Category Archives: Extermination Methods

How to kill stink bugs without squashing them.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

Where Do Stink Bugs Live?

One way to combat the stink bug menace to our society is to take the fight to their home territory, which means you have to arm yourself with the knowledge of where do stink bugs live, what are the attributes of the type of place they are most apt to take up domicile and what are the places they would absolutely avoid. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes.

In other words, if you want to combat the stink bug problem at its core, you have to attack the problem at its roots. You have to do whatever it takes to make its current habitat inhospitable or unfavorable for their species to perpetuate their occupation of your home.

And this can very often mean taking measures that have more far-reaching and long-term effects to fend of these bugs, as opposed to simply opting for some one-time “quick fix” job that will kill, exterminate, or shoo away any stink bugs that are currently in your home or on your property on a temporary basis, only to have them return again.

So let’s take an in-depth look into where do stink bugs live.

Being that this species of insect happens to be native to the localized nations of southeast Asia, concentrated predominantly in the Koreas, Japan and Taiwan, and were brought here half way across the world to North America seemingly by accident (at least that is the prevailing theory – that they were inadvertently brought here aboard luggage in an airplane or cargo aboard a freight ship) it follows that stink bugs will instinctively seek out environmental conditions that most closely resemble those of their native habitat.

As for where do stink bugs live now that they have come ashore to the United States, there have been confirmed reports of stink bug sightings in at least 38 of the 48 contiguous states.

Based on extensive research that has been conducted by entomologists, here is what we know for sure about stink bugs:

  • They actively seek out sources of light. Therefore, even at night, you will find that any stink bugs that happen to be flying around at night will be apt to gravitate toward the windows of houses where the lights are on. And as for those who are already indoors, they will seek out sources of light within the house and gravitate toward it as well.
  • They actively seek out sources of heat. Stink bugs hate the cold weather and will actively look for places to go where they can escape the cold and stay warm. This is precisely the reason why you will find that there is always an annual surge in reported occurrences of stink bugs clinging to your window screens or actively seeking to get into your house, during the autumn. They are looking to escape from the cold weather and have found your house to be a good source of heat. As for those stink bugs who are unable to seek shelter from the cold, they will typically go into a state of hibernation to ride out the cold winter months.
  • During the temperate months of the spring and summer seasons, stink bugs will most typically be found outdoors in orchards, gardens, and on agricultural properties such as farms.
  • Stink bugs lay eggs on the underside of trees, so it follows that most typically the mother and the babies will linger near the tree in question.
  • Stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables, and so therefore it will be very common for you to find them in gardens and on cultivated farmland where fresh produce is being grown.

Armed with this knowledge of where do stink bugs live, you can plan for how to deal with them accordingly:

  • The threat of stink bugs entering your house reaches its peak during the onset of autumn since they are seeking out warm places to settle in to escape from the cold weather. As for the summer months, the threat of stink bugs entering your house diminishes significantly since they will instinctively seek to be outdoors where they can feed on fruits and vegetables (unless they can find sources of these within your house to feed on) and where they can mate and reproduce (they lay their eggs on the underside of tree leaves, and so unless you have any live plants in your house, they would not be able to reproduce inside your home).
  • Being that stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables, you need to be extremely vigilant particularly if you happen to maintain a a fruit / vegetable garden in your front / back yard of your home. And if you have any open fruits and vegetables inside your house, you should make sure these are covered at all times (unless you are intentionally leaving them out as bait, a means to lure the bugs out and you intend to entrap or to kill them once they reach it.
  • If you have a lot of trees near on your property, you need to be extremely vigilant in that your house will pose as an easy target for them to flock towards come the onset of the autumn season.

 

Dealing with stink bugs requires a plan. Obviously if you only encounter a stink bug here and there, inside your house once in a while, it might be a simple matter of vacuuming them up… or outside your house you might try to shoo them away. But if you are dealing with stink bugs on a more frequent basis or in much larger numbers, then you will need to focus on a more long term plan for how to ward them off.

