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Q&A from the Plant Clinic

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Master Gardener volunteers of Haywood County logo image

Here you will find the latest on what Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Haywood County are seeing in the Plant Clinic so that you can be on the lookout for potential problems in your lawn or garden before they start!

This Week in the Plant Clinic: Dealing with Stinkbugs

Question: What’s the best way to deal with stinkbugs?

Answer: The brown marmorated stink bug (“BMSB”) appears annually in late summer. They cause lots of damage to a wide variety of commercial crops, but don’t sting or bite or otherwise harm humans (although this writer can confirm that one suddenly dropping on your head from the living room ceiling results in language not fit for small children.) They have no natural enemies here.

Brown marmorated stinkbug adult. Photo credit: Debbie Roos

BMSB nymph. Photo credit: bugguide.net

For homeowners the BMSB is more of a nuisance pest. The best prevention is to seal doors, windows and other entry points so they can’t physically get into the house (at our place they enter mostly between 2 sliding screen doors.) Once in the house vacuuming is probably the most effective method of removal. If the smell from the vacuum becomes too much, put a swatch of pantyhose over the entry to the vacuum’s collection vessel, to collect the bugs for disposal.

Email HaywoodPlantClinic@gmail.com with a description any home gardening problem. Or call (828) 456-3575 and describe the issue to the receptionist. Either way a Haywood County Master Gardener Volunteer will get back to you within a couple of days with research-based information. ©2021 NC State University.

Written by: Jim Janke, Master Gardener Volunteer