PHOTO: Ric Bessin, UK extension entomologist
Dropping temperatures force insects to start seeking shelter, which means Kentucky homeowners are already getting some unwanted visitors.
While it’s only the first part of October, entomologists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment are receiving complaints about brown marmorated stink bugs inside and outside homes across Kentucky, said Ric Bessin, UK extension entomologist.
The native of Asia is a major nuisance along the East Coast since it was first found in packing material in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1998. The stink bug was first found in October 2010 in Kentucky and is now in more than 40 Kentucky counties.
Once inside homes, the stink bug releases an odor that smells like cilantro as a defensive mechanism.
The best thing homeowners can do to prevent stink bug problems is to pest proof their residences, Bessin said. This includes sealing off openings into the buildings where wires and pipes come in and any cracks or tears in window or door screens. Homeowners may also want to spray an insecticide around the exterior perimeter of their home. Those wanting more information about how to pest proof their home can refer to UK Entomology’s ENTFACT 641, which can be found online at http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef641.pdf.
Homeowners who find stink bugs in their residences should vacuum them rather than sweep or crush them. Sweeping or crushing them may cause them to emit an odor or leave a stain, Bessin said.
Ric Bessin, 859-257-7456