Early Tuesday afternoon I was working on the forecast on my computer on our 3-season porch. I looked up to see a stinkbug on the window next to me. Looking around the other windows, I noticed several more stinkbugs.
Yup, it’s that time of year when critters are trying to find a warm place to spend the coming winter and your home is high on the list. The stinkbugs are active on warmer, early fall days.
Stinkbugs are harmless, they don’t bite or sting. They are a brownish-gray color and hibernate during the winter. They often live for about a year and the female can have one to three sets of offspring, laying 20-30 eggs at a time.
They can emit a “stinky” smell when confronted by a predator and the smell can linger for hours.
Many of the stinkbugs around West Michigan are the brown marmorated stinkbugs. This is an invasive critter that came to the U.S. from (more than likely) China. In China, there is a parasitic wasp that keeps the population down. However, it has no general predators in the U.S.
Stinkbugs have spread to Europe, Russia and even New Zealand. There was one (abandoned?) house where they found approx. 26,000 of them. It’s a good idea to caulk any holes in windows where these critters could get in.
In our house, I wouldn’t be surprised if an incoming stinkbug would get eaten by one of my cats. I’ve seen them eat ladybugs and flies (yes, flies!).