What Attracts Stink Bugs?

They say that an announce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So if you want to prevent stink bugs from invading your home, then you need to know what attracts stink bugs, and figure out how to mitigate the risk of an infestation by preparing your environment accordingly.  In doing so, you will be able to play the game and stay one step ahead of them, and take the necessary preemptive measures in order to exterminate those bugs that have already found their way into your home as well as keeping additional bugs from coming in.

So having said that, what attracts stink bugs? Here is a list of the most common things:

1. Fruit

Stink bugs are one hundred percent pure vegetarians. They feed on fruits and vegetables exclusively. If you leave a bowl of fresh fruit out on the kitchen table in your home, you can be sure that sooner or later, if there are any stink bugs dwelling within the four walls of your home, they will eventually make their way to your fruit bowl and begin to help themselves and feast upon it.

Or if you have a garden where you are growing fresh produce, in the back yard of your home, you can be sure to find stink bugs there, if there are any to be found.

The same applies, obviously, to a farm. If you are growing fruits or vegetables on your farm, you have to be vigilant against the potential looming threat of stink bugs descending upon your crops and eating them, thereby resulting in the loss of resalable food.

2. Light

Like many other species of insects, stink bugs are attracted to sources of light. That is why you will very often find stink bugs that are already inside your home flocking toward your windows during the day time. They want to get out into the sunlight.

Likewise, that is why you will find many stink bugs from outside perched on your window screens at night. That is because they are trying to get inside your house, where they see that the lights are on within your home.

3. Heat

In addition to light, stink bugs are also attracted to sources of heat. (So the two often go hand in hand – light and heat.) This, in fact, is the primary reason why stink bugs are trying to invade our interior spaces – our homes and our offices and other indoor buildings and places, in the first place:

They are instinctively seeking out warmth. You may have noticed that stink bugs are most prevalent during the onset of the autumn months. That is because as the temperature begins to cool, they start making preparations for the winter by seeking out a warm place to take refuge in. And once they are able to detect that our homes are sources of heat, they will do whatever it takes to get inside.

And many of us know doubt can attest to the fact that these little buggers are extremely persistent when it comes to trying to get into our homes. They will do whatever it takes. They will find any crack or any gap in our windows, doors, foundations, outside air vents, chimneys, or what have you, until they are able to somehow get inside.

4. Aggregation Pheromones

If you have ever seen stink bugs in clusters, that is because they are social insects by nature. They emanate what is known as an aggregation pheromone, in an effort to alert other bugs of the same species of their presence, and thereby invite or attract them towards themselves. When others detect this pheromone, they will instinctively flock toward it, honing in on the source of the scent, until they meet the rest of their kind. Hence, the term aggregation.

This pheromone is not to be confused with the pungent odor that they emanate as a means of self-defense when they are attacked or threatened. That is entirely different than this pheromone.

So know that we have an idea of what attracts stink bugs, the next step is to figure out how we can use this knowledge to our advantage, in order to play the game and stop them dead in their tracks.

One approach to take would be to figure out how you can strategically place any of these sources of attraction, such as fruit, light, and heat, in an area whereby you can set up a trap…. You can use any of these items as bait to lure stink bugs toward it, and then trap them.

For example, if you set out a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, and you find stink bugs flocking toward it, you can then trap the bugs in the bowl by covering it with an air tight lid. This is just one example of how you could set up a trap, based on your knowledge of what attracts stink bugs.

Another example might be to set up a traditional bug light zapper outside on your back yard patio. Because stink bugs are attracted to sources of light, if they see this light in your back yard at night, they will quite naturally be drawn toward it… and of course once they make contact, they won’t be bugging you any more (pun intended).

Or, you can use light as a means to lure stink bugs out of your house. You can turn on your patio lights or set up a bug zapper outside of your house, and turn off all of the lights inside your house. Keep your doors or your windows open, and let the stink bugs fly out, toward the source of light.

And as for how you can use stink bug aggregation pheromones to your advantage, there are a couple of ways you can approach this:

You can let nature take its course. Stink bugs will naturally be drawn to one another. So once you’ve got one stink bug trapped or lured toward where you want it to be, you can be assured that it is only a matter of time before other stink bugs will also descend upon that place.

Or, you can purchase a commercially available stink bug aggregation pheromone spray and use it as a means to lure stink bugs toward it.  There are a number of commercial products available whereby the chemical composition of this pheromone has been synthesized and reproduced and packaged into aerosol spray cans which can be used as a form of “bug spray”.

All you have to do is simply spray it into the area on or near the trap that you want to lure them into – this could be a container, a strip of fly paper, or any place where you know you could easily reach them and vacuum them up if you were to choose to do so.

Let’s learn more about how we can use the knowledge of what attracts stink bugs to our advantage.

 

 

1) In efforts to exterminate them, need to know how to play the game.6) Conclusion

Stink Bug Control

Stink bug control can be a daunting challenge. It is a lot more complex than what meets the eye. The reason for this is based on a number of factors:

1) Stink bugs are not indigenous to the North American continent. Hence, whatever data we have on their characteristics and behavior in this habitat is based on a mere 2 decades worth of data. Beyond that, we must seek to understand what makes this particular species of insect tick, within its native habitat of southeastern Asia.

2) Stink bugs have no known predators in the food chain that would attack and feed off of them. Hence, as a result, the United States has witnessed an explosive population growth in terms of the sheer number of stink bugs that being born and are thriving each and every year. So if live, adult stink bugs are not being hunted, then there is means whereby nature is keeping their population in check. (This applies to adult stink bugs only, as it has been observed that certain species of wasps will actually feed off of the unborn eggs of stink bugs.)

3) Stink bugs are known for their trademark characteristic of emanating a pungent odor as a self-defensive mechanism whenever they are attacked or threatened. This makes the task of killing stink bugs to be anything but trivial. Why is this?

