Stink Bugs and Slime Mold Q&A- Seth Nagy

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Summer is now officially behind us and fall is here. The National Weather Service’s long-term prediction is a warmer and drier fall and winter than normal. We will have to wait to see if this is true. Either way, we really can’t do anything about the weather and the problems it may cause. However, there some things we can influence. Below are answers and action steps you can take if you also have these problems.
Question: What can I do about stink bugs? They were in my house last fall.

Answer: When I think of fall, I think of the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and its desire to spend the winter in our houses. We receive many calls about stink bugs each fall since they arrived in 2012.

Shorter days and cool temperatures are signaling the brown marmorated stink bugs to look for overwintering sites. Right now, these creatures are spread out in the environment. They are in soybean fields, corn fields, gardens, meadows, and landscapes. These stink bugs have stopped reproducing and are looking for a place to survive the winter. The bad news is they prefer to utilize man-made structures (such as your house) to get through the winter.
The best way to stop these bugs from coming into your home is to seal up all cracks and crevices that would allow these bugs entry into your house. Use caulk and weather stripping to keep the BMSB out. This will help with your energy bill, too. Exclusion is the first step.

If there is a need to apply an insecticide, do it on the outside of your house before the BMSB enter your home. Once they are in your house, insecticides are not an effective option. Select a product with active ingredient “bifenthrin”. Before making an application, wait until BMSB arrive at your home. Insecticides will be effective for a few days at controlling BMSB. Wait until you see them on your home before making an application.

To learn more about this pest, visit (http://www.stopbmsb.org)

Question: This is at the base of French Marigolds in the rose bed. What is it?

Answer: This is a slime mold called “dog vomit”. Really, one of the slime molds has this as its common name. It typically dries up in a few days with warm weather. This does not harm the plant. The organism is really feeding on the wood mulch. slime-moldIf you don’t like the look of it, try turning the mulch over with a pitch fork.

If you have agricultural questions, please contact the Caldwell Extension Center at 828-757-1290 or visit us anytime at (//caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu). We are here to help.