If you've started seeing these things pop up around your home recently, you're not alone. It's the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and, though they're not dangerous, they're a stinky nuisance. And fall is the time we notice them the most.

The Brown Marmorated (which means marbled) Stink Bug (BMSB) feasts on everything from apples to tomatoes to corn. Now that those fruits and vegetables are collected, they're starting to show up in places like our homes. Nope, you guys aren't welcome here, especially since you stink!

The BMSB was first discovered in Iowa in Cedar Rapids (lucky us) in 2011. It's now been confirmed in 31 Iowa counties. Any of you in the counties in white seen them? I bet you have.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

So what do we do about these stinky creatures? Here are eight tips to keep them out of your home:

  • Replace and repair torn screens
  • Turn off outdoor lights or keep them to a minimum
  • Seal off entry points
  • Ventilate to keep interior moisture down
  • Store food in airtight containers and keep counters and floors clean
  • Keep the outside of your home dry
  • Check yourself and your stuff before you go inside to make sure they're not traveling with you or on you
  • Keep firewood a minimum of 20 feet from your home and at least five inches off the ground

Don't squish the BMSB unless you want to deal with the stench. I tend to agree with the description of a "pungent odor that smells like coriander." And if you see any tiny wasps known as Samurai Wasps, welcome them with open arms. Here's how they help control the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug:

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