Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Big, Brown Bugs Invade Homes

brown marmorated stink bug
During the last few weeks I've gotten numerous questions through my 'Bugs site and through AllExperts about "large, brown bugs" in homes. Several people have sent images like the one to the left. They describe the bug as about 3/4" long, brown in color, and they sometimes mention the white or brown alternating marks around the back-end (see photo).

The questions are almost always - what is it, is it dangerous, and how do I get rid of it?

This big, brown bug in this case is the brown marmorated stink bug, a relatively new nuisance pest in parts of the US. It is an introduced pest (not native to the US) and is rapidly spreading to new parts of the country. My guess is that in a relatively short time most areas of the country will be home to this new insect.

The bugs are completely harmless but have the annoying habit of congregating on and entering homes in the fall. Their objective is to find a warm place to spend the winter and will leave in the spring to resume their normal life cycle. However, during their winter vacation they can be an unwanted house guest - to say the least!

For more information about identifying the brown marmorated stink bug and protecting homes (including insecticide treatments) from this new invader, see this article at our 'Bugs site. We also have articles about the closely related boxelder bugs.