Are stink bugs crawling all over your walls, inside your curtains, and across the news anchor's face? Are they doing flybys as you try to choke down some oatmeal and get out the door to work? Has living with stinks become as much of a fall tradition as Halloween or Thanksgiving? There is a reason, and it might surprise you.
Here's why they're NOT coming in.
They're not looking for food. The brown marmorated stink bug, like many insects, eats little or no food during the winter. Their bodies go into a state called diapause, and their metabolism starts to slow dramatically. This can be due to the cold, but it can also be due to unfavorable conditions. In this state, the stink bug will depend upon energy reserves already inside their body. This is why those stink bugs sit still in the curtains, or move very slowly. They're conserving energy.
Here's why they want to be in your 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.
What do they do once inside?
If stink bugs get into your attic, they'll go deep into diapause, and hibernate the winter. You won't even know they're there, unless you go into the attic crawl spaces to do some work.
If it gets too cold, they will crawl down into wall voids, and sometimes into living spaces. This process can happen even faster, if you have lots of little holes for them to travel between floors. But once inside the living areas, they will be sluggish, or totally immobile, unless they find a food source like exposed fruit, vegetables, or plants. If they find food, you'll have them buzzing past your head all winter long.
How do I safeguard my home?
Get with a pest management company and seal your home. Modern pest companies aren't exterminators, they are intelligent bug experts. They can help you make your home resistant to bugs, rodents, and other mammals, by using natural techniques and exclusion methods. Some pesticides are needed, but they are limited, and focused on trouble areas. With professional services, you can get those stink bugs out, and protect your home from a ton of other property damaging, and health threatening, insects.