It’s on its way! The cooler months of Fall and Winter are fast approaching, and various critters are looking for a place to shelter until Spring comes around. Amidst the spiders, mice, and other animals searching for some place warm, one of those critters is also the pesky stink bug.
Stink bugs are easy to spot with their triangular-shaped body. By nature, they’re actually quite harmless to humans, but when threatened they can release a chemical cocktail that creates that awful odor that can last up to an hour. While we may find one hitching a ride on us every now and then, it’s when things get cold that those same bugs come straight for the dark spaces of your home—such as your crawlspace.
Let’s take a dive into why stinkbugs have become such an issue for homeowners and what can be done about these little nuisances…
Stink Bugs Love Their Comfy Temperatures
Due to the changing climate and longer warm seasons, stink bug populations have both been on the rise and have ranged farther out across Tennessee and 32 other states. There are the native green and brown stink bugs as well as the invasive brown marmorated stink bugs, but they all rely on temperatures staying comfortably warm before they venture out into the fields to eat and breed.
The native green stink bugs and brown stink bugs can tolerate higher temperatures than the brown marmorated stink bug, but all three species have found places that match their favorite temperature profile. The brown marmorated stink bug, for example, will dwell more around the slightly cooler regions where they live best. Meanwhile, the native species can be found in fields during the summer as they can enjoy slightly hotter temperatures. During the warmer seasons, stink bugs are frequently blamed for damage to their crops and gardens, as they often enjoy feasting on corn, soybeans, peaches, and even flowers. But that all changes as the temperature starts to drop—the feasting ends, and soon they start looking for a place to hibernate.
When Winter Comes, All Warmth is Fair
Once winter sets in, homesteads and urban areas become a huge draw for all types of stink bugs as people’s homes become oases of warmth for them. Since homes are generally kept at around 69 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s perfect for the stink bugs. They’ll seek out shaded areas with little human traffic—which is why we tend to find them in areas such as crawlspaces, where there’s enough warmth and moisture to live and hibernate (a hibernation state known as diapause) safely. This kind of hibernation is a bit different from the kind that we often associate with certain mammals. Stink bugs, amongst other insects, may go into dormancy as early as autumn, well-preparing them before the actual winter comes.
Measures to Keep Out the Stink Bugs
Keeping stink bugs out of your home requires some preparations before the Fall season. Here are some of the steps that you should take before the cool weather sets in, as recommended by the EPA…
- Caulk the inside and outside of your windows
- Rid your home’s foundation of debris and edible vegetation that insects enjoy
- Cap or screen the top of your chimney
- Inspect your foundation for cracks to block points of entry
- Install door sweeps and weather strips for entry doors
- Seal up all crawlspace entries
Having entries into your house properly sealed is important to keep all manner of pests out. Your crawlspace entryways can provide an especially easy and dark place for those stink bugs to hide out until Spring returns. Crawlspaces are moist, dark, and humid—in the face of winter, it makes for a far more comfortable place to hibernate than outside. Fortunately, there’s a reliable way to seal your crawlspace from both stink bugs and the warm moisture that can make a crawlspace so attractive to them.
How to Keep the Stink Out of Your Crawlspace
’58 Foundations & Waterproofing specializes in crawlspace encapsulation, and has provided solutions for thousands of homeowners! From our 20-mil thick linings and our HumidiGuard™ dehumidifier to our Therma Fit crawlspace vent blocks, we can keep your crawlspace safe, dry, and sealed from both unwelcome moisture as well as those annoying stink bugs. We take pride in our quality products and honest methods, and we look forward to showing you how our long history of experience brings better results to your home! Give us a call at (866) 485-6695 and we’ll have a crawlspace specialist provide you with a free inspection and a zero-obligation price estimate!