Your plan should include a means for cleanly and efficiently luring them out from their hiding places and entrapping them or exterminating on them on the spot. It should be done in such a way so as not to cause them to emit that trademark cilantro-like stench of theirs, which is their typical response to when they are attacked or frightened.

Your plan should also include a means of deterrence: This means sealing off your home so that stink bugs cannot gain access inside. It also means repelling stink bugs from coming near your property, your garden, or your crops.

Understanding where do stink bugs live is one piece of the puzzle to help you devise that plan.

 

 

 

Stink Bug Predators – Please Come Forward! We Need You!

Every year during the onset of both autumn and spring, we see a rise in the local stink bug population here in the United States, particularly in the states along the east coast. And sometimes we can even spot them on mild days in December. (Thanks to global warming, we can add stink bugs to the list of global catastrophes such as melting glaciers, rising tides, and an increase in hurricanes.)

Indeed, the stink bug problem has been increasing over the course of the past couple of decades since they first arrived in North America, and many pest control companies, and even local, state, and federal government agencies such as the US Department Of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been quite busy researching and tackling the issue.

Yes, believe it or not, the problem of stink bugs has made it to the list of priorities for the United States federal government to tackle, so you can be rest assured that our tax dollars are hard at work trying to deal with the stink bug crisis. (I use the word crisis here because the problem has grown out of control and is no longer a mere, localized problem, but is an actual crisis, due to the economic and environmental threat that stink bugs pose to the agricultural industry, being that these bugs feed exclusively on fruits and vegetables only.)

Entomologists (people who make it their business to study insects) are assessing different means to curb the rate of their population growth, exterminate them, or at the very least, keep them away from our food crops. Being that stink bugs are not indigenous to the North American continent, they were never part of the evolutionary history of this part of the world, and therefore, they have no clearly defined place on the food chain. They have no known natural predators in the wild and they themselves do not hunt other insects either.

In a balanced ecosystem, you will always have a proportionate number of predators and prey, so as to keep the population of various species at sustained levels. It is when either the predator or the prey are outnumbered that an imbalance occurs and one particular species can become “endangered” or “extinct”.

So while much attention is being paid to the various ways how to exterminate stink bugs, attention is also being focused on how to keep the rate of stink bug population growth in check, or to even slow it down, using natural means (as opposed to artificial means). Therefore, a close look is being paid on what, if any, predators the stink bug may have.

Unfortunately for us humans (but fortunately for the stink bugs themselves), mother nature has granted them with a very clever self-defense mechanism: the weapon of stink (hence the name “stink bug”). Much like skunks that give off noxious odors when they are attacked or threatened, stink bugs also give off a noxious odor whenever they are attacked or threatened as well. And this is usually enough to drive off any animal or human who tries to come near it. The smell is repugnant enough to give the bug enough time to escape and make it to safety.

Even those animals who try to eat stink bugs will most likely end up spitting them out, because they would no doubt taste just as bad as they smell. (Never mind the fact that many people claim that the stink bug odor smells awfully similar to cilantro.

So if there are no animals or insects in the wild that are willing to hold their noses and eat stink bugs, then how is their population growth not being kept in check, particularly in their native land of southeast Asia where they are originally from? (Apparently the stink bug problem in that part of the world, while it is prevalent, isn’t exactly growing out of control at epidemic proportions the way it is here in the United States.)

The good news is that one potential predator has in fact been found: The parasitoid wasp.

It is not a predator of live stink bugs per se. They don’t capture, kill, and eat living, adult stink bugs. Instead, the wasp has been found to feed on the unhatched eggs laid by stink bugs. (For those of us who are vegetarians who won’t eat grown chickens, but are perfectly fine with eating eggs, it’s the same idea here.)

So let’s say you were to put a wasp, a stink bug, and a nest of stink bug eggs all in the same glass tank. You would find that the wasp would ignore the stink bug and eat its eggs. The stink bug on the other hand won’t eat the wasp, because it only feeds on fruits and vegetables. Will the stink bug defend its eggs by attempting to spray the wasp? That’s another story. If you want to try this at home, feel free, and then drop us a line with your comments to let us know! If our editors like your story, perhaps we’ll post it.

