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.