Picture this: you come back to the comfort of your home after a long day of work, but as soon as you open the door, the vile stench of rotting fruit fills the air. It may surprise you, but the nasty culprit is likely a group of stink bugs.
With temperatures beginning to drop across the country, homeowners may be greeted by swarms of these insects trying to make their way indoors this month, according to iHeartRadio. One way to identify an invasion in your house is to recognize the smell they release when threatened or smushed. The distinct odor resembles the smell of decaying almonds or rotting cherries.
These small insects are now ready to hibernate and they’re predicted to enter homesthis autumn in packs larger than ever. “If you’re seeing a few now, you’re going to see them by the dozens-maybe even hundreds-as we get closer toward the end of October,” Howard Russell, an entomologist from Michigan State University, toldWZZM. “And it won’t stop.”
Native to Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug arrived in the United States in mid ’90s, and have weaseled their way into 44 states since then, according toStopBMSB.org. While the insects don’t bite or sting, their pungent fumes make them a nuisance. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent them from entering your house and causing an infestation:
- Block off as many potential entryways as possible. Check doors, windows, attics, and crawl spaces for cracks and torn screens, and then use caulk, weather stripping, and screens to close off these openings, according to Orkin.
- Rub screens with fragrant dryer sheets. This quick hack can reduce your risk of an invasion by up to 80 percent, according Bayer Advanced
- If you do spot a stink bug in your home, carefully sweep them up with a dustpan and flush them down the toilet instead of squishing them, which will help you avoid their stinky odor.
- You can also remove them by vacuuming them-as long as you immediately dispose of the bag to remove the smell.