This Bug Stinks, And It’s Invading Our Homes In Michigan Soon
If you haven't noticed, there are a number of non-indigenous species of insects making their way into the Mitten. Between Spotted Lanternflies that are eating our crops, to an influx of Ladybugs looking for warmth before the winter, there's no shortage of six-legged pests in our lives as of late.
One of these bugs, however, really stinks - the brown marmorated "Stink Bug."
What is a stink bug?
Ugly little dudes, right? Well, their personality matches their appearance.
I've always called them potato bugs (because they were kind of the color of potatoes), and until doing research for this story, I had no idea I'd been calling them the wrong thing for so many years.
The Halyomorpha Halys is a marbled, brown-colored bug with smooth shoulders, alternating black and white striping along its belly, and white bands along its legs and antennae.
They are invasive and have been found in 42 states, including Michigan. Like the aforementioned ladybugs and spotted lanternflies, these bugs are native to Asia.
And if you're wondering WHY they're called "stink" bugs, just step on one, or crush one, and you'll quickly find out. Glands that produce a defensive chemical break, and... well.... stink.
Are they a bad bug?
Yes. Part of a growing number of invasive insect species from Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is harmful to area crops... and the interior of our homes and vehicles.
Conditions in the U.S. are perfect for them to procreate, and female stink bugs can lay up to 400 eggs in their lifetime, which will hatch in less than 2 months.
They feed on plants and primarily cause issues with soybean and fruit crops in Japan. In the U.S., a large population can lay waste to crops of peaches, apples, green beans, soybeans, cherries, raspberries, and pears.
Incredibly, these bugs didn't really appear in the U.S. until about 2000. In 2010, their numbers were exploding along the eastern part of the country, and have now spread as far as the west coast.
Why am I seeing them so much now?
The stink bugs are thankfully finishing up their mating season, but now, it's time for them to hunker down for winter. So, like the Ladybugs, they're looking for warm cracks and crevices to crawl into and hide for the winter... including your home.
How Can I Keep Them Out?
Well, there are a few options, not the least of which is to be sure all of your windows and doors are properly sealed inside and out. Weatherstripping and calk around your windows will especially help.
As the leaves fall, and plants around your home begin to die off for the winter, raking away debris and edible vegetation from your home's foundation will deter all pests (not just the stink bugs) from invading your home this winter.
You can also call a local pest control company to make a run through your home, and be sure you won't have any issues.