Just when homeowners were getting used to dealing with boxelder bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles invading the house in the fall, now we have more company. The latest additions (more non-native introductions) are the brown marmorated stinkbug and the kudzu bug.
The brown marmorated stinkbug was first detected in the US in 2001, and in NC in 2009. This Asian stink bug feeds on a variety of plants in the landscape, vegetable garden and fruit trees.
Perhaps the biggest problem for homeowners is the overwintering behavior in which the bugs may collect in large numbers, seeking shelter in homes and structures, similar to the multicolored Asian lady beetle. They don’t harm people, but can give off an unpleasant odor when crushed or vacuumed. They may start collecting on the side of the house when the weather begins to cool in late September, through October.
The kudzu bug, also known as the bean plataspid, lablab bug, or globular stink bug, was reported in Georgia in 2009. By 2011 it was found in most of North Carolina. They feed on plants in the legume family, including kudzu, and are a potential pest to soybean crops. Homes near large patches of kudzu or soybean fields will be most likely to experience the home invasions in the fall.
Unfortunately, for all of these bugs, pesticides are of limited use. Outdoor pesticides, containing a pyrethroids, sprayed on a house may be somewhat helpful, but the residual effectiveness of the chemical will be short. Creating a physical barrier to their entrance into the house is the best preventative.
For more information on these new invaders see: