Many residents of Southern Utah are being bugged by bugs. If you’ve noticed clusters of bugs in and around your home lately, you aren’t alone. With this green stink bug infestation, false chinch bugs, and other pests have been booming lately.
Infestation: What’s causing it
Experts say the invasion of insects is attributable to a combination of factors, including a wetter than average spring.
“We’ve got a couple of things going on. One is the really wet winter and spring that we had,” Bill Heyborne, an associate biology professor at Southern Utah University who teaches entomology classes, told St. George News. “And then, we had kind of a slow summer warm-up, and so a lot of things just stayed dormant, eggs underground, that kind of thing, and then it warmed up really quickly. I think the combination of the two has led to a lot of the outbreaks that we’re seeing.”
Several different types of insects have been reported throughout the region in large numbers lately, including grasshoppers, gnats, false chinch bugs, and green stink bugs. Outside of Southern Utah, large swarms of “Mormon crickets,” a type of katydid, were recently reported in Idaho.
“Insects are so tied to environmental conditions, temperature, moisture, food availability, all of those things,” Heyborne noted. “Sometimes, the stars just align and conditions end up being just perfect for a particular species of insect. And so you’ll get a very large outbreak one year and then you won’t see them for a decade. There may be a few here and there, but nothing much. And then the stars will align again you’ll see them again.”
What you can do
As for what people can do about the various bugs, Heyborne said viable options tend to be limited.
“If insects are in people’s homes and causing problems, they really ought to call a professional exterminator and deal with that,” he said. “Outdoors, there’s not a whole lot we can do. I mean, people could use insecticides, but often insecticides come with their own risks and their own side effects. So my recommendation for people is if they’re outside, no, I’m sorry. You’re going to have to just deal with it.
“If it’s gnats, you’re going to have to wear some insect repellent and cover up. If it’s grasshoppers and they’re eating your garden, you might need to spray. But if they’re just, you know, on the side of your house or whatever, maybe just leave them be. If they’re getting inside, you better call an exterminator.”
The green stink bugs are just one of several pests that our team has been dealing with.
The false chinch bugs have been pretty bad around town this year, too. There were really bad infestations in the spring, and then they popped back up again about this last week when the green stink bugs swarmed. We’ve also had lots of customers dealing with grasshoppers and then the gnats.
Once the weather dries out more, these pests will disappear, so it may be best to just wait it out through the natural cycle. However, if you are having serious issues give us a call and we can get your residence sprayed.
False chinch bugs
False chinch bugs are in the St.George area — but they aren’t usually noticeable.
Mid-springtime is peak season for them. And they’re especially noticeable after rainy winters/early springs, thanks to increased plant growth.
And when we have a wet and cool winter/spring, false chinch bugs come out in clusters, making them much easier to spot.
Formally known as Nysius Raphanus, these false chinch bugs are small, slender grayish-brown insects between 1/8 inch and 1/6 inch long. They may aggregate in large numbers on or in buildings, especially if nearby host plants are harvested or managed with herbicide.
Unfortunately, once false chinch bugs have made an appearance in your home, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to get rid of them.
Since false chinch bugs feed on weeds, experts say it’s important to pull weeds in early spring — before the bugs arrive. If you clear out your weeds after false chinch bugs are already there, it might be too late.
Make sure all windows and doors are free of gaps or holes.
The good news is they aren’t around for long! When temperatures outside increase and conditions become drier, like the other pests, false chinch bugs migrate or die off.
Las Vegas area is seeing pests too
Hordes of flying grasshoppers have also been reported in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Pahrump and other parts of Southern Nevada. Many have also been seen in the St. George area.
Heyborne said evidence suggests that insect proliferation events are becoming more commonplace throughout the globe.
“Truth be told, if you talk to other entomologists around the world, they’re seeing more and more of these sorts of outbreaks,” he said. “And so, there is some conversation about, is this related to climate change or not? We don’t really know the answer to that. But I guess time will tell.”
** Article courtesy of Jeff Richards, Saint George News
Green Stink Bug Infestation
At Bug Blasters Pest Control, we have gotten several calls for the green stink bugs the last few days.
The Green stink bug and little black false chinch bugs are all over right now. Our best advice is to keep the lights off in the evening and through the night. That will help keep them down and won’t attract them to your home. Usually, this type of infestation doesn’t last very long.
The hard part is that they can fly, so unless they land where the pest control product was sprayed they won’t die from it. If you’re having issues and want your window sills, doors and stucco sprayed we would be happy to help.
The downside of these infestations, especially where they can fly, is that there’s not much you can do about them. Spraying will definitely help alleviate the problem and kill several of them, but if your lights are on throughout the night they will keep on coming.
We’ve sprayed pesticide for several facilities through this infestation, which has left a lot of them dead, but it won’t completely fix the problem.
As mentioned before, our biggest recommendation to residents is to turn off your lights at night and make sure all exterior windows and doors are sealed with weather stripping.