Stink Bugs Invade Homes for Winter Terminix reports critters on the rise along east coast, Midwest

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ghouls and goblins might not be the only invaders you need to avoid this Halloween. Terminix®, the world's largest pest control provider, says homeowners should prepare for the fright of the stinky squatter. That's right, Asian stink bugs are making their way into homes to hibernate for the winter.

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Also known as the brown marmorated stink bug, the pest can slip into a home through window air-conditioners, small holes around gas lines and cable television lines, behind chimneys or any other tiny crack or crevice. To homeowners' dismay, these smelly critters can be found hanging on curtains, lampshades, screens and clothing.

"Once inside walls, stink bugs may be difficult, if not impossible, to totally eliminate," said Stoy Hedges, senior technical professional with Terminix. "Homeowners with stink bugs need to know that they should enlist a professional pest control company, like Terminix, for removal."

The stink bug is so-named due to the offensive odor it emits when threatened or killed. The flat, shield-shaped grey bugs let out a stench some say smells like crushed cilantro, ammonia and skunk. And besides the pure nuisance of this pest, the stink bug can pose severe agricultural damage to crops.

First discovered in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in the 1990s, favorable conditions this year have caused stink bugs to flourish, especially along the east coast and into the Midwest. Parts of the country are reporting a 60 percent increase in the bugs, according to National Geographic.

Since stink bugs can be difficult to control, a targeted treatment can be provided through a professional pest control company like Terminix.

Additionally, Terminix offers the following tips for limiting stink bug infestations this season:

  • Prevention is the best strategy by sealing cracks and holes on the home's exterior with silicone or caulk.
  • Check for damaged window or door screens, torn weather-stripping and loose mortar. Equip vents with tight-fitting insect screens.
  • Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. During the evenings, turn off porch lights and pull down window blinds to prevent light from spilling outside.

About Terminix
Terminix is the world's largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services approximately 3 million residential and commercial customers in 47 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. Terminix is a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company, one of the world's largest residential service networks. The company's brands include Terminix®, TruGreen®, American Home Shield®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic® and AmeriSpec®. To learn more about Terminix, visit www.Terminix.com.

About ServiceMaster
With a global network of more than 7,300 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster® is one of the world's largest residential service networks. The company's high-profile brands are Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 20,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster Family of Brands® provided services and products to approximately 8 million customers during the last 12 months. The company's market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; lawn, tree and shrub care; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

SOURCE Terminix



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