Exclusion is the key to avoiding stink bug invasions. Sealing your house by closing doors and windows will help keep them out of your home. If there are cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, behind chimneys, or other openings, good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk will help stop stink bug entry. |
To prevent stink bugs from entering your home, block all points of entry. Physical barriers provide the most effective long-term solution.
Seasonal changes in temperature and day length cue stink bugs to find winter quarters. These insects naturally spend winter holed up outdoors, but they'll also seek shelter in structures like your home. While stink bugs don't bite, raid the pantry or munch clothing, they do have one problem: They stink. Keeping Stink Bugs Out
Try these methods – which have been used successfully by homeowners and entomologists – to keep stink bugs at bay:
Rub screens with dryer sheets – the more pungent the better. Some homeowners have found this can reduce stink bugs entering a home by up to 80 percent. Hang a damp towel over a lawn chair or deck railing overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel. Dispatch bugs in a bucket of soapy water. Squish a few stink bugs outdoors. The odor warns other stink bugs to flee.
When stink bugs appear indoors, your options vary based on how many bugs you're facing. What can you do?
Don't touch them directly or squish them. Stink bugs move slowly enough that you can catch them and deposit them outdoors in wintry climates (where they'll freeze) or flush them into oblivion. Grab them gently with a plastic bag to avoid touching them directly. Take an empty water bottle and use the lid to flick the bug into the bottle. Tighten the lid to contain the smell, and place the whole thing outdoors. In cold climates, the bug will freeze. Re-use the bottle for more bug-catching. Prepare a soapy solution for killing stink bugs. Choose a straight-sided 1/2- or 1-gallon container. Fill it one-fourth full of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent. When disturbed, stink bugs tend to drop downward. Knock them into the bucket from walls, draperies, screens, etc. Unable to escape, they will ultimately drown. Vacuum bugs, and empty the bag afterward. Don't suck stink bugs into a bagless vacuum you use in your home. After vacuuming stink bugs, the vacuum will stink. Many homeowners in the worst-afflicted regions purchase small wet/dry vacs used solely for gathering stink bugs. Immediately after gathering bugs, dump th e vacuum's contents into a larger garbage bag and seal it tightly. Open the bag to add more bugs until garbage day arrives. Another technique to try is to wrap a knee-high stocking around the outside of the vacuum tube, secure it with a rubber band, and then stuff it into the tube. Stink bugs will be trapped in the stocking and won't enter the vacuum filter. When you turn off the vacuum, careful remove the stocking, holding the end closed. Dump the captured stink bugs into a container of soapy water, as noted above, to kill the bugs. Do not apply insecticides indoors to control stink bugs. While insecticidal dust may kill bugs in wall voids, the carcasses can stink and attract other pests, such as carpet beetles, which can damage other things in your home. Applying an interior pesticide along baseboards won't kill stink bugs nor will it keep them from emerging around the baseboards.
Although stink bugs are primarily pests of crop fields, they can be found in meadows, fields, yards, or gardens and especially those with low shrubs. They are known to infest up to 70 different ornamental plants. Stink bugs are most active from spring through fall, but they usually become house invaders at the beginning of fall when temperatures start to drop.
When stink bugs get into your home they often hide in dark attic spaces. Placing an insect light trap in these spaces will attract and capture some of the bugs. It won't eliminate them totally, but anything that helps in the stink bug fight needs to be mentioned.
If your home becomes infested, be wary before sucking stink bugs into the vacuum cleaner. Squashing them or vacuuming them will usually make the smell worse. Wear gloves if you need to handle stink bugs because their unique beaks are fully capable of biting humans. Although stink bug bites are not harmful, you will feel something similar to a sharp pinprick if you are bitten. Not fun!
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