How to Prevent the Bugs on the Side of Your Home

Stink bugs are a common fall invader to Sevierville TN homes in the fall - Johnson Pest ControlDo you notice the same bugs congregating on the side of your Sevierville area home every fall season? You may have a boxelder bug or stink bug problem! Both of these insects are known for a couple of things. One, the foul odor they release when crushed or threatened. And two, their odd behavior of aggregating on the sides of buildings and structures in the fall months. Their populations can grow to large numbers, making the very sight of them worrisome. However, the real trouble is when boxelder bugs or stink bugs crawl their way into your home. While not particularly dangerous, they are a downright nuisance and difficult to get rid of.

Boxelder Bugs vs. Stink Bugs

Both these insects will crawl their way through any crack and crevice in your home’s exterior to gain access to the warmth of your home before the winter months. Even worse, they reproduce at a rapid rate. Here’s how to identify the bugs on the side of your home:

    1. Boxelder bug
      • These insects have dark brown bodies with unique red markings.
      • They emerge out of hibernation in the springtime.
      • True to their name, they live in boxelder trees as well as maple, ash, and fruit trees.
      • Their feces can leave a stain.
    2. Stink bug
      • Their backs look like shields, and they can blend easily within foliage.
      • If threatened, these bugs release an odor.
      • There are two main types we see in the states: the brown marmorated stink bug and the green stink bug.
      • They do not bite or spread disease.

Fall pest prevention in Eastern Tennessee - Johnson Pest Control

How to Prevent Fall Invaders

As you would with any pest, it’s important to learn how to keep boxelder bugs and stink bugs out of your property in the first place. Here are our top tips to make your property less conducive to an infestation:

  1. Check the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
  2. Seal up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
  3. Clean out any debris around the foundation of the house.
  4. Trim back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
  5. Clean and repair the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
  6. Replace torn screens on windows and doors or install brand-new ones.
  7. Consider using low-pressure sodium exterior lighting, as UV rays attract these bugs.

Need Boxelder Bug or Stink Bug Control?

If these insects make their way inside your home before you have a chance to prevent them, it’s important to get help from a professional. The residential exterminators at Johnson Pest Control can help get these bugs out as well as keep them from ever getting indoors again. Contact us today to learn more!

Stink Bug Control

Stink Bug Control Pest Control Company Knoxville, TN

As the summer heat fades, the second part of stink bug season comes around. Although harmless to humans, these nasty critters find themselves all around our walls, attics, and just about everywhere else too. Johnson Pest Control has been around long enough to know how to handle these smelly invaders. Keep your home protected from these pests with a few simple tips and tricks.

About the Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug is actually not native to the Americas, but rather Asian countries like Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. They were first sighted in the United Stated around the mid 1990’s. Since the first sighting, they have made their way to over 30 different states.

They eat nearly everything they can get their mouths on, making them serious pests. Fruits, vegetables, weeds, tree leaves and more all find a place in their diet. March, April and September are the months where they are most a problem, as it is when they emerge from their winter sleep, and once again begin preparing for it.

Once they have established themselves in your home, they are very difficult to deal with. They are resistant to nearly all insecticides. The best way to keep your home safe is by prevention, which is why September is critical. By protecting your home as they try to find a warm home for the winter, you can keep your house free from them for months to come.

How to Keep Them at Bay

To best rid this pest, you must think like a bug. Seal all cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia and other openings with high-quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Remove wall and window air conditioners; installing weather stripping around doors and windows may help. Repair broken screens and windows to keep the seal on your house tight.

Examine your house for any small areas or any openings to the outside. They are tenacious, but with a sharp eye, your house can be successfully protected.

Getting Rid of Them

Stink bugs are unfortunately, pretty resilient. A mixture of water and soap (about 2%) can off these bugs. The best way to remove them is by trap and kill stations. Stink bugs will walk straight into pheromone lures, making them effective ways to remove them in masse.

Knoxville, TN, is home to plenty of these putrid pests, but Johnson Pest Control is on the job. By following these tips, you can keep your house stink bug-free this fall, which will help bring a stink bug-free spring next year. If these critters get to be too much, give us a call. Our experts can help you clear your house, barn or garage of any stink bug infestations.

What Are These Stink Bugs?

Spring Bugs, the Stink BugThey are pretty big, and they are pretty ugly looking. But what are stink bugs and where do they come from? And most importantly, how do I keep them from bothering me?

Last summer the stink bug reigned supreme as the bug of annoyance across the eastern coastal states. They continue to show up in the United States, especially here in Tennessee because the stink bug (technically the brown marmorated stink bug) is an invasive species this side of the world. The stink bug has no natural predators in the United States.

How did that happen?

The stink bug is a native bug to China, Japan, and Taiwan. The bug showed up in the states in 1998, it is assumed that they traveled with plants that were shipped to the United States. Up until recent years, the stink bug lived in small numbers and resided around ornamental plants in Pennsylvania (where it was first classified in the states). So it is a relatively new bug to our parts.

What Is The Stink Bug?

The stink bug is an agriculture bug, it feeds on fruit and vegetable crops. We will start to see stink bugs showing up in spring around plants, vegetables, flowers, and fruits. They pose no harm to humans or to your home. The stink bug does put off an odor if you were to squash it, which is where it gets the appropriate name.

From the University of Tennessee Extension program: 

Late in the season, adults will enter homes and other buildings when seeking sheltered sites to overwinter, or diapause. During the several weeks of peak flight, many insects can enter homes through any small opening, mostly around windows. In Japan, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is a well-known nuisance pest for this reason, and the same situation is now common in Allentown, Pennsylvania in late September and early October. This nuisance behavior resulted in many complaints to the Lehigh County (Allentown) Cooperative Extension Service, and ultimately resulted in the identification of this new invasive pest. As the insect spreads to new areas, this aggregation behavior will probably again attract attention and ironically assist in monitoring its distribution. The nuisance aspect is a major concern in suburban areas and may distract from the potential future agricultural risks (Bernon 2004).

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs?

In an interview with Galen Dively, Professor Emeritus of Entomology at the University of Maryland, who is actively trying to collect the stink bugs.

KA: Do you have any tips for making a home stink bug-proof, or at least reducing the number of bugs that enter a house?

GD: Caulk all cracks and spaces that can serve as entry portals, make sure there are no holes in windows screens and screen covers of vents in the attic, weather stripping around doors to prevent entry, and seal openings around window AC units.

KA: Do you foresee any new plans or methods to combat the stink bug with insecticides, stink bug eating wasps, or traps?

GD: The parasitic wasps probably have the greatest potential for long-term control of this invasive stink bug. USDA has brought back several species from China and are currently studying their potential non-target effects in quarantine populations, before they are released if allowed at all. One exotic species from China has been carefully tested for about three years, and USDA was about ready to petition for its release; but to our surprise, this species was found occurring naturally at Beltsville, Maryland late last summer, apparently introduced accidentally in containers, probably the same way the stink bug came into our country. Now, extensive surveys will be conducted this summer to determine if this parasitic wasp survived the winter and is spreading its distribution range, and will it impact the stink bug population.

For gardeners and organic farmers, the insecticides that are available to these users are not effective on the stink bug. We are investigating the use of attractive trap crops such as sunflower, grain sorghum and even okra. The idea is plant these crops close to or around a cash crop to divert stink bugs away from the cash crop.