– For one, the odor is remarkably pungent enough so as to drive away and repulse most people and most members of the animal and insect kingdoms.

– And secondly, this foul stench that they give off is no subtle odor. It can be extremely overpowering, especially when multiple stink bugs are being threatened at once, and are all giving off that odor in unison! This odor can penetrate your skin, on your clothes, on the walls, on fabric, on furniture, and what not. And this odor is by no means easy to remove. It requires a great deal of deliberate scrubbing with plentiful soap in order to get rid of that smell completely.

Therefore, the methods of stink bug control, in many circumstances, can differ from that of how you might deal with the problem of some other typical household insect infestation, be it roaches, ants, or what have you.

In isolated cases, it might be possible to sneak up on a stink bug and then attempt to scoop it up with a paper towel. But more often than not, the stench can permeate through the paper towel and get onto the skin of your fingers. Therefore, you will want to try some other approach. And by other approach, we mean to say that you methods for stink bug control might end up having to involve using stealth as a means to achieve your goal.

Some examples of how you can kill stink bugs or at the very least get rid of them safely, using methods of stealth include:

– using a bagless hand-held vacuum cleaner. Simply sneak up behind the bug (or in front of it, for that matter), and push the button to active the vacuum. The bug will be sucked into the debris chamber instantly. Will the stink bug still give off its odor? It sure will. But at least the odor will be confined to the innards of the vacuum debris chamber and will not be exposed to the outside world.

– setting up a trap with bait. There are many different variations on traps you can set up for stink bugs. First of all, you can use different types of bait in order to lure and attract them toward the trap.

* For example, armed with a little bit of knowledge, you might have learned that stink bugs are pure vegetarians. They feed off of the juices found within various fruits and vegetables, such as apples, and pairs, etc. So if you could lay out a piece of fruit as bait, you can then set a trap that engulfs the bug when it comes to feed off of it.

* Or, you can set up a light trap that zaps the bug when it approaches it.

* Or, you can set up a trap that involves adhesive fly paper and other stink bugs that are already stuck to it. Entomologists have observed that this particular species of insect gives off what is known as an aggregation pheromone, whose purpose is to attract other stink bugs to come and congregate with it. So if you have one stink bug stuck to a piece of fly paper, then it may be able to attract others toward the same location, and consequently also get stuck on the paper as well.

* Or, you can use common household dish-washing liquid that comes in a spray bottle. Indeed, it has become widely accepted that dish washing liquid is harmful, if not lethal, to stink bugs. Simply spray this in generous quantities onto the belly of a stink bug, and watch it writhe frantically in pain until it succumbs to paralysis and eventually to death.

* Or, you can also rely on commercially available pesticide sprays. But this would have to be purely a measure of last resort, which would only be used in the most extremely challenging of circumstances. If you suffer from a severe stink bug infestation, and you need to exterminate them en masse, then pesticide might be the best option for you.

– This also applies to farms and gardens. If you are a farmer and you run the risk of losing your crops to stink bugs, then a pesticide solution may be the answer.

– Also in the case of farms and gardens, wherever feasible, you should consider putting an insect-proof net over your crops. Or house as much of your crops within a greenhouse as possible, in which there are no other known insects. It should be an immaculate environment, where stink bugs are not already present, have not already been there before, and which would not be likely to attract any more additional stink bugs.

Here are some more practical solutions on stink bug control.

 

 

 

 

 

What Is A Stink Bug?

What is a stink bug, you ask?

Well, in case you haven’t heard, there’s a mysterious new insect in town. Well, it’s not exactly “new” in terms of its place on the evolutionary scale of time. But it’s “new” in terms of the fact that it has mysteriously just emerged on the North American continent only within the past couple of decades.

Prior to this point in time, for thousands of years, stink bugs have only been known to live within the domestic regions of the Asian subcontinent, primarily in Taiwan and Korea.

So fret not, for if you had never seek a stink bug before until just recently, then you are not alone. This particular species of insect is, in fact, new to the North American continent. But somehow or the other, the very first generation of stink bugs was discovered in the United States.

And “ground zero” of the first ever official sighting of stink bugs on record in the United States happens to be Allentown, Pennsylvania back in the year 1998. Nobody knows exactly how the first wave stink bugs came to the United States. One can only theorize. The most prevalent theory is that they may have come here inadvertently as stowaways aboard a freight ship while importing goods from Asia. There is clearly no way that they could have flown here from there. So they would have had to have been transported here by mistake.

But what exactly is a stink bug then? The official zoological name given to this species of insect by the worldwide consortium of entomologists is halyomorpha halys.

Physical Characteristics

In terms of their physical characteristics, they are most often described as looking “reptilian” in nature. This is due to the rugged, leathery, shell-like appearance of the wings on their back. But that is essentially where the similarity between stink bugs and reptiles comes to an end.

They have antennae which are used as feelers.

They have a proboscis, which they use to pierce the skin of fruits and vegetables and to suck the juices out of them.

They have six legs.

But what makes stink bugs unique, setting it apart from all other members of the insect world, is the presence of stink glands which are located on the dorsal side of its abdomen.

Unique among members of the animal and insect kingdom, stink bugs exhibit a unique behavior as their self-defense mechanism: They release a pungent odor as a means to ward off potential predators. This is essentially similar to the behavior of a skunk. This stench is by no means lethal or toxic, but it is enough to drive animals, insects, and even humans away.

Many people report that these fumes bear a strong resemblance to that of the herb known as cilantro. And rightly so, because the composition of the odor consists of trans-2-decenal, which is coincidentally also the same chemical compound found naturally in cilantro!

