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Stink Bugs, Fall, and Home Invasions

Garden Pests | August 1, 2017

Stink Bugs, Fall, and Home Invasions

Stink bugs are hemipterans which are the order of true bugs. They are mostly garden pests, but as the weather starts to turn colder, they look for a place to overwinter. During their hunt for a winter home, they invade your home. While not particularly dangerous, nobody besides entomologists really wants to live with insects, and even then, we have our limits.

Sting Bugs Bite

One of the characteristics of hemipterans is a needle-like mouth part. Hemipterans are often confused with beetles, and many beetles have a chewing mouthpart with mandibles that you can see. Stink bugs keep their mouth tucked along their underside unless they are feeding. So, they often look as though they do not have a mouth.

Stink bugs eat plant sap, and they do so by injecting their needle-like mouth into plants where they extract the sap. If they get on you and feel threatened, stink bugs and other hemipterans will jab you with their needle-like mouth and let me tell you it hurts. Being bitten by a hemipteran feels like a yellowjacket or hornet has stung you. The next day, the bite hurts worse and massive swelling will likely occur. People who have been bitten on the hand have reported that their whole hand has swollen up as though they have sprained their wrist. Hemipterans produce a massive immune response when they bite humans. Aside from the pain and swelling, hemipteran bites are not considered dangerous unless you have a severe allergic reaction. If bitten, you should always seek medical attention because you will not likely see the bug that bit you. Many people assume that they were bitten by a spider.

How to Control Hemipterans and Stink Bugs

Hemipterans are a large order of bugs. They include stink bugs, assign bugs, ambush bugs, leaf footed bugs, Box Elders, and a host of other bugs.  They all have a few things in common, and one of those is a key part of destroying or controlling their populations РTheir needle-like mouth. Summer and fall are the times when you really want to focus on getting rid of stink bugs. Assassin bugs and Ambush bugs are predators and provide a handy benefit to the gardener. However, their bite is much the same if not worse.

Leaf Footed Bug

The key to controlling hemipterans are systemic pesticides. These are pesticides that dissolve in water and then are sucked up by plant roots. Because hemipterans suck plant juice, they ingest the pesticide and then die. By addressing stink bug and hemipteran populations in summer and fall, you decrease the chances of them invading your home. You can also try a DIY approach by placing containers of soapy water around the base of your plants. Hemipterans will either try to fly away if threatened or they drop like rocks. This is not the most effect way of control and it is labor intensive.

The problem with systemic pesticides is that if you practice organic gardening, you do not want to eat systemic pesticides and you will if the plant takes it up through their root system. For that reason, use one of our pest control specialists who can place systemic pesticides on plants that are favored by hemipterans and stink bugs without having to use them in your garden area or in areas where your pets or children might come into contact with the toxins.

Reach out to us with questions about stink bug and hemipteran control in your Byran and College Station homes.

Do you need pest control? Don't wait. Call Swoboda Pest Control now at (979) 846-2009.

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