In Augusta, we have a relatively new pest driving us crazy. It is the brown marmorated stink bug. Statewide reporting indicates a presence of stink bugs in 67 towns and 12 counties as of 2017. Most of these reports are in Southern Maine but that is changing. As populations of stink bugs increase in the Southern portion of the state, we're going to see more of them in the Augusta area. That is bad news for crop producers and anyone who has a garden on their property. The brown marmorated stink bug is known to damage fruit, vegetables, and ornamental plants. They're also a serious residential pest as they will hide in man-made structures during the cold winter temperatures. Today, we're going to talk about how to prevent stink bugs, and other invasive insects, from getting into your Augusta home.
Quick Stink Bug Prevention Guide
- Doors. There are many ways bugs can get past your doors. They can find a gap in the rubber weather stripping around your door. They can squeeze under a damaged door sweep. And, most commonly, they can find a gap around the outside of your door frame. Door frames can develop gaps. If these gaps aren't sealed, they can give entrance to pests.
- Window screens. When stink bugs crawl on your windows, it is important that they don't find a hole or rip in your screen. While this will only give them access to the space between your screen and your window, you can accidentally let those stink bugs in when you open your window. Make sure your screens are in good condition.
- Window frames. Holes can form around window frames. If you see gaps, use a caulking gun to seal those gaps and keep stink bugs out. This will also work to keep your expensive heat inside your home during the winter.
- Holes created by rodents. Mice and rats can do a real number on a home. If you have holes that have been created by rodents, stink bugs will be happy to take advantage of them. These holes can be in many places but two of the most common locations are window and door frames and door sweeps.
- Pipes and wire conduit. If you have pipes or conduit that pass through your foundation wall, examine them for any gaps. Use a caulking gun or a liquid cement to seal those gaps.
- Chimney stacks. As a home ages, the chimney stack can pull away from your home and create a gap. This gap doesn't have to be very big for stink bugs to squeeze into your walls. Gaps like this can lead to serious water damage, so they should be addressed even if you don't have a stink bug problem.
- Rooflines. When a gutter system gets clogged, water can sit in your gutters and cause the wood to rot where your roof meets your gutters. This softened wood can be exploited by many wood-damaging pests. If your roofline has been damaged, stink bugs will be able to find a way into your attic spaces and, eventually, the common areas of your home.
- Fascia. Wood and vinyl fascia can develop gaps that stink bugs can take advantage of. A caulking gun can help seal these areas until you can get them properly fixed.
- Vents. If you have exhaust vents, stink bugs may be able to use them to get in. It is always a good idea to cover vents with a screen material.
What do you do if stink bugs have gotten into your home?
If these bugs are crawling around inside your home, there are a few simple ways to get rid of them. Use your vacuum to suck them up and dispose of the bag outside. If stink bugs keep appearing to replace the ones you've sucked up, you can create a device that can capture those stink bugs by cutting a 2-liter bottle in half and inverting the top. Simply place the large, round opening over the stink bug and shake. It will fall into the funnel and go down into the bottle, where it will be trapped. Empty the bottle outside as you capture stink bugs. This will help you save on vacuum bags.
If using your vacuum to suck stink bugs up or capturing them with a stink bug trap seems like a pain, remember that Big Blue Bug Solutions is always available to help resolve pest problem in your home. Reach out to us any time for immediate assistance.