For those of you who keep gardens you may want to be on the lookout for certain garden pests in your home this winter. Obviously garden pests do not have to travel far in order to make it into people’s homes. This why many of you will most likely be hosting them at your homes this winter. Even if you do not keep up a garden during the summer, there are certain insect pests that will likely succeed at invading your living space. In order to secure a warm shelter during the winter months, some insects will have advantages over others during the fall race into our homes. Some of these insect pests are native while others are invasive. When it comes to a few of these common home-invaders, you may want to think twice before stepping on them, as a few can emit foul odors. This winter you can expect to find Asian lady beetles, stink bugs and a newcomer to the North American continent, kudzu bugs within your homes. These bugs are only a few among the most notable of insect pests that are frequently found in homes during the winter months.
Finding lady beetles (or lady bugs) within a garden is common. Luckily for gardeners, these common garden-dwellers do not typically harm garden plants and they consume insects that do harm plants, such as aphids. Lady beetles are great at locating and accessing minute hidden entrances into our homes, like small cracks. These bugs rarely bite, but they can emit a noxious yellow chemical if they become threatened. Even quickly stepping on them will not prevent the secretion of this chemical, which can also stain carpets and walls.
There are several species of stink bugs that tomato growers may have become familiar with, as these bugs are common garden pests. Stink bugs are referred to as “sucking insects” because they have mouthparts that pierce their food and then suck out the contents. Many of these bugs can cause painful bites, and of course they smell. Kudzu bugs are invasive pests that feed on soybean crops. However, these rapidly expanding insects are also known to feed on as many as one hundred different plants that are common to both home gardens and crops. These insect pests are attracted to white surfaces, like garage doors. Stepping on kudzu bugs can cause them to secrete an orange fluid that smells awful and never fails to leave a noticeable orange stain. Pest control professionals and entomologists strongly recommend against squishing kudzu bugs, which are only as large as a pencil eraser. These bugs also reproduce rapidly, resulting in infestations. Pest control professionals should be notified if you find these tiny monsters on your property.
Have you yourself encountered a kudzu bug in the US since they invaded from China around a decade ago?