Insect Update: Fall Home Invading Bugs

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Ken-ichi Ueda (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Fall temperatures not only bring us indoors, but also insects that want shelter from the cold. Larry Meiller finds out about fall home invading bugs, plus an update on ticks.

Featured in this Show

  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Is One To Look Out For This Season, Entomologist Says

    The first frost of the season is usually a trigger for bugs to start invading the house for fall and winter, according to a retired University of Wisconsin-Madison entomologist.

    This critical date usually brings in Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs and the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). This insect differs from the native stink bug species in a few key characteristics.

    “It’s got some markings on the antennae, it’s got a very smooth shoulder, it’s got some markings on the abdomen,” said Phil Pellitteri, who was previous head of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab..

    A few years ago, the BMSB reached extremely high numbers on the East Coast causing agricultural damage, but since then, the population has declined. Like the Asian lady beetle, the BMSB hails from Asia. It first was sighted in Pennsylvania back in 1998 and has since spread nationwide.

    Recently, there have been sightings of the insect in Wisconsin. So far, it’s only been documented in seven or eight counties, according to Pellitteri.

    “But once this thing gets rocking and rolling, it’s just like Asian lady beetle. It comes in by the bucketsful. It’s a very unpleasant odor to it and as I said, it’s an insect we’re not looking forward to,” Pellitteri said.

    Though one or two sightings isn’t cause for concern quite yet, Pellitteri said it would be of benefit to let P.J. Liesch, the new head of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab, to know for tracking purposes.

    “If people were to get it, it’s worth, you know, sending an email to PJ just so we can kind of keep track if we’re getting records in new areas, which I suspect before the fall’s over, we will definitely have some,” Pellitteri said.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Cheyenne Lentz Producer
  • Phil Pellitteri Guest

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