Category Archives: Sprays and Traps

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 Traps

Stink bug traps are among the most effective ways to deal with the threat of an infestation by these unwelcome little buggers. You can capture, confine, kill and dispose of stink bugs in a clean, sanitary, and safe manner. And in so doing, you can avoid (or at the very least minimize) having to deal with that foul stench that these bugs emanate in self-defense whenever they are threatened or attacked.

Now of course if you have no fear of bugs and you have no qualms about getting that stink bug smell all over your skin and your clothes in the process of coming in contact with them in order to squash and kill them, then that is another story entirely.

But for the most part, if you want to avoid all of that unnecessary hassle that ensues from coming in contact with the stink bug stench, then you will find that stink bug traps are the way to go. They can work out quite well for you, if you set things up the right way with careful and deliberate planning. Plus, depending on what type of implementation you go with, these traps can be reused and in many cases be used on “autopilot” – unattended, so that they continue to capture multiple stink bugs all day long without any human intervention or involvement (except to dispose of them once they are killed within the trap you set up for them).

There are umpteen different ways to set up stink bug traps. Volumes of instructional literature can be read and countless hours of Youtube videos can be watched on the subject. And then there are many people out there who have come up with their own variations on these other commonly practiced methods for stink bug control. You would not believe how creative some people can get, and how determined some people can be, to deal with the stink bug crisis that currently plagues North America.

Here are a few examples of stink bug traps you can create either in your home or in your yard. Of course, your mileage may vary, and we may as well offer the standard disclaimer here that you should try this at your own discretion. We make no guarantee as to whether these methods will work for you or not. There are many factors that can contribute as to the effectiveness of any one of these methods. You can, of course, take these recommendations and try them, or perhaps even come up with your own variation on these, until you find a solution that works for you.

Bug Zapper Light Traps

Those light traps that lure bugs toward them and then literally zap / electrocute the bugs on contact, are a tried and true method for killing stink bugs en masse.

The good news is that stink bugs happen to be attracted to sources of light. If you have stink bugs in your house you will notice that they generally tend to linger by the windows so that they can seek out the sunlight. (This is sadly ironic, considering that stink bugs came into your house in search of warmth, only to realize that the sunlight that they really want is outside, and so they end up wanting to head back outside again by loitering near the windows.)

This is an extremely clean and efficient means to lure and kill stink bugs in large numbers. It is most effective at night when there are no other lights around, and would not be nearly as effective during the daylight hours.

Pheromone Traps

Stink bugs are social insects. They frequently emit what is known as an aggregation pheromone into the air as a means of attracting other stink bugs to come and join them and form clusters. Therefore, you could set up a container either inside your house or in an area near your garden or your trees where you suspect that there is a population of stink bugs lurking nearby. Spray this container with stink bug pheromone, and sit back and watch as these little buggers come flying toward the container.

Once they enter the container, you have many options available to you:

  • You could further entice them to stay in the container by putting from fresh fruit inside it. Since stink bugs feed on fruits, they will be less likely to want to leave the confines of that container.
  • You could fill the container with dish soap. You may have read that regular dish washing soap has been proven to be lethal to stink bugs. So once they enter the container, they will become paralyzed and eventually die.
  • You could line the container with fly paper so that when the stink bug  enters it, it cannot escape. Fly paper is an adhesive type of paper that is virtually impossible for most insects to be able to escape from. And in many cases, the fly paper itself can be infused with or lined with a poisonous substance that can kill stink bugs in short order.

Other Miscellaneous Traps

Any one of the above traps or variations thereof which have been described above will work. You could for example just set up manual traps as well: Leave a bowl of fruit out, wait for stink bugs to come and feed upon the fruit, and then kill, capture, or trap them by the method of your choice.

Or you could use a light source as a means to lure stink bugs, if you don’t want to deal with stink bug pheromones (although these pheromones are completely odorless to human beings) and then entrap them that way.

Or you could even line your windows (or any other surface in your home) with strips of fly paper, if that is where most of the stink bugs in your house are hanging out.

Use Your Creativity

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of stink bug traps that you can set up. You can either buy traps that are commercially available at the store or online, or you can get creative and build your own, using a combination of one or more of the methods above.

Basically, it comes down to understanding what makes stink bugs tick. We know that:

  • stink bugs are attracted to aggregation pheromones;
  • stink bugs thrive on fruits and vegetables;
  • stink bugs are attracted to sources of light and heat;
  • stink bugs can become paralyzed and die when their underbelly comes in contact with dish soap.

So therefore, by employing what you know about stink bugs, you can come with a trap that suits your particular situation, depending on where your infestation problem is (indoors vs outdoors), and how many stink bugs you are dealing with (just a few here and there vs a massive colony of them).

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.

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 Kill Stink Bugs Using Stink Bug Traps

There are many different strategies for how to kill stink bugs. Some are more effective than others. And some are more desirable than others. By now, you probably have already figured out that while squashing stink bugs may seem like the most common sense way to deal with them, as you would with any other bug, the reality is that this is probably the least desirable way to deal with them, due to the foul odor that they emanate when they get frightened. (Hence the name “stink” bugs, because of the foul stench they release as a way to detract predators.)

One hands-off way how to kill stink bugs is to by using stink bug traps in order to stop them dead. A stink bug trap is designed to attract these critters, luring them toward it, and then trapping them so that they cannot escape, while the lethal agents within the trap get to work to put the stink bugs out of their misery.

There are three ways in ways stink bug traps can work for you:

  1. Stink bugs are attracted to light. So in dark areas of your home or at night, or outside near your home, if you place a lighted stink bug trap there, stink bugs will be drawn to the light.
  2. As with any other species of animal or insect, stink bugs are attracted to pheromones, which are airborne hormones that are used for attracting a mate. So a stink bug trap that emanates these stink bug pheromones can serve as an extremely effective means to draw these bugs toward the trap.
  3. Those stink bug traps also work very well that have a stash of their food available in the trap, laid out in such a way that stink bugs that happen to be in the proximity of the trap will be able to sense the food and thus be drawn toward it.
There are all kinds of stink bug traps out there. Some employ only one of the three methods, whereas there are other traps that employ all three methods. This latter type of trap that combines multiple methods of stink bug attraction generally tend to be more effective since they increase the odds of being able to lure these bugs toward them.
So how do these stink bug traps work? Once the bug is lured into the trap, what happens? Typically there will either be some type of adhesive material that will prevent the stink bug from escaping, or the entry way into the trap will not allow the bugs to escape once they enter it.
And what is inside the trap? What exactly is used to actually exterminate a stink bug? The answer varies. You may be surprised to find that dousing stink bugs with dish washing liquid detergent is sufficient to kill them. Yes, you read correctly! You don’t need some synthetic, toxic chemical bug spray. Dish washing liquid detergent has been proven to be lethal to stink bugs! So a solution of this detergent is all you need inside the trap to exterminate stink bugs.
If you need professional help to rid yourself of your stink bug problem, then perhaps it may be worth considering to call up your local exterminator, who would be an expert on how to kill stink bugs.