The brown marmorated stink bug isn’t the only pest that will invade York County homes this fall and winter.
The boxelder bug — named after the boxelder maple tree on which it feeds — typically likes cold weather and will likely emerge later than the stink bug, said Dominion Pest Control owner Greg Pettis.
“They live on the seeds that we endearingly call ‘helicopters’ because of the way they twirl when falling from the tree,” Pettis said via Facebook message. “I have seen (boxelder bugs) live on silver maple tree seeds also.”
Andrew McElroy remembers getting calls from homeowners about stink bugs and then finding thousands of the tiny critters hiding under house siding or in various cracks or crevices.
“We’d move the siding, and you couldn’t see the brick underneath because it was covered in stink bugs,” he said.
But so far this fall, McElroy, owner of Best Pest Control of Reading, said the shield-shaped bugs with pointy antennae are leaving homeowners alone.
“I don’t think they’re as prevalent as they had been maybe two years ago,” McElroy said. “The jury’s still out. But I can’t recall a situation where I’m seeing a thousand stink bugs like I did a few years ago.”
Everybody’s favorite imported bug does not like the extreme heat anymore than humans do. This explains why we haven’t seen many of them lately. But do not get too excited because they are laying eggs and getting ready for the next wave to hatch. The wet spring (doesn’t that seem like eons ago) produced a bumper crop of stink bugs.
Good news is being reported from fruit growers who were given permission to use a very lethal pesticide to combat the voracious bugs. The insecticide appears to be helping but it must be sprayed directly on the stink bug, which means the process is more labor intensive.
It is recommended that cracks around windows and doors be sealed up now. As the weather turns colder the stink bugs will be looking for a warm refuge. Do not let that be your home!