Stink bug populations have reached record numbers in northern New Jersey. Hundreds of brown marmorated stink bugs are being captured in counting traps monitored by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Where a single night’s capture might have resulted in 30 stink bugs last year, NJ entomologists are finding 200 to 400 of the crop-eating pests this year. NJ pest control companies are recommending that homeowners in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties take preventive action now before stink bugs start moving indoors for winter harborage.

Between late summer and early fall, stink bugs begin seeking a warm place to spend the winter. NJ homeowners may find dozens, even hundreds, of stink bugs gathered on warm exterior walls, windows or rooftops. Stink bugs crawl under siding and into eaves, attics and wall voids where they spend the winter hibernating. If stink bugs invade your home, a warm winter day may bring them out of hiding to bask in the warmth of a sunny wall. In the spring, stink bugs return to the outdoors to feed and breed.

Brown marmorated stink bugs are about 1/2 inch long with gray or light-brown coloring. Also called shield bugs, their wings and carapace form a distinctive shield shape. These flying insects get their name from the nasty odor they emit when startled or squashed. A defensive mechanism, the repellent odor tends to cling to skin and surfaces for quite some time despite washing. If you discover a stink bug in your home, it’s best to vacuum it up and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately.

To keep stink bugs from overwintering in your home, pest control services NJ recommend taking preventive action now. Licensed NJ pest control professionals, like ChemTec Pest Control will treat the exterior of your home to prevent stink bugs from invading and provide interior treatment when necessary.