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The Neighborhood

Stop Stink Bugs
By Plow & Hearth
2/21/2013 3:15:00 PM
stink bugs

Chances are good that you’ve already seen them. Stink bugs are an agricultural pest and a home-invading nuisance. The annoying, shield-shaped brown bugs hitched a ride to the US in cargo shipments from Asia in the late 90s, and now – thanks to their proclivity for procreating four times a year and the absence of natural predators – they’ve spread to 33 states.

What makes them so annoying to homeowners is their tendency to move in when it gets cold. While it’s true that they don’t bite, sting, or do damage to your home like termites will, and they don’t breed at the time of year when they’re seeking cover, most folks still balk at the idea of sharing living quarters with hundreds of prehistoric-looking insects.

Even worse, they stink.

While you can grab up the occasional ant or spider with a paper towel or napkin, crushing a stink bug in such a way releases its primary defense mechanism – a liquid toxin with an offensive smell - a powerful odor that will bring even more of these menacing insects your way. In fact, just chasing them can have the same result.

The Science of Stopping Stink Bugs

Unfortunately, getting rid of stink bugs isn’t so easy. Stepping on them is out, and exterminators report that common pesticides don’t work. So how do you get rid of these creepy critters?

The Best Defense – Prevention

The best way to get rid of stink bugs from your home is keep them from getting in, so make sure your house is properly sealed. Before the nights start to get cold in late fall, check the outside of your house carefully for cracks or holes the bugs can use to gain access. Put screens on all windows and doors that don’t already have them. For those that do, be sure they don’t have any holes. Also, don’t leave any unnecessary lights on, as stink bugs, like other flying insects, are attracted to light.

Suck Them Up

Not just for eliminating dirt and cobwebs anymore, vacuum cleaners are very effective when it comes to sucking stink bugs out of their hiding places without crushing them. A bagless vac won’t cut it, though – use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, then, once you’ve vacuumed the bugs up, immediately seal the bag and take it somewhere far away. You may crush the bugs in the bag once the bag is sealed, but be sure you don’t do it in the house! Our Stink Bug Chute is another great way to pick them up without crushing or touching them.

Soap And Water

Are stink bugs gobbling up your ornamental trees and shrubs? An effective way of removing them from your plant life is to shake leaves so the bugs fall off into a bucket of soapy water. The soapy water prevents them from flying away.

Potent Problem, Powerful Solution

Most pesticides won’t easily penetrate a stink bug’s tough exterior, but some chemicals have been proven to be helpful in controlling stink bugs. These include pyrethrum foggers, deltamethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthrium. A non-chemical alternative that has been reported to work is diatomaceous. The effectiveness of these agents may be improved through use of a “spreader sticker.” Spreader stickers improve the performance of insecticides by helping them to penetrate and stick to the insects.

If you choose this route, plan to do it during the fall, before the stink bugs start to migrate indoors. Use a sprayer to spray the surrounding area as well as the outside of your home. Spray the treatment up as high as you can outside your house and allow it to drip down for complete and thorough coverage. A well-sprayed structure will provide an invisible wall of defense that the stink bugs will not be able to penetrate. Most homes will require two to three gallons of the treatment to get good coverage, so it's up to you whether it is worth it to have added protection from stink bugs.

Call In Reinforcements

When all else fails, and there’s just too many of the critters for you to handle, it might be time to call in a professional. A certified pest controller will be able to fully protect your house from the pests by securing all the common places through which they usually enter. They may also know of techniques to better control the control stink bugs.

Our Stink Bug Trap To The RESCUE! ®

Made in the USA, the RESCUE! ® Stink Bug Trap is designed to work outdoors, capturing stink bugs before they ruin your garden or get in your home. The reusable trap comes with two, one-week supplies of a pheromone attractant that lures stink bugs in while remaining odor-free to people. Refills are available so you can maintain a stink bug-free environment all season long.

Worried the Stink Bug Trap will attract stink bugs to your yard? Don’t be – it works only to catch those stink bugs within a 20-foot radius, so only the bugs that were already in your yard and garden will be drawn in, trapping them before they damage your garden or invade your home. Nor will the Stink Bug Trap capture those bugs that are beneficial to your garden. Safe and affordable, the Stink Bug Trap is an easier answer to controlling your stink bug problem.

Rescue Products

Want to learn even more about these pests? Get The Scoop On Stink Bugs in our online guide.

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Tags: How To
Categories: Gardening


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