The Stink Bug Diet

No, we’re not talking about humans eating stink bugs (although I’m sure that would be a sure-fire way of losing weight – but that’s a whole separate topic altogether). We are talking about the dietary habits of stink bugs themselves.

Stink bugs are 100% vegan. They eat fruits and vegetables only. They will ate anything from apples to pears, tomatoes to bell peppers, and more.

The Agricultural Threat

Having said this about their diet being purely vegan-based,  this calls to the forefront a very serious problem that the agricultural industry is facing in the United States: Stink bugs are destroying our crops. They will swarm in on crops and start feeding on them. They pierce the skin of a fruit or vegetable and start sucking the juices out of them, thus rendering the fruit spoiled for human consumption.

Believe it or not, this has become a priority within the highest levels of the US government, as the stink bug threat can cost potentially millions of dollars in lost revenue and lost food produce.

So what is the US government doing about the stink bug problem? What are they doing in order to quell their population growth? While a number of pesticide solutions have been tested and proven effective against stink bugs, the use of pesticides may not necessarily be the best choice. There are a number of different ways of dealing with the stink bug problem that are being explored.

Stink Bug Predators – The Food Chain

There are no known predators of stink bugs. Some household pets may try to eat them but that is highly unrealistic, considering the stench that stink bugs emanate whenever they are threatened.

The closest thing that is known to exist as a predator for stink bugs is the wasp: But rather than killing stink bugs, they will feed on their eggs that they lay.

Lifespan of Stink Bugs

Stink bugs have a lifespan of not more than 6 to 9 months on average. Yet ironically it is during this sort lifespan that they are able to multiply by hundreds each and every year, thereby resulting in the alarmingly explosive rate of population growth that we have been witnessing over the past couple of decades.

Reproductive Characteristics of Stink Bugs

Stink bugs lay eggs. Typically you will find that they lay their eggs in such a place so as to be attached to the underside of leaves on trees. And contrary to popular urban legends and myths, stink bugs do not lay eggs indoors. So you will never find a colony of newborn baby stink bugs emerging from inside your attic, basement, or within the confines of the walls of your home. They need the climate, the environmental conditions, and their surroundings to be precisely what is ideal for reproduction.

So one thing you can definitely count on is that once stink bugs start to colonize your home, they cannot multiply. Therefore, if you find that the number of stink bugs in your home seems to be increasing rather than decreasing, it is not because of reproduction, but because more and more stink bugs are aggregating in your home, which brings us to the next point:

Aggregation Pheromone


Perhaps you may have heard of the term “pheromone” in the context of sexual attraction between males and females of a particular species. Well, stink bugs have a similar pheromone, which is not necessarily used for mating purposes. It is known as an aggregation pheromone, and it is used for stink bugs to socialize with one another… to invite others to come and congregate on a particular location.

So if you find that once one stink bug gets into your home, more and more seem to be following it, it is precisely for this reason: They are emanating aggregation pheromones to attract others of the same species towards them.

Sources of Attraction

Stink bugs are attracted to sources of light and heat. This is why you will typically find that stink bugs inside your home will more often than not will be crawling on your windows. They want to go toward the source of light. During the daytime, they want to go toward the sunlight. And at night, stink bugs will flock toward the windowsills of homes where the lights are on inside.

The same applies to heat, which we will explain in further detail below.

Autumn And Stink Bugs

Did you know that the months of September and October are typically regarded as the peak of “stink bug season” in North America? Indeed, you will find that the vast majority of infestations of homes by stink bugs generally tend to occur during these two months out of the year, more than during any other months of the year, combined.

This is because it is during the onset of autumn that the atmospheric temperature in North America begins to drop and the autumnal equinox is reached, thereby rendering the number of hours of daylight to become less and less. As a result, stink bugs will begin to instinctively seek out sources of heat and light where they may take refuge to ride out the autumn and winter months.

Hibernation

Once stink bugs find a suitable sanctuary wherein they can take refuge during the autumn and winter months , they will end up going into a state of hibernation. In some cases, though, they may remain awake, due to the abundance of heat and light inside your home. So occasionally you might see stink bugs tarrying in your house, but this is less common.

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs Without The Stink

Getting rid of stink bugs without triggering the release of their trademark stink can be quite challenging. But there are a number of ways this can achieved. These methods typically will involve methods of stealth, such as by setting traps and what not.

Having said that, here are some tips on how to get rid of stink bugs while avoiding getting a whiff of that pungent odor sprayed on your face, arms, clothes, or your furniture.

Stink Bug Pesticide: Solutions That Kill

The use of stink bug pesticide is the subject of great controversy and debate. The question arises as to whether or not we should use commercially available pesticide sprays to kill stink bugs.

Is their use even as effective as we would like it to be?

Does the risk of overexposure to pesticides outweigh its benefits?

Whether or not stink bug pesticide is effective in curbing the growth of the stink bug population, one decisive argument that can be put forth is that insofar as pest control solutions are concerned, using pesticides should only ever be considered as the option of last resort.

It should only be used when all other means prove to be impractical, cost-prohibitive, or ineffectual. Why relegate the use of stink bug pesticide to such a lowered status?

The answer is quite simple: Pesticides can kill. And no, I’m not talking about stink bugs.

Yes, pesticides can kill stink bugs, but I’m talking about all of the collateral damage that can ensue as the result of using said pesticides.

What type of collateral damage are we talking about here, and what is the scope and magnitude of it that would immediately dismiss the use of stink bug pesticide as being anything but a “Hail Mary” type of solution?

For one thing, pesticides are a toxic chemical, not only to insects but also to other animals, plants, and even to human beings. Just read the warning labels on any pesticide dispenser and you will see why. There is clearly a reason why they expect you to handle pesticides with extreme care: They are a form of poison that, if mishandled, can also yield adverse effects in babies, children, and pets.

