Should I Be Worried About Stink Bugs In My House?

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Have you seen tiny shield-shaped tan bugs crawling in your curtains, perching on your light fixtures, clinging to your screens, crawling up your walls, or dive bombing your head as you walk into the kitchen? Have you already properly identified those insects as stink bugs? While our homes do not provide an environment that stink bugs can live in, they will temporarily take up residence with us when temperatures outside become too cold. In spring, they emerge from their hiding places, if you have not seen them all winter it can be shocking when they start trying to find their way out. This can make them a spring nuisance, as well as a fall nuisance. But are they dangerous to have around? Let's take a look.

Why Are Stink Bugs In My Home?

Stink bugs usually hide in the bark of trees during the winter. They can also be found on the sun-warmed side of trees, because they prefer the warmth. It is only natural for them to climb on the "bark" of your house, and try to squeeze under your siding.

Once there, it is only a matter of time before they find a way in. It can be through a torn screen, down a chimney, by way of a crack, under a door, past some damaged weather stripping, or right through the front door when you walk in. The older the house, the more entry points there are for stink bugs to infiltrate.

Are stink bugs dangerous to people?

These bugs rarely bite humans, and they are not known to transmit pathogens or harmful bacteria. They do, however, have a nasty chemical smell to them, which has some homeowners wondering if they may be toxic. Don't worry. Stink bugs aren't toxic. They just stink. But, it is important to keep in mind that stink bugs can spray that smelly liquid from their thorax, and you might get it in your eyes. If so, seek medical attention to prevent any damage.

Are stink bugs dangerous to pets?

Dogs and cats love to chase bugs. And, as much as we'd prefer to "not" think about it, they also like to eat them. This may have you wondering, "Can eating stink bugs hurt my pet?" Veterinarians say no. While stink bugs can cause your pet to have a severe reaction, such as vomiting or excessive drooling, eating stink bugs won't kill them. They will quickly learn that those bugs are no fun to eat.

Are stink bugs dangerous to belongings?

These bugs can stain curtains, couches, fabrics, and carpets. In some cases, it is possible to clean stink bug stains, but it is quite a pain. The number-one tool for dealing with stink bugs is a vacuum.

Do Stink Bugs Come Inside in the Spring?

Each fall, when the weather begins to cool down, stink bugs look for a warmer place to spend the winter. This is why the fall brings so much stink bug activity to homes in Pittsburgh. And although they do not reproduce inside of the home or cause harm to humans, who wants to deal with stink bugs? They will hide out in cracks, behind baseboards and around the trim of windows and doors until the warmth of spring arrives.

If you're seeing stink bugs in the spring, it's likely because the temperatures haven't warmed up enough for them to head back outside. Another reason you may be seeing stink bugs inside in the spring is because as temperatures do begin to rise in the spring, stink bugs may be trying to make their way back outside. They have likely been inside the entire winter and are now trying to exit your home.

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Looking for a way to say so long to stink bugs this spring? Here are a few stink bug prevention tips from the Pittsburgh pest control professionals that will help to keep these pests away:

  • Seal off all openings around the foundation, windows and doors that stink bugs could use to get inside.
  • Trim back bushes and shrubs so they do not touch the side of the home thus making a bridge for stink bugs to get closer to the inside of the home.
  • Keep your grass trimmed near the house, and stay on top of those weeds. Stink bugs love weeds and weed stems.
  • 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.
  • Sign up for a year-round pest control plan for spot treatments and other preventative measures to make sure stink bugs do not become a part of your fall and spring.

Living with pests stinks. If you're in our Pennsylvania service area, let Witt help you establish a pest plan that is guaranteed to stop those pests in their tracks, and make life smell sweet again. 

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