Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall is Officially Here When the Stink Bugs Start to Appear

I've received several reports of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) being found in homes over the past couple of days. It's a sure sign that the seasons are changing and these home invaders are searching for their winter vacation spots.

It's during this time of year that we see insects hanging out on the sides of houses, garages, and window sills on sunny days, checking out places to spend the winter. While boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles first come to mind, in several areas of the state, BMSB is starting to make its presence known as well. Typically, the adults will begin to move to overwintering locations in September, with peak movement in late September and October. Homeowners may start to see BMSB begin gathering on homes, barns, and garages during this time. In the spring, adults will begin to emerge from their overwinter locations as temperatures begin to warm. 

 A great resource for homeowners is a publication from Cornell University. It's important to remember that it is geared towards homeowners in the east - in Illinois, we've yet to have a circumstance where treating the landscape outside the home has been needed to decrease the number of BMSB home invaders.


BMSB has been making headlines in Illinois for a couple of years. After the first confirmation of this invasive insect was reported in the fall of 2010 (Cook County), additional reports continued in 2011 (Kane, McLean, and Champaign counties). In late 2012, BMSB was confirmed in Jacksonville (Morgan County) and the first report has also come out of the Quad Cities area (Scott County, Iowa).

Brown marmorated stink bug confirmed in shaded counties.


Currently, the known distribution of this insect in Illinois is limited. Homeowners are our primary source of information during the fall and spring. We are very interested in where these insects may be and continue to try to determine where they are in Illinois. If you believe you have BMSB, we would be very interested in looking at it. To positively confirm any insect as BMSB, we need to look at an actual specimen. Suspect stink bugs may be sent to Kelly Estes, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign, IL 61820. Please put stink bugs in a crush-proof container (pill bottle, check box, etc). You can also send a photo to for preliminary screening if you wish.


Rustler said...

I live in Collinsville. They came to my home in pick up truck load of mulch that I bought from a Landscape supply firm in Troy, Il that has since changed hands and is now "The Market Basket"
I have a cedar sided home. The mulch was placed across the front of the house all around our "Double Knock Out Roses" The infestation occured imediately afterward. I have no way of tracing the source of the mulch at this point. Please advise how to get these bugs out from under my siding and out of my house, PLEASE.

Kelly said...

For some reason, I was not alerted to this comment being posted. Sorry for the delayed response. We have had many reports out of the Collinsville area regarding BMSB in the last few months. At this time of year, BMSB is overwintering. In the home, it is easiest to manually remove them with a vacuum or by hand, while sealing up any cracks and crevices they may have used to get into the home. You can try to deal with any BMSB in the spring as they move into the landscape using insecticides. Please feel free to contact me for further info.

Linda W said...

I also live in Collinsville and dealt with stink bugs in the house last winter. I had not seen them for several months and this week I noticed they're clinging to the screens on our enclosed back porch. I have no idea how we wound up with these nasty insects and am dreading the thought that I might end up with them inside my home again. We also have cedar siding and it's virtually impossible to seal up every crevice on a 2-story home with a walkout basement. Would spraying the lawn and mulch with insecticide help any at this point?

Kelly said...

Linda, Thank you for your comment. The cedar siding issue has come up several times in conversation over the past year concerning BMSB infestations, let me talk to me counterparts out east and see if there is some link between the two. Obviously, try as best you can to see up any cracks you can. Spraying your lawn and landscape may help reduce populations, but they are fairly mobile insects and you will probably get more than come into your yard after some time. Here are the current recommendations from Rutgers University:

Anne said...

We have had them in Rock Island for the last two years. If you don't have a confirmed specimen yet I'll save the next one I find for you.

Kelly said...

Anne, I would love have a sample from Rock Island county. While I have seen reports from the Quad Cities on the Iowa side of the river, I have not had a report from the Illinois side. My contact information can be found here.

Unknown said...

I just found the fourth one in my house in the past few months. I've never seen one before. I live in Wheaton Illinois. Have visited the Quad cities on the Iowa side And I wonder where it came from. I've lived here since 1989. First year seeing these

Margaret Mary McAndrews said...

Wheaton Illinois with family and friends in the Quad cities on the Iowa side. Lived here 20 years and have never seen one of these bugs and just got rid of the fourth one In the last few months

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