Stink Bugs in Winter and How the Recent Polar Vortex May Affect Their Population
Freezing temperatures swept across North America, threatening the safety of humans and wildlife alike.
While humans ultimately decided to stay indoors and wait for the cold to pass, pests were hoping to come inside as well.
There are not many pests who are able to endure being outside when temperatures drop below freezing. Instead, they tend to find places with warmer shelter. Depending on your area, this could be outside among heavy foliage, but more than likely, they want to come inside.
One pest in particular that scientists believe could be heavily impacted by the harsh temperatures is the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).
Results from a 2014 study conducted by Virginia Tech during the 2014 North American Cold Wave concluded that exposing this invasive pest to negative temperatures over a period of a few days resulted in 95% mortality rate.
In light of this year’s Polar Vortex activity where, in certain states, outside temperatures dropped to nearly -70 degrees Fahrenheit with windchill, researchers are once again suggesting that we may find the stink bug population significantly decreased come spring.
However, though harsh winters may kill off some of the brown marmorated stink bugs, it is highly likely that they will still be present this year.
Stink Bugs Hibernate During Winter
Typically, stink bugs begin to appear as early spring approaches. However, their most active season is late summer as they begin to search for a place to spend the winter.
During the winter months, stink bugs will enter a state of hibernation. During this time, the pest will not breed or eat, until awakening in the spring.
While stink bugs are mostly dormant during winter, if the temperature begins to rise, it is not uncommon to see them begin to emerge from their slumber. If this occurs, it’s important to be on the lookout, as there may be more lurking in and around your home, business, and other structures.
Stink Bugs in Your Home or Business During Winter
For many, the thought of a depleted number of stinkbugs is something to rejoice about.
Homes, businesses, garages and other structures can be quite appealing to a pest, especially during extreme temperatures.
The brown marmorated stink bug is commonly found in homes and businesses during the spring and fall as it prepares for the winter months.
Stink bugs can enter your home or other structures through cracks in baseboards and siding. The pests are often found near window sills and door frames, light fixtures, and ceiling fans.
While stink bugs do not typically cause structural damage to your home, they are a nuisance and can be difficult to get rid of as they release a foul odor when killed. This makes professional pest removal for stink bugs essential.
Stink bug infestations are usually quite large. When one of these pests finds an ideal space to settle down, it secretes a chemical odor to attract other stink bugs to the structure.
While the results of this year’s Polar Vortex are still to be seen, it’s important to be proactive in taking steps to make sure your home or business is ready for the spring.
As spring has approached, we are starting to see stink bugs, Western conifer seed bugs, and lady beetles emerge in homes from overwintering.
Has the Polar Vortex effected the population? When fall approaches we should see less of a migration toward homes and businesses if the polar vortex effected these insects.
Time will tell.