There is no denying the facts that stink bug pesticides carry with them residual effects that are harmful to the environment and to other living things. So the question is: is the collateral damage that can ensue, worth the price to pay in order to get rid of your stink bug problem? And it being the case that there are many other ways how to get rid of stink bugs without resorting to such extreme measures, why even resort to such a solution in the first place? It truly should never be regarded as anything but a measure of last resort.

All it takes is a little bit of creativity, a little bit of patience, and a little bit of perseverance in the face of any entomophobic tendencies. (While it is commonplace for most people to be afraid of bugs, you just need to realize that stink bugs are essentially harmless to human beings. They do not bite or sting. They are pure vegans by nature and have no predatory instincts that would drive them to hurt humans in any way.)

Regardless of whether you are dealing with a couple of stink bugs here and there, or you have a major stink bug infestation on your hands, there are a myriad of strategies you can undertake in order to eradicate your stink bug problems once and for all.

Some examples of how you can deal with stink bugs without having to resort to the use of pesticides include setting up fruit traps for them, vacuuming them up, using fly paper, using bug zappers, and taking measures to seal your home so that they cannot slip into your home unnoticed through cracks and gaps in windows and doors.

Are there certain cases where the use of stink bug pesticide can be justified as the best and most appropriate option? Absolutely yes. If you have a situation that has reached critical mass and you have availed yourself of all other resources and exhausted all other means of dealing with the stink bug problem, perhaps you may find yourself in a situation where you need to put your finger on the “nuke” button and pull the trigger, and use pesticides to obliterate the menace of these unwelcome insects in one blast…. But even in a situation like that, you have to weigh the consequences of the fall out that may occur by resorting to the use of stink bug pesticide.

Let’s examine in greater detail some of the alternative solutions to the use of stink bug pesticide.

 

What Kills Stink Bugs

What kills stink bugs? Well duh. Squashing them, right? I’m sure you feel pretty sheepish reading this answer because you already knew that, right?

But seriously. If you are reading this, then that’s most probably not the answer you were looking for. That’s not what brought you to this web page. What you are no doubt looking for is an alternative to squashing them. You are looking for a way to exterminate them, expel them out from your house once and for all, and keep them from ever invading your home ever again… all without having to deal with that foul stench of their that they emit whenever they are threatened or frightened.

Alternatives To Squashing

Here is list a of ways (which is by no means exhaustive) of ways to kill stink bugs without having to resort to outright squashing them:

  1. You can always vacuum them up. Having a bagless handvac fully charge and readily available can help you pick up stink bugs quickly, effortlessly, mess-free, and odor-free. It also makes disposing of them a much simpler process as well.
  2. You can set up traps for them. You can lure them with either fresh fruit or a source of light and heat, as in the case of one of those bug zapper lights. In the case of the fruit, you can affix the fruit with fly-paper so that when the stink bug lands on the fruit and attempts to eat it, it will get stuck!
  3. You can spray them with dish soap. Apparently this common household cleaning agent is not only good for cleaning your dishes and softening your hands, but also for lethally exterminating stink bugs!
  4. Setting them free by luring them outside. This can be accomplished either by vacuuming them up and then setting them free, or by setting a trap for them and then releasing them outside, or using some other means to lure them outside.
  5. If you don’t mind stink bugs dying a slow death, you need only deprive them of their primary source of nutrition: fruits and vegetables.
  6. If you want to prevent stink bugs from reproducing, you need to cut off their access to trees and shrubs near your home where they can lay their eggs, by spraying them with pesticides.
  7. If you want nature to take its course and kill stink bugs, then introducing wasps into the habitat where stink bugs can be found will be a good way to keep the stink bug population from growing out of control, as it has been found that wasps will feed on stink bug eggs.

There are many more ways how to deal with the problem of these bugs. The above list of the 7 most popular and most common solutions really just skims the surface.

Keep in mind, though, that killing stink bugs by means of squashing them isn’t in and of itself a bad thing, were it not for the odor that they give off when attacked or threatened. Depending on what surfaces the stench comes into contact with and is able to permeate, it can be quite problematic to thoroughly clean and disinfect said surfaces in order to completely wipe out every last trace of the odor-causing spray that they give out.

And it might not be that much of a big deal if you find yourself only having to kill about one or two stink bugs every few days. But if your home is starting to get quite literally overrun by these little bugger to the point where you would consider the need to call for professional help.

Also keep in mind that stink bugs are not in any way harmful to humans. They don’t bite or anything like that. So if fear of getting bitten by a stink bug is what keeps you up all night, and paralyzes you to the point where you are hesitating to take action to purge your home of these bugs, then hopefully this fact that they are actually harmless should allay some of your fears, if not all of them.

The only harm that stink bugs really can cause is damage to farm crops or to gardens where fruits and vegetables are being grown out in fields. It being the case that stink bugs are strictly vegan insects that feed on fruits and vegetables, this is one thing that requires a lot of proactive planning and action in order to prevent a loss of your vegetation.

While the use of pesticides may work in terms of keeping stink bugs at bay, it is by no means the ideal solution. Just think of all of the environmental harm you are causing. Just think about the unintended consequences that your produce will suffer on account of you using pesticides to deal with your stink bug problem.

There are many non-toxic means how to kill stink bugs. Pesticides really should be kept as an absolute last resort when all other means to address the problem have been tried, exhausted, and failed. Solutions such as the setting up of traps can be every bit as effective as pesticides, if not better, if you do all of your planning properly. You can use fly paper. You can use a bug zapper. You can lure them toward the trap using fruits and vegetables, or by keeping other previously caught stink bugs nearby, such that they release their aggregation pheromone, thereby attracting other stink bugs and luring them into the trap.