Many state governments across the United States are experimenting with an interesting idea. Let’s take a look at this one example from the Oregon Department of Horticulture:

They are importing a limited quantity of trissolcus halyomorphae, a species of parasitoid wasp found exlusively in Asia. What this wasp does is quite literally hijack stink bug eggs by injecting their own eggs into those of the stink bug. The result is that a wasp will be born, instead of a stink bug. Wierd huh?

Interesting that the only known species of stink bug predators, which are alien to North America but are native to Asia, is another insect which is also alien to North America and happens to be a native of Asia. (This is like saying that the only person who could defeat Superman, a native of the planet Krypton, would have to be another person from Krypton, such as General Zod. But I digress.)

The intended outcome is to prevent further stink bugs from being born and allowing existing stink bugs to die off, thus slowing down the rate of their population growth altogether.

Will this solution work? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the clock is ticking, as these little buggers are wreaking havoc on the American agricultural industry, destroying our crops, which means millions of dollars in lost revenue each year. According to this study done at Virginia Tech, 20% of all crops were lost due to stink bugs in northern Virginia in the year 2010. This is just a representative sample of the amount of damage these insects have caused.

Stink bug predators out there, please come forward! We need you!

Best Way To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs

One of the questions that most people frequently ask is what is the best way to get rid of stink bugs. Obviously, anyone who comes forward to ask this type of question must be doing so because they have already tried to kill them before, only to discover and learn the hard way that when you try to scare or kill a stink bug, you will get a whiff of an unpleasantly foul odor in your face.

Indeed, stink bugs were gifted by mother nature with a self-defense mechanism similar to that of the skunk: Whenever it becomes frightened or it comes under attack, it sprays it releases a noxious odor into the air as a deterrent. This odor isn’t lethal or necessarily even irritating to the bronchial passageways in any way. But it can be downright unpleasant and annoying. Incidentally, any animal or bird who tries to eat the stink bug will most likely be repulsed by the smell and taste (it tastes just as bad as it smells).

And once the chemicals are released that give off this odor, it can be difficult to get that odor out of whatever it comes in contact with, whether it is clothing, carpeting, or furniture.

Therefore, it is so much a question as to how to get rid of stink bugs. We all know that you can just squash them like any other household bug. But the true question that should be asked is what is the best way to get rid of stink bugs. What is the best way to get of them such that it is done in a manner whereby the stink bug does not give off its trademark stink and it does not contaminate any surface with its stink.

And the answer to this question is that there is no one right way or wrong way how to kill stink bugs. There are many different ways to get rid of them in a non-intrusive manner. Let’s examine the common core ways you can properly capture, kill, and dispose of stink bugs without having to deal with the stink.

There are really only a few basic methods to combat stink bugs. Everything else is just a derivative variation of these basic few. Read on to learn some basic ways how to get rid of stink bugs. And then you can use your own imagination and judgment to go crazy and get creative and find a solution that works best for you:

Method #1: Use A Vacuum Cleaner

One of the most tried and true methods of capturing stink bugs and confining them is to use a vacuum cleaner. This method can actually apply to just about any insect of course. But in the case of a stink bug, it is one way to guarantee capture of the bug without having to squash it or deal with the possibility of frightening it. Even if you do frighten the stink bug in the process, the suction of the vacuum will immediately suck up the chemicals it releases that cause its trademark odor, so you don’t have to worry about getting the smell on anything.

Plus, once the bug has been confined in the vacuum cleaner, it will not be able to get out. If left within the cleaner’s bag, it will eventually suffocate, starve, or die of dehydration. Or it may be crushed or pierced by any of the surrounding dust or dirt within the vacuum. And then you can, at your own leisure and liberty, dispose of the contents of the vacuum into a trash bag that you can throw out at your curb / in a nearby dumpster.

