Stinkbugs are a type of overwintering pest that are particularly found in the Mid-Atlantic region. They mostly visit this region to feed on different crops. When they enter homes during winter, it is because they want to survive the cold temperature outside. These bugs are considered pests because of how they congregate by the hundreds, and the odor they emit when crushed or disturbed.
This winter, hundreds of stink bugs will be staying on porches if they are left untreated. But, how can these stink bugs survive the cold temperatures especially now that we are experiencing a long winter?
Depending on their location, stink bugs are now suffering from a typical level to a high increase of mortality rate. However, the demise of these bugs cannot be entirely blamed on the cold weather. Scientists are still learning about the causes of how these bugs survive the winter. Nutrition, which includes their fat storage and other resources, play an important role in their overwintering. However, when temperatures are extremely cold and these bugs are exposed to the snow for a long period of time, they may eventually die.
For the brown marmorated stink bugs to survive, they need to overwinter as adults in tight, dry and cold-protected places. Your home may provide such protection and in some cases, you may not even know that these bugs have already found harborage in a secluded area of your home.
Before the winter arrives, stink bugs will be busy feeding on different crops to build and store up fat. Although these bugs still require some nutrition during winter, their needs are minimal and do not require daily, or even weekly nutrition to keep them alive. Their metabolism will slow drastically and in some cases, especially when they are in unfavorable conditions, these bugs will shutdown in a process called diapause, which is similar to hibernation.
During their diapause, these bugs will feed very little or not at all. Their life and their survival will depend on their energy reserves that are stored away before they enter their dormancy. In order for these bugs to enter diapause, they will need to have stored nutrients, with the help of a good metabolism, to make it through winter. Their ability to store up fats can also affect their metabolism when they re-emerge after winter. If these bugs wake up during winter, their health and even their survival could be affected. Although researchers acknowledge that the study of stink bug diapause are poorly understood, they can still conclude that diapause include different chemical signals.
Those stink bugs that are seen moving around homes before spring are considered weakest since they run out of their fat stores. Those who are able to finish the winter and do not come out until spring are the ones with more stored resources. They are also expected to create the next generation of stink bugs, thus continuing their life cycle.
Are stink bugs invading your property? If you have a current stink bug infestation, call Horizon Pest Control. To schedule a FREE inspection, visit our New Jersey Stink Bugs page.