(ARA) – School carnivals, college football and cooler temperatures all mark the arrival of one thing – the fall season. While you may welcome the temperature change, it’s important to remember that pests such as stink bugs seek a cozy place to settle as fall weather creeps in. Your home can provide the perfect place for warmth and shelter for these unwanted guests.
Stink bugs, which get their “smelly” name from the pungent odor they emit when disturbed or squashed, begin looking for warm places to hibernate in preparation for the winter, such as attics, crawl spaces or inside walls. After the fall move-in, homeowners typically don’t notice these brown-colored pests again until they become active in the spring, gathering on walls and near windows looking for an escape route.
Originally from Asia, brown marmorated stink bugs were first introduced to the U.S. in the late 1990s. Currently, these nuisance pests are in 17 states – mainly east of the Mississippi River. Because they reproduce quickly, stink bugs have the potential to spread to more states, infesting homes along the way.
“Female stink bugs can lay up to 240 eggs in a lifetime, making them nearly impossible to control without a professional’s help once they’ve invaded a home,” says Orkin Mid-Atlantic Region Technical Director Kim Kelley-Tunis. “One of the most important things homeowners can do is pest proof in the fall to prevent stink bugs from entering.”
Kelley-Tunis recommends the following tips to help prevent stink bugs from getting inside your home:
* Use caulking materials to seal any cracks around doors and windows.
* Protect vents in attics and crawl spaces with screens.
* Repair torn or damaged window screens.
* Install weather stripping on doors to seal gaps.
* Eliminate food sources in and around your home, including weeds, overgrown foliage and excess leaves.
* Remove overgrown or dead vegetation around the exterior of your home.
* Contact a licensed pest control professional with experience treating for these pests.
Don’t let stink bugs ruin your fall season. To receive a free home inspection or for more information on stink bugs, visit www.orkin.com.