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Brown marmorated stink bug season is here

If you like to keep your windows open this time of year, you might end up with some unwanted guests that don’t smell very nice. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug wants to take shelter inside your home. Dr. Tracy Leskey, a Research Entomologist at USDA-ARS, told News 2 that this invasive species is very active this time of year.

“Just to be aware that this time of year when we hit the Fall Equinox, this is when we see this overwintering dispersal begin, and what that means is this is when they start showing up on the sides of your home and starting to get in. And that activity usually peaks between the Fall Equinox, September 21, and then to about October 5 or so. Although we’ll still see some dribs and drabs until mid to late October or so depending on the weather.”

As the colder weather starts to set in, the Marmorated Stink Bug is looking for a warm winter home, and your house is a fantastic target. News 2 also reached out to Michael Barry, a UT-TSU Extension Agent, for more information on how this pest impacts Tennessee.

These bugs are becoming an issue for Tennessee farmers, especially as they move west. They were first reported in Knox County in 2008, and the first sighting in Davidson County was in 2012. They are not picky eaters and will feed on a variety of crops.

But are they dangerous?

According to Barry, “No, they are not. They actually don’t bite. They don’t have mouth biting-type parts. They have a straw-like part to their mouth where they will attack fruits and vegetable types of things, but they cannot bite humans or pets.”

While they are not dangerous, you probably don’t want them in your home, the good news is they are easy to deal with. The easiest way to prevent an infestation is to seal off any cracks or openings where they can enter into your home.