What Are Those Smelly, Shield-Shaped Insects?

What brown marmorated stink bugs look like in Southern Idaho & Northern Utah - RentokilIf you’ve been noticing a gradual increase in the amount of little, brown, shield-shaped bugs around your home in Northern Utah or Southern Idaho over the past few years, you are not alone. You might even recognize them to be stink bugs, but you might not know why this particular kind just can’t seem to stop multiplying. To learn more about these pests, read on for information compiled by the technicians at Rentokil!

What Is A Stink Bug?

There are plenty of stink bug species that are native to the United States, but over the last three decades, brown marmorated stink bugs have been spreading like wildfire across the country. They were brought here accidentally by Eastern Asian cargo ships in the 1990s. Since first documented in Pennsylvania, these pests have spread to cover much of North America and are now projected to inhabit the entire continent soon. Brown marmorated stink bugs have virtually no natural predators here, allowing them to spread without much struggle.

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be differentiated from other stink bugs by their black, white, and brown markings that make stripes and patterns on their backs and antennae. They have a unique shield-shaped body and usually don’t reach any longer than ⅝”.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Stink bugs aren’t dangerous to humans directly. They will only bite on severe occasions and these bites aren’t venomous or very painful. Their main defense mechanism is right in the name—when threatened, stink bugs secrete a foul odor from their scent glands. This can be triggered by trapping them, touching them, or getting too close for too long.

Brown marmorated stink bugs have been a menace to the U.S. agricultural industry, though. They extract nutrients from farmers’ crops en masse, ruining yields. If you are just a regular homeowner, they might be infesting your home for your garden, plants, or even produce.

Stink Bug Pest Control in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho

It’s a lot easier to keep stink bugs out in the first place than to control an entire infestation on your own. To prevent them, you can use screens on your vents, windows, and doors, seal any cracks in your plumbing fixtures, and fill any cracks in your foundation or roofing. If you have stink bugs in the house already, the best way to get rid of them is with a vacuum cleaner.

The problem with brown marmorated stink bugs is that they just keep coming. If you need extra help with stink bug pest control in Northern UT, reach out to your local exterminators. With Rentokil, you can feel secure leaving service to the experts who know exactly how to stop this novel pest. For a free quote, contact us today!

Rodents—Fall’s Biggest Lawn Pests

A gopher seen in Northern Utah - Rentokil There are many signs of potential rodent activity that you might find in your yard: little dirt mounds starting to cluster on your lawn, holes popping up in the dirt in your yard, or unforeseen plant decay in your garden. All of these might mean that you’re currently hosting rodents, but how do you know which ones you’re dealing with? Moles, voles, and gophers are all common fall rodents in Northern Utah, and their burrowing can negate all of the hard work that you put in to keep your yard looking beautiful. To learn more about them and how to keep them away, read on for advice from the rodent experts at Rentokil!

What Are the Differences Between Moles, Voles, and Gophers?

All three of these animals are rodents that burrow in moist, cool soil looking for shelter and resources. They are all the most active in spring and fall when the right amount of rainfall creates optimal burrowing and feeding conditions. However, these rodents have a few features that set them apart. Besides their appearance (which can be hard to assess given that they spend most of their time underground), they are best told apart by their diets:

  • Gophers like to eat plant roots and bulbs. They will usually live under your lawn.
  • Voles are also herbivores but are much less picky. They are known to eat seeds, bulbs, tubers, grass, rhizomes, and even bark. This means that they are more likely to be seen at the surface.
  • Moles are carnivores, eating worms, grubs, and various regional insect species.

How to Do Your Own Rodent Control

After learning a bit more about these pests, you’re probably starting to think about the activity you’ve seen in your yard and which kind of rodent might be causing the disruption. Due to their limited above-ground activity, it can be hard to tell how you can take efforts to get them under control. One popular preventative approach is to plant thyme, sage, daffodils, or other plants with strong fragrances to ward them off and distract them from finding a food source.

If you’re already experiencing an infestation, though, you should choose a more active approach:

  1. Mix four tablespoons of a combination of castor oil and dish soap into a gallon of water, then pour the mixture into any burrowed holes in your lawn.
  2. Use gopher mesh or chicken wire to construct fences inside any holes.
  3. Set traps using carrots, apples, or peanut butter to lure them in.

Although these work for some people, we can’t guarantee that they’ll take care of your rodent problem.

Rodent Control Starts in Fall

As autumn starts to set in, rodents of all kinds in Northern Utah will be looking for an area providing shelter and resources that will last them until spring. If you want to get a head start on rodent prevention before winter comes, reach out to the rodent control experts at Rentokil. We have been helping residents in our area prepare to keep moles, voles, gophers, and more out of their homes for years, and can teach you how to stay on guard on your own. Contact us today for a free quote!