The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is a seasonal hitchhiker pest exotic to Australia and New Zealand.
From September through to April each year, they pose a serious biosecurity threat to these countries, and measures must be taken to prevent them from entering via cargo.
While BMSBs are not an immediate threat to human health or properties, they can cause significant damage if they aren’t promptly dealt with.
Here, we discuss the extent of harm stink bugs can cause, what damage looks like, and why they are an invasive species.
Do stink bugs damage homes?
Stink bugs are not known for impacting the structure of properties, but they can be an unwelcome house guest.
They aren’t thought to reproduce in homes, and will not bite humans or pets, but their pungent odour is the biggest issue when they move indoors.
The glands between the legs of stink bugs emit an odour that is often likened to that of a skunk when they are threatened, smashed, or handled.
The smell can easily move throughout a property, particularly if they die inside light fixtures or pipes, filling rooms with an awful stink.
What damage do stink bugs cause?
BMSBs are notorious agriculture pests that affect many countries around the globe when accidentally imported in cargo and shipping containers.
They can cause significant damage to fruit crops such as peaches, apples, and pears, with the financial hit being in the millions.
However, the BMSB is more than just a fruit pest, with fields of corn and soybeans also being laid to waste by this growing nuisance.
These pests only take 35 days to grow from an egg into an adult and, once developed, can lay more than 200 eggs in their lifetime – outpacing their natural predators.
They can grow, move and breed at an alarming rate and even community gardeners, organic growers, and homeowners find their vegetation attacked.
What does stink bug damage look like?
It is often clear to see if a stink bug has damaged plants, fruits and vegetables because there will be pinpricks surrounded by a yellow or green colour that shows where they have plunged their beaks in.
When attacking corn, you will often find holes created to remove the content of developing kernels, which often become so damaged that the ear of corn will fail to fill out.
Other softer fruits and vegetables that stink bugs have damaged will have poked holes in the skin where the tissue and juices have been drained.
They will be left looking puckered, speckled, slightly disfigured and unfit for consumption.
Why are stink bugs invasive?
BMSBs are considered an invasive pest species primarily because of their feeding damage to a wide range of fruit, crops and ornamental plant life in countries they are not native to.
They are also a nuisance to homeowners because they can migrate into homes and cause pungent smells to linger.
Offshore Oil and Gas and Marine Industry Pest Infestations
Urban Hawks is an approved and registered Offshore Treatment Provider, providing pest control services to the offshore oil and gas and marine industries.
With more than a quarter of a century of experience, our highly qualified team is able to eliminate pest species while working with clients to develop robust pest prevention and deterrent systems.
We use the latest techniques and pest management solutions to support marine vessels and offshore installations.
This can include drill rigs, accommodations platforms, and supporting logistics, which can be threatened by a range of pest issues such as fleas, flies, cockroaches, seagulls and other species.
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Urban Hawks is proud to offer a range of fumigations services, including BMSB Fumigation throughout the UK.
It is common practice for exporting countries to have goods fumigated, and our team can treat goods in containers or under sheets across the country with a 12-24 hour turnaround.