In answer to the question of what kills stink bugs, your best bet would be to go with item number 3 which I have described above: spraying them with dish washing soap. This seemingly innocuous cleaning agent seems like it can do no harm, but somehow it had been discovered that it is highly lethal and paralyzing to stink bugs. Now there are many other household chemicals besides dish soap that will work just as well, but dish soap happens to be one of the most popular and well-known among the “home remedies” for dealing with the stink bug problem.

Let me share with you some more secrets, tips and tricks on what kills stink bugs.

 

Killing Stink Bugs – Mission Impossible?

Killing stink bugs may seem like mission impossible, not because it isn’t easy to do it. Sure, they can be squashed like any other bug. But the problem with killing them very clearly has to do with the big stink that they cause when you kill them. Anyone who has had any first hand experience with trying to kill stink bugs by means of the good old fashioned way – taking a shoe and crushing them – knows that while doing so may indeed get the job done, this is an action that is not without its consequences!

So the “impossibility” of killing them stems from the challenge of trying to put an end to their misery (and to ours) by any other means whereby this feat can be accomplished without causing them to give off that stink. It’s not that the stink is necessarily in and of itself a bad thing. It’s not like their stink is poisonous to humans or anything like that. But, as is the case with the smell of a skunk, the odor that stink bugs emanate is extremely pungent and potent. It’s not that easy for the smell to go away, especially if it gets on your skin, on your clothes, on your sheets and linens, your curtains, or what have you.

The good news, however, is that with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, it is possible to not only exterminate stink bugs, but to drive them out of homes, and to prevent more stink bugs from entering our homes. And what’s even more good news is that you do not need to resort to the extreme of using pesticides either within your home or even in your garden (or your crops if you are a farmer). And you should not ever need to call an exterminator either. Not even as a last resort. Save your money. You can get rid of stink bugs yourself. Believe me.

Even if you have a huge phobia against stink bugs, or the sight of stink bugs just makes you squeamish, and you wouldn’t dare go anywhere near the sight of these ugly reptilian-looking pests… the good news is that you can deal with the stink bug problem on your own. There are many non-intrusive ways to do it without ever having to come close to these critters or coming in close contact with them. In fact, you can get rid of stink bugs without ever having to look at them either, if you don’t want to.

And this holds true, regardless of whether we are talking about a minor stink bug problem where you just happen to see one or two stink bugs a day in your house, or whether you have a major infestation problem where entire colonies of stink bugs are nesting somewhere deep within the recesses and crevices of your home and you have no idea where they are coming from. Even if you have so many stink bugs in your home that you have lost count, and that it seems like no matter how many you kill, more keep emerging in their place, it is possible to put an end to your stink bug problems once and for all.

And furthermore this holds true even if your stink bug infestation problem is external to your house, whether the problem be in the garden in your back yard, or in a field of crops that you maintain if you happen to manage a farm. No matter whether the scope of your stink bug problem is large or small, the task of killing stink bugs need not be overwhelming and daunting.

If you approach the problem logically with a proven plan of action, you can rid yourself of your stink bug problems in no time flat. The secret to killing stink bugs, driving them away, and keeping them away, permanently and forever relies on arming yourself as much knowledge as you can about what makes these critters tick. You may have heard the expressions “know thy enemy” or “knowledge is power”. Well, this holds very true for stink bugs. The more knowledge that you can arm yourself with about stink bugs, the more effectively you can use that knowledge against them.

Let me give you a few examples of what I mean:

1. Did you know that stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables only? Do you know how they eat? If they find an apple, whether it is lying around in a fruit bowl in your kitchen, or it is growing on an apple tree outside, stink bugs will perch themselves on the apple and pierce the skin and start sucking up the juices of the apple, thus drying the apple from the inside out. Armed with the knowledge that stink bugs only eat fruits and vegetables, you could easily use this information to locate and isolate stink bugs and set traps for them.

2. Did you know that stink bugs seek sources of warmth and light? You can use this information as a means to redirect them. (eg- turn off the lights in areas of your house where you don’t want them to be and turn on the lights where you want them to flock towards. And better yet, you can set up a light zapper as a trap to lure them and kill them.

3. Did you know that stink bugs lay eggs and attach them to the underside of leaves on trees? Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision about where to locate and isolate them. And you can take measures to destroy the eggs to prevent more stink bugs from being born.

4. Have you ever wondered what makes stink bugs flock together? Turns out they emit a special type of pheromone that acts as a beacon that attracts other stink bugs to their location. This is what makes them congregate together in clusters. But this pheromone chemical is not to be confused with the chemical that they spray that makes their trade mark odor. That is entirely different, and is for an entirely different purpose: warding off predators. So one thing you can do is devise a plan such that if you can lure a stink bug into a trap and then that bug is stimulated such that this pheromone is released, then other stink bugs will also automatically be lured into the trap.

So as you can see there are a number of do-it-yourself ways to go about killing stink bugs. Now, in this article we have merely skimmed the surface of what you can do. But the devil is in the details, as the saying goes.

Now, having said that, let’s delve into the specifics of the various methods of killing stink bugs.

Homemade Stink Bug Trap

While the prospect of creating your own homemade stink bug trap may not be for those who are squeamish when it comes to dealing with insects, you will no doubt be saving a great deal of money that might have otherwise been spent on expensive pesticides and contraptions. If you can set up your own trap for stink bugs using common household resources and tools, then with a little bit of deliberate planning and preparation, you may find that you have come up with a foolproof way to eliminate stink bugs or least deal with them, once and for all.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of homemade stink bug traps that you can put together. You don’t need to be a handy person. You don’t need to design anything elaborate. The traps described below are of a nature such that that anyone can put together, using nothing more than common household materials and resources. And of course it helps to be armed with a little bit of knowledge about what exactly makes stink bugs tick. What are they attracted to? What are they afraid of? How do they react to heat, light, and being attacked? What are some of the peculiarities of their instinctive behavioral characteristics? What do they like to eat?

