Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs on the Move into Homes and Buildings

A brown marmorated stink bug caught in spider web

The brown marmorated stink bug continued its presence in Ohio field crops this year.  Although the incidence and damage has been less than in previous years, we have found brown marmorated stink bugs in soybean which suggest that the bug is here to stay. At this point, though, they are looking for warmer places to spend the winter.  Unfortunately, this means our homes.  The “marmies” prefer to spend the winter in homes or buildings, where they tend to be insulated from the cold temperatures.  They overwinter as adults, and then emerge the following spring, disperse to other tree hosts, and lay eggs.  Unfortunately, the marmies also overwinter in large numbers, which sometimes causes concerns from homeowners.  The marmies are not harmful to people nor cause any damage to buildings, but many people do not like their presence and odor (especially when handled).  A simple way to remove the stink bugs is to just collect them in a plastic bag or jar and put them in the freezer for a day or so to kill them.  You can also vacuum them and toss them outside (do this quickly otherwise they may crawl out of the vacuum if not immediately killed).  Another method is to use natural control in the home (see picture). We do not recommend insecticides in the home, mainly because more will continue coming in, and their presence alone would not justify an application.  Like their name says, they do stink and can also leave a stain on skin or fabric, so be careful when handling.  As this insect expands its distribution, OSU Extension is tracking its movement.  If you see brown marmorated stink bug in your home (or anywhere), you can report it athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bmsb

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About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.