Facts About Stink Bugs:
1. Stink bugs want to come inside the house during the winter. Have you noticed that the peak season for stink bug infestation problems within domestic households in North America is during the onset of autumn? This is not by mere chance or coincidence. Stink bugs are no different than any other insect or animal that instinctively seeks to escape the harshness of winter either by hibernating or by migrating south. What makes stink bugs stand apart from other insects is in their persistence when it comes to matters of seeking shelter in warm places during autumn and winter. Whereas it is very rare to find bugs lurking about in your house during the winter months, stink bugs are a notable exception.
2. They will seek any means to get into the house. If a stink bug is unable to seek shelter in a warm household during the winter months, it will inevitably hibernate. But during the autumn months of September and October, you will find these little critters to be among the most persistent when it comes to trying to gain entry into your home for the winter. Wherever they can find any type of opening in your house, somehow they will manage to make their way indoors, where it is warm. This opening could be a crack in your house’s foundation, the exhaust fan pipes from your clothes dryer, your stove exhaust vent, your chimney, gaps in your window sills, tears in your window screens, or any other crevice that they can find. Suffice it to say that if there is a way to get into your home, a determined stink bug will find a way. This is their mission in life during the autumn months.
3. The Window Air Conditioner Unit is one of the most vulnerable parts of the home. Among the many different ways that there are for stink bugs to gain access into your home, the window air conditioner unit is one of the single most vulnerable. It is, after all, an actual opening into your home. Designed for air to be sucked into your home from outside, it is an open invitation for these bugs to crawl straight through. This is of course a common problem with any opening into your home, be it a central air conditioning unit, or any other exhaust pipe leading out of your house. Stink bugs can make their way through these as well. The main difference is that the distance between the outside world and the inside of your house is very small, and is a relatively short distance for a stink bug to trek before it finally emerges into your home. If you don’t take the necessary precautions and safeguards to seal off your window air conditioner unit and make it completely air tight and impenetrable, except for the flow of air molecules themselves, then this unit becomes an open invitation for stink bugs to make their way into your home.
4. The problems with window air conditioner units. Because air conditioner units are units that are fitted into an opening that is cut out of your wall, you must be mindful of the fact that even the tiniest gaps between the unit and the wall can be just big enough for stink bugs to slip through. And believe it not, stink bugs can and will find a way to get through this unit, once they are able to detect the presence of heat emanating from that unit. Stink bugs are notorious for penetrating homes and making their way indoors, and are equally notorious for their persistence at doing so.
5. How to safeguard your window air conditioner units. While most professionally installed air conditioner units are designed to fit precisely into the opening in your exterior wall, it is inevitable that sometimes you might end up with a unit that is not a perfect fit, even by a few millimeters. This is true of both new installations and replacements, as well as with existing units that have been in your window for a long time. Here are some tips on how you can safeguard your window air conditioner units so as to prevent stink bugs from making their way through in order to get inside your home:
i) Use duct tape. Duct tape is an extremely effective way to seal off any gaps between your window air conditioning unit and the wall. It provides a solid, impenetrable barrier. Plus, it is adhesive, so it is very unlikely to come undone, plus it can trap any stink bugs that do come in contact with the adhesive surfaces, thwarting their attempts to gain entry into your home.
ii) Spray the window with dish soap. This may sound like an odd solution, but the fact of the matter is that dish washing liquid soap has proven to be lethal to stink bugs and acts as an excellent deterrent against them. By spraying the exterior of your window with dish soap, this should be sufficient to drive them away. Of course, if it not practical to spray the window with dish soap yourself, then you may want to have your window (as well as the rest of your house) professionally power washed.
iii) Caulk the window. If you have any gaps in your window sill or in the areas between where your window meets the window frame, you may want to fill these up with caulk. Once the caulk dries, this will form a solid, water-proof impenetrable barrier that stink bugs will not be able to pass. Also, if any stink bugs have managed to get into your home through these cracks and are hiding within the walls, then this will take care of them. By sealing off the openings with caulk, this will trap, suffocate, and kill off any stink bugs that might be hiding within your walls, so that they cannot come back out and lurk about within your house.
6. Cover your air conditioning unit. One thing you can do is permanently can encase your air conditioner unit with a cover that has gaps that are too narrow for bugs to pass through but are just large enough for air molecules to pass through. This case would be somewhat akin to a cage. Yet another way to cover your air conditioner would be completely enshroud it within a cover when it is not in use, particularly during the winter months. Removing window air conditioner units completely during the winter months is also an option, provided that you are able to board up the gap in the wall completely, caulk the edges, and ensure that it is air-tight. Having a window air conditioner is a necessity during the summer months, in houses that do not have central air conditioning. Unfortunately, the luxury and comfort of having air conditioning comes at a price… the trade off is in the amount of effort you must put in to ensure that your unit does not leave your home vulnerable to an infestation of stink bugs.
If you are already suffering from a stink bug infestation, then you may want to consider getting some professional help from an exterminator who is experienced in the art of how to kill stink bugs.