Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
There are brown bugs that have been coming in my house lately that look like they have shields on their backs; what in the world are they? Jill, Ledyard
What you have is called a "Stink Bug" or
"Shield Bug". Stink Bugs, which are native to China,
Japan and Korea, first showed up in this country
in the late 1990s in the Philadelphia area and since
then have spread across the US. Adult Stink Bugs
are about 3/4" long and have a broad body that protects
them from predators, hence their other name, "Shield
Bugs". While Stink Bugs can't sting or bite, they can
produce a terrible smelling liquid from their bodies
as a defense mechanism when they are threatened.
Kristin, one of our landscape designers, had a Stink
Bug on her shirt and after she brushed it off, there was
a permanent odor that couldn't be washed out of
Stink Bugs hibernate
in the winter and look for places where they can
stay warm, which is why you often
see them, sometimes in great numbers, in your house.
They can enter your house
through small cracks and crevices, around window
air conditioners and doors. When
one Stink Bug finds a nice, warm spot it sends out
a pheromone that attracts others
to the same spot. That's why you can often see many of them.
They will not lay their
eggs inside during the winter, so if you see a lot of
them, they all crawled in!
they are becoming an agricultural pest to fruit
trees and other plants, they do not
cause any structural or even cosmetic damage to
your home. Unfortunately, there
is no good strategy to control them; insecticides
have a temporary effect. The best
approach is to seal up those cracks and keep
them out in the first place.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.