Fruit Traps

It is a well known fact that stink bugs are vegans. Their diet consists exclusively of fruits and vegetable produce. That means that if they happen across an apple, for example, whether it is indoors on your kitchen table, or out on a farm, they will approach the apple, pierce it, and begin to suck the juices out of it.

What is one thing that every trap needs? Bait. And in the case of a fruit trap, the bait will be one or more pieces of fruit, strategically placed on a plate or bowl in a location where any stink bugs who happen to be nearby will be able to detect the aroma of the fruit and then flock toward it.

Now, as the bug starts crawling all over the fruit in order to devour it, you can use the opportunity to vacuum it up. Or, if you don’t want to use a vacuum, you can plan to manually dispose of the bug by placing a domed lid over the fruit dish. The stink bug is now trapped, and you can then carefully move the entire trap toward a trash receptacle where you can attempt to dispose of the bug. Or, if you place the fruit on or adjacent to a strip of fly paper or a piece of duct tape with the adhesive side sticking up, then the stink bug will become stuck to it, and you can then transport it to a trash receptacle (or toilet bowl) that way.

As for what you should do with the fruit once the stink bug has been caught, I would highly advise against you or any other human being eating that fruit, since it will have been contaminated by the bug. However, depending on how much of the fruit has been consumed, you may be able to reuse it for the next time you need to set a trap for them.

Light Traps

Stink bugs are attracted to sources of light. This would explain why it is that you frequently see them hanging out on your windows. They want to go toward the light. Or, sometimes you will them buzz their way into a room and then land on the lampshade of a light that is turned on inside your home. Just turn off all of the other lights in the room and leave the one where you have set the trap on, and watch those stink bugs fly straight toward it. As for how to trap the bug once it lands on the light, you can do any number of things: You can use clear adhesive tape to ensnare the bug so that it gets stuck to the tape and cannot escape. Or you can line the lamp with a chemical substance that is toxic to stink bugs, such as dish soap. (More on that below.)

You can even combine the light trap with the fruit trap. Have a bowl of fruit that is bathed in a source of light from a brightly lit lamp.

The above are just two examples of homemade stink bug traps that you can set up without having to spend money on buying any pesticides or other commercial products.

Debunking A Myth

You may have heard that if you kill a stink bug, you should leave its carcass out, and don’t dispose of it, as this will attract other stink bugs. This has proven to not be the case. While it is true that living stink bugs will emanate what is known as an aggregation pheromone to attract other living stink bugs, this does not carry over into the land of the dead (for this particular species of bugs anyway).

Eco-Friendly Do-It-Yourself Traps

Another positive benefit of using homemade stink bugs traps that you build yourself is that these are environmentally friendly. You can reuse them over and over again, and they don’t cause any harm to the environment, and don’t involve any harmful waste products, as might be the case if you were using a pesticide spray.

Ok I Have Caught A Stink Bug. Now What?

Once you have trapped a stink bug within your trap, you will obviously need to dispose of it. You could simply dump them into a garbage bag or flush them down the toilet. Or, if the idea of coming in close contact with a bug is not exactly your cup of tea, then you could alternatively just vacuum them up from the trap, and then dump the contents of the vacuum into the trash as you normally would.

Good luck!

What Will Kill Stink Bugs?

Have you ever tried to kill stink bugs? If you have tried to kill them the old fashioned way, by attempting to squash them or swat them, then you must know from first hand experience how unpleasant the process of killing them can be to your olfactory senses. Whether you are able to successfully kill them or they somehow manage to flee your wrath, perhaps you got to experience the self-defense mechanism of the stink bug first-hand.

If you have ever caught a whiff of the noxious odor that these little buggers emanate whenever they are frightened or attacked, then you might be inclined to think twice about attempting to kill them in this manner next time around. As a result, attempting to kill stink bugs can present a whole host of logistical challenges. It requires a certain degree of ingenuity, as you have to plan out how to kill them in such a way so as to contain them before they can release that odor.

The odor that they release isn’t in and of itself harmful to humans. It is more of a nuisance, which is enough to act as a deterrent against most any predator in nature.

How NOT To Kill Stink Bugs

As mentioned above, one method you definitely do not want to employ is to squash them outright. You also don’t want to use a method of extermination that leaves them exposed such that if they are able to summon the ability to release that odor, that they do so right at the moment before dying. On the contrary, you want to do everything that you can to contain the bug such that the odor can’t be released into the air.

Another common solution that most people resort to when it comes to serious insect infestations in their homes is the use of pesticide sprays. While the commercial vendors of these products will tout their effectiveness and exterminating bugs and keeping your home safe from future infestations of them,  the fact of the matter is that pesticides can often times do more harm than good. They can yield unintended consequences. Pesticides are bad for the environment. They are toxic to household pets. And obviously if you have babies and small children in the house, you don’t want them going anywhere near the areas of the house that were treated with any type of bug spray. That’s just not a smart solution.

 

What’s The Big Stink About The Smell?

So what exactly is the big deal about the stink bug smell? If it is not harmful to humans or animals in any way, nor is it lethal even to their predators (in much the same way that the odor released by a skunk is annoying at best and is non-lethal to any of its predators) then why bother to go through the pains of trying to avoid the smell whilst in the process of attempting to exterminate them? Why not just put up with the stench while squashing them?

Your mileage may vary, but there is a reason why stink bugs were endowed with the weapon of stink as their primary and sole means of self-defense. It is enough of a deterrent to drive away just about any predator, and that includes human beings.

You wouldn’t want to linger near a skunk would you? If you spend too long in the presence of a skunk, then its odor could quite literally permeate your skin, your clothing, and your possessions.

