Good Growing

Nuisance Invaders on the Move

Kari Houle
Posted: Oct. 22, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Oct. 23, 2017 11:50 am

Last week my boyfriend and I were repainting the porch on the south side of my house. I was looking at the pillars, and saw a number of Asian multicolored lady beetles gathering toward the top. Look a little bit farther down, and I see a brown marmorated stink bug on the same pillar. It's definitely that time of year, when we start seeing insects that are looking for places to overwinter on the exterior of houses and buildings. These insects, if they do find ways indoors, are a nuisance but don't reproduce while indoors.

Asian multicolored lady beetle

Sometimes they seem to overwhelm in sheer numbers on walls or bouncing off your head as they fly through the air. These Japanese native insects, while annoying, are still beneficial. The larva are voracious eaters of a variety of bad soft-bodied insects such as aphids, and the adults will consume the same bad insects. They usually overwinter in cliffs so the next best thing is your house -- under siding or any nook or crevice they can find.

Brown marmorated stink bug

This insect is an invasive pest that can be damaging to a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and woody ornamentals. They do not bite humans or animals, just eat and damage plants. They look similar to other stink bugs and have a few distinguishing features -- little white triangles around the back of their outer shell and alternating white and black bands on their antennae. You can find out more about BMSD by visiting stopbmsb.org.

Boxelder bug

Black with orange and red markings, the bug is about a half-inch long. I remember seeing these bugs the entire time I was growing up. Adults and nymphs feed on emerging boxelder foliage in the spring, causing distortion, and they feed only on the female boxelder. They don't bite, and are harmless; they are simply annoying.

Leaf footed bugs

These brown guys look similar to squash bugs but have a wide lower hind leg. There are a few different species throughout the United States. All have similar life cycles, just different feeding preferences. They are harmless to people and pets. Like the other insects mentioned, they are looking for places to overwinter.

So how to deal with all of these pests? First, inspect your home for easy entrances -- cracks and crevices around windows, doors and foundations. Seal the open spaces to help minimize their contributing to the nuisance bug invasion of 2017. If bugs do make it inside, you can suck them up with a vacuum or promptly catch them and toss them out the door.

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