As the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug's proliferation in B.C. has prompted the government to issue a pest alert, it has left people with questions beyond what the heck they even are.
Below are a few answers for people living in Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan where the largest populations of these critters have made their home.
Do they sting or bite?
Nope. They have a little needle-type thing for a mouth, which they use to eat plant matter. It’s tiny and thin and they don’t use it to sting people. You're safe.
Do they actually stink?
Yes, these insects earned their name. If you crush them or threaten them they let loose a smell that is most accurately described as a pungent odour.
Haven’t stink bugs been in BC for a long time?
They certainly have, but not this particular breed. These ones are invasive and were first detected in B.C. in 2015, and while their counterparts look similar, they're not the same.
Other types of stink bugs you'll spot in B.C. are the Rough Stink Bug and the Western Conifer Seed Bug. You can tell a Brown Marmorated Stink bug largely by white the bands on its antenna.
Why are they inside your home?
It’s getting cold out there, they hibernate in the winter, and they like to do that inside. Make sure your screens are tight and don’t leave your doors open and you can prevent them from getting into your home.
How do I get rid of them?
The government says killing them is the best option and that you should avoid using pesticides inside your home. They recommend vacuuming them up and drowning them in soapy water before disposing of them.
The province has released a pamphlet on how to get rid of them, with more tips and info.
With files from Allie Turner
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