Stink bugs are considered true bugs. Like the name suggests, they release an unpleasant smell. They have a shield shaped body with wings, antennae, and piercing sucking mouth parts. Some species are predatory and most feed off plants. The most common stink bug in Tennessee and Kentucky is the brown marmorated stink bug, which measures between 12 and 17 mm in length. Nymphs are yellow and red in color and have red eyes. Stink bugs are a nuisance for agriculture because they mainly feed of vegetables and fruit.
In the fall when the climate changes and temperatures drop stink bugs seek shelter and infest homes across Tennessee and Kentucky. Entering the home through cracks and hole of windows and doors, stink bugs can be found inside of walls, in attics or crawl spaces. During the spring, they are most active and bother homeowners throughout their houses. They usually cluster on walls and around windows trying to get outside again. Stink bugs also gather in sunny areas to warm themselves. Infestations usually occur during fall. Females attach between 20 and 30 eggs to the underside of plant leaves that serve as a host for the emerging nymphs. During the winter they do not require a food source to survive.
To help prevent and control infestations it is important for all entry points to be sealed. A trained pest management professional can locate entryways and provide advice on how to control the pest. Caulk can be used to seal cracks and holes in walls and around windows and doors. Window screens should be checked for tears and damages and there should be a screen installed in attic and crawl space vents. Additionally, the gap under doors can be sealed using door sweeps. While the homeowner can use traps, and vacuum up the bugs, once stink bugs have accessed the home only a pest control professional can provide successful treatment.