need exterior lights, consider getting high-pressure sodium lights, that don't attract bugs.

Cutting back or removing trees and vegetation near your home is another great way to keep them from coming in close. Keep your grass trimmed near the house, and stay on top of those weeds. Stink bugs love weeds and weed stems.

If they are getting in close, there are ways to pest proof your home. Check all window and door screens, and make sure to screen up vents. Seal up any cracks you find, even if you don't think they can get in. Put caulking around outlets, air conditioners, and other areas where cracks may exist. Check your weather stripping and door sweeps to make sure they are doing their job. Cover your chimney with a mesh or screen to keep the stink bugs from crawling down. And call a professional to spray the outside of your home and foundation. This added protection is vital, because no matter how hard you try, it is almost impossible to find every possible entry point, and seal your home completely. Don't live at the mercy of the stink bugs. Keep them outside of your home, where they belong.

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