So… What Will Kill Stink Bugs Then?

There are a vast number of “homeopathic” ways to kill stink bugs without ever having to call an exterminator, use bug sprays, or squash them. In fact, there are many ways how to kill stink bugs, repel them, and drive them away without you ever having to come in close contact with them, without you having to handle them, or without you having to become the target of their stink bombing.

Some of the most popular solutions for do-it-yourself, non-toxic, low-cost (or free) extermination include the following:

Dish Soap

Yes, believe it or not, dish soap is perhaps one of the most potent and most cost-effective means to kill stink bugs. There’s no need for you to be going out and spending money on expensive bug sprays and other pesticides. Good old fashioned dish washing liquid is sufficient to do the trick.

All you have to do is to keep yourself armed and ready with a spray bottle filled with dish soap. When you see a stink bug, just reach for the spray bottle, and then get ready, aim, and fire! A few squirts is all you will need in order to paralyze and to stop the stink bug dead in its tracks.

If you don’t believe me, try this for yourself! You will see just how effective it truly is.

One piece of advice, though: Be sure to aim for the stink bug’s belly if at all possible. Aiming for its back, where the “armored shield” of the bug is located is not nearly as effective, as this “shield” tends to provide some measure of protection for the bug.

So there you have it! You can keep your dishes clean and get rid of stink bugs in one shot!

Hair spray

Similar to dish soap, hair spray is another extremely potent weapon against stink bugs. And the principle is the same. If you see a stink bug, just grab your bottle of hair spray, shake well before use (just kidding about this part, I’m not sure whether you need to shake well before using it as an insect extermination tool as opposed trying to do your hair), aim, and fire the spray at the bug.

A few sprays ought to do the trick. The first couple of sprays will merely paralyze them. But a few more should be sufficient to kill them.

And of course, try to aim for their underbelly, as this would be the most expedient spot to get the job done most quickly.

Lemon Juice and Vinegar

Believe it or not, lemon juice mixed with vinegar is another potent, natural pesticide for stink bugs. As it turns out, the high level of acidity found in these two fluids is enough to stop stink bugs dead in their tracks. It is okay to mix some water in with these in order to increase the quantity of the spray. But don’t put too much, lest it dilutes the effectiveness of the mixture.

Put it into a spray bottle and fire away.

Disposal of Stink Bugs

Once you kill a stink bug, how should you dispose of it?

You can either flush dead stink bugs down the toilet, of if that is not an option for you,  it is advisable that when you scoop them up, you do so gently so as not to squash them. If you squash them, you might run the risk of compressing the glands through which they release their trademark stink. If you have access to a plastic sandwich bag, it may be a good  idea to place the stink bug carcass into the bag and seal it up, before disposing of it. This will also prevent it from being compressed in the trash and thereby inadvertently releasing the stink.

A More “Hands-Off” Approach To Killing Stink Bugs

You can also seek to get rid of them without killing them directly, if getting up close and personal with a stink bug in order to spray it is something that repulses you. There are cleaner, easier, less messy, more “hands off” approaches, such as these two below:

Stink bug traps

You can always set up stink bug traps that are designed to lure them in and then entrap them, and in the process either killing them on contact, keeping them stuck until they die of dehydration or starvation, or keeping them alive until you come by and dispose of them or release them from the receptacle that you have entrapped them within.

 

Sucking it up

When in doubt, if the mere thought of coming within a few inches (or a few feet) of a stink bug frightens or repulses you, then your best bet would be to use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension hose to suck them up. Hopefully the stink bug will suffocate within the confines of the vacuum bag (or the bagless compartment, amidst all the other dirt and dust). And you can empty out the vacuum into the trash at your own leisure. And for those of you who are extremely paranoid about bugs, the chances of the stink bug somehow escaping from the vacuum cleaner or remaining alive for too long in there are pretty slim.

Micro-deforestation

If you live on a property on which there are a large number of trees and shrubs, you may want to ascertain whether stink bugs have made this greenery into their home. One thing that we know for sure is that stink bugs will lay eggs and attach them to the underside of leaves. And so when they hatch and are looking for a place of heat and warmth, particularly at night, or during the spring and autumn months, they may all flock toward the windows of your house.

If the property belongs to you, then you may want to seriously consider cutting down some of the trees or shrubs near your house where you suspect that stink bugs might be dwelling. This attempt at micro-deforestation may help to forestall what might otherwise have been a chronic source of new stink bugs seeking refuge in your house in droves.

The bottom line is that stink bugs are a nuisance and they are indeed, without a doubt, a bear to kill. Their population seems to be on the rise, particularly in the western hemisphere. While the government is aware of the stink bug population crisis, these bugs are not going anywhere anytime soon. They managed to come aboard our shores from abroad within the past couple of decades, and now they are here to stay.

We have to learn how to deal with them in the manner that is the most expedient. And that just might mean educating ourselves a little bit better about the best ways how to kill stink bugs and prevent them from invading our homes.

Stink Bug Repellent

The use of stink bug repellent is just one of the many ways how to deal with the stink bug problem. If you are looking for foolproof solutions for how to keep stink bugs out of your home, then the good news is that you have many choices. There are many options at your disposal – everything from sealing off your home, to setting up stink bug traps, and more.

One of these options is to use a stink bug repellent. Now, unfortunately, there is no one magic-bullet compound that is known to repel stink bugs. It’s not as though there is a substance that is known to repel them, in much the same way that kryptonite is known to repel Superman. And it’s not as though you can just walk into a store and buy “stink bug repellent“.

While there are many bug spray companies that market commercial products that supposedly are specifically geared toward repelling or killing stinks, none of these are foolproof, and many of these are proven to be ineffective, and in many cases some of these products might actually cause more harm than good – to the environment, and to young children and other pets living in the house.

