Brown Marmorated Stink Bug explosion

Asked September 25, 2014, 5:03 PM EDT

I would like to know if anyone can help or are even interested in the amount of these critters that have been crawling all over my house and property? I also need to know what is the best way to kill them and not harm the environment or family pets?

I live in Wayne County (near the Washtenaw County border) and I think we are just as important as the counties up north to study, control or prevent the loss of our states fruit and vegetable production.

I look forward to your prompt response,
Lisa Walker

Wayne County Michigan master gardener program insects stink bugs

1 Response

Hi Lisa.

I understand your concern about stink bugs. They are a pest of concern throughout the country. Stink bugs are not known to transmit disease, so indoors they are a nuisance but otherwise harmless. Your best defense indoors, however, is to make sure they can't get in the house. Seal cracks along the exterior of your home as much as possible. They seem to prefer the south and west facing sides of the house to congregate. If they are already inside, wait until next year to work on sealing the exterior - otherwise you'll trap them inside.

There are some light traps that have shown varying degrees of success that allow you to trap, seal and discard without using pesticides. A vacuum is also effective, as long as you seal the bag after sucking them up. Stink bugs do not lay eggs inside, they typically bred and lay eggs in trees in the spring, so that should not be a concern if you happen to get them inside.

Outside, depending on the crop you are finding stink bugs on and what if any pesticide applicator certification you may have, there may or may not be pesticides available. There are likely some pyrethroid pesticides available to you, but there are concerns with the effect of this class of insecticide on beneficial species. I'm not in Michigan so I can't address the specifics of MI pesticide regulations to help you find the right option for your situation.

I suggest you contact Dr. Larry Gut at MSU (gut@msu.edu or 517-353-8648). He's in the Entomology Department and is, as I understand it, leading the efforts on stink bug research in Michigan. He can tell you more about control options and what the latest research efforts are in Michigan