Method #2: Setting Up A Trap

Another popular way to capture and get rid of stink bugs is to set up a trap. There are umpteen different ways to set up traps. But the core idea is basically the same among all of them:

You set up a source of light that attracts stink bugs, or you set up a plate full of fruit (stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables), to lure the bug. Once it arrives, it can either be confined in an enclosure from which it cannot escape. (This could be something as simple as placing a cover over the dish for example.) Or it gets stuck to an adhesive surface. Or it comes in contact with a chemical that is known to be harmful to stink bugs such as common household dish soap (it has been found that dish soap is lethal to stink bugs so there is no need to deal with complicated pesticide sprays which is a good thing if you are having to deal with these bugs inside your house). Or in the case of the light source, it could be outfitted with a bug zapper.

So the gist of it is that you can set up a trap for stink bugs and lure them toward it. This has been proven to be quite effective but requires a great deal of patience and luck.

Method #3: Dish Soap

As alluded to in method #2 above with reference to dish soap, it has been proven through much trial and error that stink bugs are indeed averse to this common household cleaning agent. If you were to spray a stink bug’s belly with dish washing liquid from a spray bottle, for example, it will become immobilized. If you were to drop a stink bug in a vat of dish washing liquid, it will perish quickly just as well (but then again so would pretty much any other animal).

So if you see a bunch of stink bugs crawling on your windows, and you were to spray them with dish washing liquid, they will most likely fall right off of the window and become paralyzed. You can then use this as your opportunity to vacuum them up or scoop them up with a paper towel without worrying about them flying away or attempting to scurry away, because they won’t be able to.

One very important note, however: Don’t bother trying to spray the top half of the stink bug. That “shield” on the upper half of their body is impervious to dish soap. What you need to do is aim for the underbelly of the bug instead.

Any one of these 3 methods described above will work, or some combination thereof. Or you can get creative and come up with a variation on one of these methods and apply it on your own.

There is no one best way to get rid of stink bugs. But each of these methods are an example of how you can in fact combat them without having to come in contact with them or without having to deal with that foul stench of theirs.

Baby Stink Bugs Are NOT Cute!

I don’t care what anybody says. Baby stink bugs are NOT cute!

Typically babies of most every species of living thing on the face of the Earth can be regarded as cute, for the most part. But stink bugs are, in my opinion, the exception to that rule.

If grown up, adult stink bugs are as hideous and creepy looking as they are, then their offspring cannot be that much far off in terms of lack of cuteness.

But I digress. Let’s focus on what are some of the important things you may need to know about baby stink bugs, how they may affect your life, and what can we do keep the stink bug population from multiplying and producing more offspring.

Do Stink Bugs Lay Eggs Indoors?

First and foremost, one common misconception is that once a bunch of stink bugs invade your house they will lay their eggs and multiply. This particular misconception has, thankfully, been debunked. The good news is that stink bugs will not lay eggs within the confines of the four walls of your home.

They need a particular habitat in order to mate and to multiply. The most common place where they will lay their eggs is on the underside of the leaves on    trees, and that too, they will only reproduce during warm, temperate weather. In other words, they don’t lay their eggs within the walls of your home. The average female stink bug will lay as many as 400 eggs over the course of her lifetime. And that lifetime will typically be not more than several months to a year at most. With a gestational period of 50 days from the time the egg is laid until it hatches into a baby stink bug and then grows into a full blown adult, it is no wonder that the stink bug population has grown as explosively as it has over the past couple of decades since they were first brought over to the western hemisphere from Asia.

So thankfully that’s one less thing you have to worry about. You can rest assured that if a finite number of stink bugs invade your house, they will not reproduce. You won’t have to worry about an army of baby stink bugs appearing out of nowhere within your house. (They may be able to attract other stink bugs from the outside, but that’s a whole different problem.)

Population Control: Killing Baby Stink Bugs Before They Hatch

In an effort to find a solution to the stink bug population crisis, one of the things that researches are looking it as a means to keep their birth rates down. If there are no other animals or insects out there in the wild to prey upon stink bugs, then surely there must be a way to stunt their population growth by slowing down the rate at which new stink bugs are born.