But what we do know that is that there are many ways to create the conditions that would drive away stink bugs, discourage them from entering your home, and some ways which can be lethal to them.

Dish Soap As Stink Bug Repellent

When it comes to repellents that can be used to drive away or to exterminate stink bugs, you don’t need to waste your money on expensive commercial-grade pesticides. There are many home-made solutions you can concoct in order to achieve the same results.

One of the most commonly well-known home-made stink bug repellents is none other than the common household product: dish washing liquid.

Even an exposure to a minuscule amount of dish soap can be lethal to stink bugs, believe it not. And if you don’t believe me, go ahead and try this at home:

Grab an empty water bottle with a spray nozzle and fill it up with dish washing liquid. Next time you see a stink bug crawling on a window inside your house, aim the sprayer at it and squeeze the trigger a couple of times. What you see happening next should leave you feeling smug with a profound sense of vindication: the stink bug will stop dead in its tracks, and if it is crawling on a wall, it will lose its grip and fall down. It will become immobilized.

And then of course you can spray it a couple more times for good measure. Just be sure that you aim for the stink bug’s underbelly, as that is its most vulnerable spot. Do note that in some cases, if you don’t use enough liquid, the stink bug will only become temporarily immobilized and may reanimate again after some time, once the effect of this toxin (toxic to the bug, not to us humans) is purged from its system.

Who would have thought that a seemingly innocuous product such as dish washing liquid could be so lethal to these pesky pests?

There are various other types of stink bug repellent concoctions you can come up with, but the aforementioned is a very low cost, extremely effective, and safe (harmless to humans) solution. No need for you to resort to insecticides or anything of that nature.

As far as stink bug repellent solutions on a larger scale, if you have a massive stink bug infestation problem, there really isn’t any thing that can “repel” stink bugs per se. On the contrary, you are better off setting up stink bug traps to capture and kill stink bugs instead.

 

Do Stink Bugs Really Stink?

Do stink bugs really stink? Or is that just an exaggeration? Well, you know the old saying “there’s only one way to find out”?

Wait… Never mind, don’t try this at home, kids. Because I would highly recommend that you don’t try to find out whether stink bugs really stink or not!

Take it from me, from first hand experience! The odor that they emit is not exactly a pleasant one. Trust me, when you squash a stink bug, only to get a whiff of its stench in your face, you won’t be sitting there saying “yum…. that smells good. Let me squash some more stink bugs just so I can catch another whiff of this smell”.

And you want to know something really ironic? Many people can attest to the fact that the odor that stink bugs emanate bears a striking resemblance to the smell of the herb known as cilantro!

Yet, when it comes to the stink bug stench, it is downright putrid. But when you smell cilantro, it can be an extremely pleasant culinary aroma.

(Although me personally, after my first encounter with stink bugs and smelling them, I was a little turned off from eating any foods prepared with cilantro for a few weeks.)

In all seriousness, the fact of the matter is that the chemical released by stink bugs as their self-defense mechanism does indeed contain the same compound as that found in cilantro. This has been scientifically proven.

(So does that mean that stink bugs evolved from cilantro?? Nobody can say that for sure, but I don’t think animals and insects ever evolved from plant life, but there may be some evolutionary, genetic relationship that exists between these two, that scientists have yet to discover.)

Isn’t it amazing that of all the self defense mechanisms that every animal or insect on the face of this earth possess, the stink bug should be gifted with that of a foul stench? They don’t bite. They don’t sting. They just emit an odor when they are attacked or frightened, not unlike how a skunk does.

What is interesting about it is that this stench is sufficient to drive away just about any predator, including human beings!

The difference is that we human beings know that stink bugs smell like cilantro, an odor that many of us humans actually find to be quite pleasant.

So does this mean that the effect that this smell has on humans is purely psychological? I mean, what if a person were to be blindfolded and were subjected to a “smell test”. You bring a plate of cilantro up to their nose and have them smell it? And then you bring a plate that has a dead stink bug laden bathed in its own odor?

If you were blindfolded and subjected to such a smell test, would you be able to discern the difference? Would you be able to tell which one is the stink bug and which one is the actual cilantro?

Now the question arises as to whether this smell is harmful for you in any way? Or is it just an annoying nuisance?

One thing is for sure! When the smell gets on your skin, you really need to scrub hard with soap and hot water in order to get it off! And if the smell gets on your clothes, they need to go in the laundry right away! The smell is quite potent and can be extremely stubborn to remove. So it is definitely a nuisance! Getting rid of that stink bug smell can be quite a challenge.

As for whether it is harmful for you or not, entomologists (scientists who study insects) have established that it doesn’t cause you harm in any way. But then again, you probably wouldn’t want to swim in a vat of the chemical they release. but the nominal quantity that a single stink bug sprays on you is not enough to cause any type of skin irritation or anything of that sort.

But the bottom line is that it is this stink that makes exterminating stink bugs into a real challenge. Because, unlike other insects such as roaches or ants, the last thing you want to do is squash them, let alone even frighten them! If you even try to shoo them away or swat at them, they will release that odor!

Therefore, what is the best way how to deal with the stink bug problem? Well, you need to come up with creative ways how to kill stink bugs using techniques that involve stealth… such that you can catch them by surprise, quarantine them, and kill them before they even have a chance to emit that odor…. or if you are able to quarantine them, then at least when they do emit that odor, it will be contained within an enclosure so that it doesn’t get anywhere else.

Some examples of how to do this might be to set up stink bug traps, or to simply vacuum them up when you see them. Or if you aren’t afraid of bugs, you could gently lure them onto a paper towel and then escort them outside of your house and release them into the wild (hoping that they won’t come back, but the issue of how to protect your home from further invasions of stink bugs is a whole different topic altogether).