The stink bug we see here in Minnesota is called the brown marmorated stink bug or BMSB for short. The stink bug is an invasive species from eastern Asia. They were brought over to North America most likely inside packing crates or on different types of machinery such as cars or trucks. They were first spotted in 1998 in Pennsylvania but were first spotted in Minnesota in 2010.
Once the stink bugs arrived in North America they quickly became an agricultural pest. They started eating vegetables, fruits, and field crops. Some of the produce they damage include; corn, cherries, lima beans, apples, peppers, and tomatoes. Stink bugs can also damage plants by eating the leaves which can compromise the plant and make it easier for them to catch diseases. Since their first arrival, they have damaged hundreds of millions of dollars worth of products just in the U.S. alone. They have also been doing the same thing in Europe as well. It is currently still very challenging to manage their population as researchers are still finding and designing a pesticide that is effective against them.
For most other people the main issue they have with stink bugs is that they overwinter inside their homes. In the early fall stink bugs start looking for places to stay warm. They can be found sitting on the siding of homes, around windows and doors and they can also be found living inside leaf litter and vegetation near the home. The most effective way to keep them from entering inside is by raking away any edible vegetation and leaves and sealing up any possible entry points. Such as caulking around windows, replacing any old weather stripping that has sunlight peeking through, sealing around any exterior pipes, and installing a fireplace screen or cap that won’t allow any stink bugs to crawl through. If this ends up being too large of a task, the next best option would be to call BOGO to come and spray the outside of your home in the fall to provide a layer of protection that will kill the insects before they make their way inside. Once they are inside it’s important to know that the insects will not be laying eggs or reproducing inside your home during the winter. The best way to get rid of the insects once inside is by using a vacuum. Pesticides are only effective in killing them if they are sprayed on the home’s exterior in the fall, not the interior.
BOGO like the rest of the industry is testing out new products and applications to find the most effective ways to maintain the population of stink bugs here in Minnesota.
Learn more about them on our winter pests page