Researchers have yet to identify whether stink bugs have any natural predators in the food chain. But what they have discovered is that there is a particular species of wasp that happens to feed upon eggs of unborn baby stink bugs. So here’s an idea that sounds crazy enough that it just might work: Introduce these wasps into the habitat where there are colonies of unborn baby stink bug eggs. In theory, these wasps will devour the eggs, thus preventing them from ever hatching and thus being born. So one way how to kill stink bugs is by siccing predators on them.

This sounds like a good idea, but the only problem with this is that you would be exchanging one problem for another: You’re getting rid of the stink bugs, but then now you’ve got a potential wasp problem on your hands. This cyclical problem is sometimes referred to as the “scorched earth policy” – in order to defend your land against an invader, you destroy the very land you are trying to defend!

Killing baby stink bugs is seen as one viable means to keep their population in check. While it’s not feasible for the average person to do this (after all, how often does the average Tom, Dick, or Harry walk around inspecting the underside of leaves for stink bug eggs?), it is something that entomologists, farmers, and gardeners should be aware of and be on the look out for.

Getting Rid Of Stink Bugs – Why You Should NEVER Use Pesticides

To use pesticides, or not to use pesticides… That is the question. While there are numerous studies that claim that pesticides, used properly under the right conditions, to kill stink bugs can be met with a high degree of success, an equal number of other studies exist that claim that pesticides in reality do more harm than good. Using pesticides as a means of how to exterminate stink bugs can yield unintended consequences, and so it is imperative that you be aware of these before you make the decision to resort to this route to deal with your stink bug problem.

The fact of the matter is that there are numerous ways how to kill stink bugs without having to resort to this extreme. Pesticides should only be used as a last resort, when all other methods have been tried, exhausted, and failed. In fact, when you use pesticides, there is no 100% guarantee of success. That applies to any insect, not just stink bugs.

Pesticides contain harmful toxins that are lethal to insects. But the extent to which its harmful effects can reach do not necessarily stop at insects. Animals and young children can succumb to the fumes, if exposed to them as well. This applies to both indoor as well as outdoor use of these chemicals.
Since most pesticides are administered into the environment in the form of a spray, a certain percentage of the chemicals released into the air will never reach their intended target, and will end up floating in the air, contaminating other surfaces of your home, or other plants in your garden. While you may believe the toxins to dissipate, the fact is that they can be recirculated through your home by being sucked into your air ducts and redistributed through your central air system. Worse, they can get into your food and water. Even small trace amounts of it can get onto your clothes and your skin, and you can end up with some mild skin irritation, and you might then even inadvertently transfer it to another person or another object when you come in contact with them.

There are many ways how to kill stink bugs without using pesticides. It should only be used as a last resort, under the most dire and extreme of circumstances, when all other methods have failed. But even if your house or your garden is overrun by a horde of these insects, there are natural ways to kill them, such as by setting up stink bug traps.

Many farmers in the United States have been hit hard by the stink bug epidemic, it being the case that these bugs feed on fruits and are destroying entire crops, resulting in millions of dollars worth of agricultural loss and damage each and every year. As a consequence, there have been efforts to lobby the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ease restrictions against the use of certain pesticides that have been banned and prohibited, due to their harmful side effects.

Opponents of the use of pesticides liken their use to that of the so-called “scorched-earth policy”. In other words, the only way to destroy stink bugs is to destroy the earth along with it, which ends up actually being a lose-lose proposition for all parties involved, insect and human. In other words, the use of pesticides bears with it an implicit acceptance of the “collateral damage” that may result in terms of harm that may come to other than the intended target.

Before you consider introducing potentially harmful pesticides into the environment as a means to combat your stink bug problem, consider taking other measures to capture and kill them, to repel them and drive them away, and to keep their population from multiplying. Such measures might include a combination of solutions that involve setting up baited stink bug traps for them, or a means of siccing predators on them, or in the case of sealing your home properly using either duct tape or caulk to prevent them from entering into indoor spaces. If you have tried all other solutions in earnest, but the problem is seemingly out of control, then you may want to consider resorting to the use of pesticides in an extremely limited scope and capacity.

