MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Homeowners can take steps now to prevent a smelly fall invasion of stinkbugs.
While the insects are not dangerous, they are noisy and notorious for their pungent smell, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) said.
They enter homes to escape the winter. They typically get into houses that are not properly sealed, and that have cracks where the bugs can come inside and hide.
If the bugs are crushed, they give off the odor and can leave a stain. Wild kudzu patches can be home to the kudzu stinkbug, and Alabama also claims the brown marmorated stink bug, among others.
To keep all varieties of the stinkbugs outside, the ACES suggests the following:
- Seal off entry points. Pay close attention to areas around siding and utility pipes, underneath the wood fascia or other openings. Caulk and seal any cracks and holes using a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
- Place screening over chimney and attic vents, and Install door sweeps.
- Replace and repair damaged screen on windows or doors, as well as torn weather-stripping and loose mortar.
- Make sure all vents are property screened.
- Stuff steel wool into openings where screening cannot be used, such as around pipes.
- Check for leaking pipes and clogged drains. Reducing moisture can help prevent pests.
To dispose of bugs inside the home, the ACES said to gently place them in a plastic bag, or use a vacuum to gather them up. The ACES suggests trashing the vacuum bag immediately, or placing a stocking or pantyhose in the vacuum tube and securing it to the end of the tube with a rubber band to help catch the insects before they reach the motor of the vacuum.
Homeowners also can apply insecticide where bugs land hunting for places to enter the home. The insecticide must be labeled for nuisance insect control outdoors, ACES said.