Sara Swanson

Brown marmorated stink bugs everywhere!

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brown marmorated stink bug

Brown marmorated stink bug

Many Manchester residents have noticed over the last couple of weeks, large brown bugs in or attempting to get into their houses. While they can be startling, they are not dangerous and will not damage anything.

Brown marmorated stink bugs are starting to find their way into homes as they look for a protected place to hibernate over winter. These bugs are a nuisance pest in homes in the southern Lower Michigan area. The brown marmorated stink bug is a shield-shaped, plant-feeding bug, native to Asia, with distinctive banding on its antennae and around its abdomen.

The bugs are believed to have been accidentally introduced into the US in the late 1990s and to have been spreading and increasing in population since then. Currently they are only regarded as a nuisance species and not an agricultural pest in Michigan.

They are NOT nesting, laying eggs or feeding on anything or anyone in your house, and they will leave your house again in the spring – if they can find their way back out – to look for plants to feed on and lay their eggs outside.

To keep these bugs out of your house, look for gaps around window frames or holes in window screens and block them off. A non-toxic way to dispose of them is to put a couple inches of soapy water in a bucket – the soap prevents them from escaping the water. Sweep them into the bucket and they will drown in the soapy water, which you can then dump outside.

To learn more about brown marmorated stink bugs—what they are, why they enter houses, and what you can do about them, take a look at this article by Julianna Wilson, Michigan State University Extension, Department of Entomology here.

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