What you need to know before fall
Close your windows and lock your doors, bedbugs are coming.
The marbled bug is an invasive species that was first found in Michigan in 2010 and has terrorized the population ever since.
Although parasites are technically harmless to humans, aside from the nasty stench they give off when threatened, they still find a way to sneak into our homes.
However, since bedbugs are an invasive species, they have a negative impact on the ecosystem.
“Not only is (the brown marbled bug) a home invader in the fall, but as they’ve discovered in the east, it can be quite devastating to plants, too,” said Howard Russell, entomologist at Michigan. State University.
Here’s everything you need to know about smelly bugs and how to deal with them:
Ruining the crops
Bedbugs damage fruit so much that it is often considered unmarketable.
“They have a pretty dramatic effect on peaches,” Russell said. “Bedbugs have a needle-like mouth part that they use to suck on plants and therefore the bedbugs feed on the fruit and wherever they stick their little stiletto into the fruit there is a general collapse of the tissue around it. from that feed point. ”
In addition to fruit trees, Russell said the bug would feed on things like sweet corn, tomatoes and soybeans.
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Physical damage to products can look like pits and scars or a mealy texture, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
And the EPA has said that there are very few effective pesticides to use against them, so there isn’t much that farmers can do.
Invasion of houses
Brown mottled bugs tend to enter homes by whatever means necessary once the temperature begins to drop.
“Their numbers will continue to move to the wintering sites as it gets cooler in the fall,” Russell said. “I wouldn’t expect them to start gathering until a few cold nights. And then we the people will start to see them outside their homes. And from there, of course, they sort of explore the cracks and crevices. And if the house isn’t tight, you know, like around windows or doors, and other stopping points, then they can find their way.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an adult brown mottled bug is about the size of a dime. It is “shield shaped” with a marbled brown exterior.
Russell recommends making sure you seal all possible entrances to the house and use insecticide on all entry points when you start to see them congregating outside the house.
He said he had seen photos of hundreds if not thousands of “swept and shoveled” stink bugs in parts of southwest Michigan.
Once they’re inside, there’s not much you can do except kill them, he said.
“The problem is, once they get into the walls and are in the attics, they slowly find their way into the living space,” Russell said.
Tips and tricks to avoid the invasion
According to the EPA, there are a few steps you can take to protect your home.
- Caulk windows inside and out.
- Cut off weathering on entry doors and / or install door brushes if daylight is visible around the perimeter of the door.
- Remove all debris and edible vegetation from your home’s foundation to avoid attracting pests.
- Inspect and seal foundation cracks to block a potential entry point.
- Secure entrances to the crawl space.
- When insulating exposed plumbing pipes around your home’s foundation or crawl space, caulk small spaces and fill larger ones with steel wool.
- If your home has a fireplace, cover or shield the top of the chimney to keep pests out.
- Contact a pest control professional to treat surrounding vegetation near your home’s foundation, which may harbor large populations of stinkbugs, with products approved for residential outdoor use.
Russell said that while the smell they give off when threatened is disgusting, it’s best to kill them once they’ve entered your home.
“I think people would rather deal with a little bug smell than a lot of bugs crawling through their living space.”
Contact Emma Stein: [email protected]