LAWRENCEVILLE— Entomologists at Cooper Pest Solutions and Rutgers University are expecting the activity level of stink bugs to be much higher than previous years and CPS entomologists are advising homeowners and businesses to treat for stink bugs before mid-September.
Recent collaborative research that Cooper Pest Solutions conducted shows that Brown Marmorated Stink Bug activity in homes can be reduced by 90 to 100 percent if specific pest management treatments and key home-preparation tips are carried out well before this pest begins to move indoors.
“The collaborative research we’ve done with Rutgers University and Dr. Hamilton has shown that stink bugs can be effectively managed if specific types of treatments are applied to the home,” said Cooper. “The key to the success is to treat for stink bugs now, before they begin entering structures in large numbers.”
The research has been so successful that Cooper Pest Solutions is offering a 90-day guarantee, something that up until very recently, many pest management firms were unable to do because treatment methods for the pest were poorly understood.
In addition to carefully timing treatments, Dr. Hamilton advises that simple home modifications and preparations can help to significantly reduce stink bug activity.
Do-It-Yourself Tips to Reduce Stink Bug Activity:
Seal the Structure- Stink bugs are an over-wintering pest and will infiltrate a home or structure in order to survive the fall and winter months. Eliminating the typical entry points for stink bugs is an important step in reduction.
Some entry points to watch out for include gaps between doors and windows as well as the space around in-wall air conditioners. Home owners with louver or ridged attic vents should install a fine mesh screen inside the vent to stop stinkbugs and other overwintering pests from entering. Gaps in roofing junctions, vents and soffits should also be carefully sealed. Finally, homes with fireplaces should be sure to keep dampeners shut and watch for stink bugs when opening.
Be Careful What You Plant- The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is becoming a concern to the agricultural sectors because they consume crops, but there are many plants found outside of homes and offices that can make a location more appealing to the pest.
Dr. Hamilton advises that stink bugs are attracted to and will feed on fruit or seed baring vegetation. The more seed and fruit baring vegetation that you have around your structure, the more attractive it becomes to stink bugs.
Carefully Time Treatments-The careful timing of treatments are the most important component to seeing 90 to 100 percent reduction in stink bug activity. Field research has shown that applying specific treatment methods during the last week of August through the mid-September is the most effective time to treat for stink bugs.
Homes treated after this time frame will still see a reduction, but the overall result may not be as effective.
What to Expect Moving Forward:
Stink bugs have emerged as a major nuisance pest for New Jersey homeowners and property managers over the past few years. According to research entomologist Mike Raupp at the University of Maryland, the level of stink bug activity will be staggering now that the insect has established a population.
“Stink bug activity is going to be huge this year. Fundamentally, these insects are going to be everywhere,” said Raupp. “I think this will be autumn of biblical proportions…in about a month to six weeks from now we are going to hear a collective wail unless something dramatic changes.”
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