Michigan's stink bug season could be worse than last year, experts say

Stink bugs are invading homes around Metro Detroit. (WDIV)

Stink bugs are coming - again.

It's spring in Michigan and that means stink bugs are getting ready to emerge from their winter hiding spots - pretty much just to pester you.

The brown marmorated stink bug is harmless but they can be a nuisance. They are classified as an invasive species in Michigan.

Michigan State University scientists say they expect stink bug season to be even worse this year than it was last year. They also expect them to continue spreading throughout the state.

As of September 2017, it has been found in 61 Michigan counties and is well established in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula, according to MSU.

Here's more information on stink bugs:

Identification:

  • Mottled-brown, shield-shaped bug ½ to ¾ inches in length.
  • Legs and antennae are banded brown and white.
  • Alternating black and white pattern along edges of the abdomen.
  • Young bugs, or nymphs, have orange to red coloration.
  • Adults emerge in late April to early May, laying eggs from May through August.
  • Bugs seek overwintering sites, including indoor areas, beginning in September.

Residents around the state of Michigan have been finding stink bugs inside their homes. (WDIV)

Habitat:  Found on tree fruits and small fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and legumes. Bugs overwinter in warm, sheltered areas including buildings.

Native Range:  Southeast Asia

U.S. Distribution: Brown marmorated stink bug has been detected in 42 states including Michigan.

Local Concern:  The brown marmorated stink bug has been shown to affect yields in fruit, nut, legume and vegetable crops in the Eastern United States. The brown marmorated stink bug can also affect ornamental plants and be a nuisance in indoor environments where they overwinter.

Here's some tips from MSU on how to deal with them:

  • Try not to panic.
  • Look for gaps around window air conditioners or holes in window screens and block them off – these are easy access points for brown marmorated stink bugs to enter homes.
  • The easiest, non-toxic way to dispose of them is with a couple inches of soapy water in a bucket – the soap prevents them from escaping the water. Sweep them into the bucket and they will drown in the soapy water, which you can then dump outside. Or you can do the same with a Shop-Vac – add the soapy water to the canister before vacuuming them up with the Shop-Vac.
  • If you want to help MSU Extension track where BMSB are appearing in the Michigan, you can report how many you’ve seen at a given location using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN). 

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Invasive Species Alert 

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