It’s the time of year when my email is flooded with reports of brown marmorated stink bugs. Yep, it’s a sure sign fall is upon us.
As the growing season winds down, the temperatures begin to cool, and the days get shorter, several insects take to hanging out on the sides of houses, garages, and window sills. While they may appear to be warming themselves in the sun, these wily little creatures are most likely scoping out a nice place to spend the winter months. The days of boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian ladybeetles are not over, but there is a new house guest in several parts of the state.
The brown marmorated stink bug has been present in Illinois for quite some time (feel free to use the search engine on the Hone, Yard, and Garden Newsletter site to read more about them), but in recent years they are becoming much more noticeable in several areas of the state and a real nuisance as well.
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. While these management strategies are applicable in Illinois, the situations requiring treatment the landscape outside the home decrease the number of BMSB home invaders has been quite small. The Unwelcome House Guest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug–A Guide for Residents, Property Managers, and Pest Management Professionals
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. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for preliminary screening if you wish.