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs Without Pesticide

There are many ways how to get rid of stink bugs without using pesticide. In fact, the use of pesticide should ideally be reserved for being your very last resort, when all other methods at killing them, disposing of them, and preventing new ones from invading your living space, have failed.

Pesticide can have unintended consequences, no matter how safe professional exterminators may claim that they are. Why would you want to spray pesticide in your back yard where your children normally play? Why would you want to put other animal wildlife at risk? The use of pesticides is risky business, not only to wildlife, but also to humans, and to the environment as well. Why solve one problem, only to create yet another?

There are many ways how to get rid of stink bugs using other means. Let’s examine a few ways how you can thwart this threat:

  • You can set up traps to capture and / or kill stink bugs.
  • You can seal any gaps or cracks in your home’s windows, doors, and walls through which stink bugs might be able to gain access into your home.
  • You can simply vacuum them up.
  • You can squash them.

Hold it right there. That last item, squashing them, is probably the last thing you want to do (aside from using pesticide of course). As you are probably already well aware, these bugs are so named for a reason! You guessed it! They got their name because they stink…. Well, to be precise, they let out a putrid odor whenever they are threatened. It’s their natural self-defense mechanism to ward off any predators.

So who gives a stink about the stink, you ask?

Well, the answer is that the stink is extremely vile and extremely potent. It can get on your skin, requiring you to wash your hands thoroughly to get the odor out. It can get on your clothes. It can even get on your furniture, your walls, or your carpet. And it takes a little bit of effort to get this odor out completely.

And that’s one of the things that makes killing stink bugs so challenging. If you want to stop stink bugs from overrunning your household, then you will need to take certain measures to eliminate them.

Now, if you are extremely entomophobic (fearful of insects), you may want to consider contacting your local pest control company and asking them if they can get rid of stink bugs for you without using any types of pesticides. Can they set up the traps for you, and give you pointers and tips on how to capture and dispose of them without you having to come into contact with them?

Some extermination companies may even tell you that they cannot help you. I once called an exterminator to my house to ask if they could help with our stink bug problem, and when he arrived, he told me that he can’t help with it, on the basis that stink bugs are an airborne species of insect, and that none of their solutions would work on them! Needless to say, he didn’t stay very long. I wanted to call other exterminators to see if I could get a second opinion, but then I decided to try out several of the tactics on how to get rid of stink bugs that I have detailed on this website for you, myself, and have found great success.

Or, simply ask a friend, family member, or neighbor (whom you can trust) to come and help you out. But there is no reason for you to feel helpless in this situation. Stink bugs are absolutely harmless to human beings and animals. They do not bite. They do not sting. They do not suck your blood. And they have not been known to transmit any type of communicable disease. Part of what makes them such frightening bugs (for those who are easily frightened by bugs) is nothing more than reptilian appearance thanks to the exoskeletal shell on their backs.

In fact, stink bugs are herbivorous. They feed on fruits and vegetables. They are a huge threat to agriculture, but unless you live on a farm, you don’t really need to worry about that… It might be a good idea for you to keep your fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator instead of out in the open, if you have a stink bug problem in your house.

If you see a stink bug in your home, you can simply vacuum them up. It might be challenging to lug a huge vacuum around the house and to keep the hose attachment ready. You might do well to keep a handheld portable vacuum cleaner available and ready at all times.

Perhaps one of the cleverest and simplest solutions for how to get rid of stink bugs is to use dish soap! In fact, this solution has gone viral in communities across the country, as the easiest, and most satisfying ways how to kill stink bugs! There is something sheepishly evil and satisfying about spraying a stink bug with a bottle of dish washing detergent, and watching it die. Apparently, the chemical composition of dish washing detergent is highly toxic to these bugs and kills them on contact. (But as cited in my blog post on dish soap, it is important to make sure that the soap comes in contact with the bug’s belly and not its dorsal shell.)

Learn more strategies on how to get rid of stink bugs without having to resort to  using a pesticide, which can cause more problems than it is worth.