While fall brings wonderful weather, it also signals the start of the insect invasion period. One of the early-fall home invaders is the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) which clusters on the sides of buildings searching for entry points throughout the month of September. BMSB activity in the home can last until early May. The key to controlling these in the house is to keep them out in the first place.
On warm sunny days in September, BMSB adults can be found gathering on trees and shrubs near buildings (Figure 1). Frequently they move to the higher portions of the building to find entry points. Homes with a past history of BMSB need to be checked for entry points where these insects can get into the attic, eaves, or other parts of the house. This needs to be done before they begin their movement indoors. Mike Potter has a factsheet on how to pest proof you home (EntFact-641). Research at UK has found that screening materials to exclude BMSB adults need to be 1/6” or smaller in size (Figure 2). Chimneys, ventilation openings to the attic, and cracks around doors and windows serve as common entry points.
By Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist