By now, most of us are familiar with the brown marmorated stink bug, the new invasive stink bug that feeds on soybean, corn, fruits and vegetables. As the cool weather returns over the next few weeks, we will see BMSB come into homes—and infestations can be large. They will spend the winter as adults in homes, emerging once temperatures warm in the spring.
Apart from making a smell when they are disturbed, BMSB are not harmful to people. Nor do they cause any damage to buildings, though seeing them in the house is sometimes bothersome. A simple way to remove the stink bugs is to collect them in a plastic bag or jar and put them in the freezer for a day or so to kill them. Use a tissue or a plastic glove as they can leave a stain on skin or fabric when handling. Another method to pick up individual stink bugs is to use the sticky side of a piece of packing or duct tape, which can then be stashed in a bag for freezing. You can also vacuum them and toss them outside (do this quickly otherwise they may crawl out of the vacuum if not immediately killed, and they can stink up your vacuum). We do not recommend insecticides in the home, mainly because more will continue to come in, and they do not cause any damage. A good way to limit home invasions is to seal windows, doors and cracks.