Last winter, a number of Quebecers noticed a new insect hiding in their homes. It was the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), an insect in the shape of a small brown shield with banded edges that’s raising a lot of questions! A native ofAsia, this exotic species is known to establish itself in urban areas and then spread to other habitats.
It invites itself into homes…
Much like the Asian lady beetle, the brown marmorated stink bug uses human dwellings to protect itself from the cold during the winter. Harmless to both humans and animals, this bug cannot reproduce inside our homes. But its presence is a nuisance, because when disturbed the insect may secrete a distinctly disagreeable odor.
…and threatens plants
If the Asian lady beetle is an efficient predator in our crops, the brown marmorated stink bug in contrast is considered to be an important pest: it attacks a wide variety of fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops. What it does is pierce plant tissue to remove the sap, thereby producing necrotic areas on the fruit, the buds, the leaves and the stem. In Québec it is not yet established in rural regions.
What do we do?
If the insect was found inside your home, you can destroy it. Next fall, to keep these insects from introducing themselves into your home, it’s advisable to seal all openings that the insect might use as an entranceway.