How To Prevent Stink Bugs

Make no mistake. The question of how to prevent stink bugs is one that is prominent on many peoples’ minds who live in areas that are heavily infested by these unwelcome insects. Stink bugs have increased from being just a mere problematic nuisance to being a full-scale all-out epidemic.

Having been introduced into the North American ecosystem a mere two decades ago after having evolved over the eons and remaining localized in southeast Asia, their population has grown at an explosively alarming rate. Over 38 states in the continental US are now home to thousands, if not millions, of this particular species of insect.

Whether your home has already succumb to a stink bug invasion or your garden is teeming with these uninvited guests, or your agricultural crops are falling prey to these vegan pests left and right, it is imperative that you realize that this war against the insect kingdom must be fought on not one but on two fronts:

1) Exterminating or extricating existing stink bugs that have already invaded your property.

2) Taking the preventative measures necessary in order to thwart the treat of subsequent influx of invaders intruding upon your property.

In other words, preventing an invading influx of fresh new stink bugs is every bit as important as fending off the threat of the existing ones that you already have to deal with. It is important not to stop paying attention to your efforts at prevention, even though you may erstwhile be busy having enough to deal with existing bugs that are already in your house.

And there are a number of very good reasons why you must not take your eye off the ball when it comes to the issue of prevention.

Let’s explore a few of them:

Reason #1) Forestalling The Aggregation Of Stink Bugs En Masse

You want to prevent the existing stink bugs in your home from attracting more of their brethren from among their same species to come and join them. Stink bugs are social insects. They emit what is known as an aggregation hormoneThey use this to attract others of the same species to their location.

If you have stink bugs in your home, they can easily emit this hormone, and if they happen to be near an open window with a screen on it, the scent of this hormone (which is undetectable by humans) will reach the great outdoors.

If there happen to be other stink bugs nearby who are able to pick up this scent, they may follow it and will attempt to gain entry into your home.

Therefore, it would be in your best interests to focus your efforts on prevention, since it is entirely possible that existing stink bugs in your home may attract more.

Reason #2) Reducing The Threat To Your Garden

If you grow fruits and vegetables in a garden out in the yard surrounding your property, then you should be aware of the fact that stink bugs are 100% pure vegans. They thrive exclusively on fruits and vegetables. If they happen upon your garden and discover that you are growing fruits and vegetables there, then your garden will become a prime target for their feeding. No sooner will they discover your garden then these bugs will start to make themselves at home there and begin to devour it.

They do this by piercing the skin of the food they wish to eat and then sucking the juices from inside it. This renders the food inedible for humans. And of course if they happen to emit that putrid stench of theirs due to being frightened or whatnot, then you can bet that those odor-causing chemicals will get on the fruits as well.

Stink bugs are notorious for destroying gardens, and that is yet another reason why prevention is extremely important. You need to take the steps necessary in order to prevent stink bugs from attacking your garden.

Reason #3) Reducing The Risk Of Stink Bug Odor

If you thought that the putrid, odoriferous emanation that a single stink bug produces when you frighten it was noxious itself, wait till you smell the collective odor emanating from a whole colony of these little buggers. The stench magnifies exponentially with each stink bug.

Do you really want to have to deal with these fumes in your house? With enough highly concentrated stink bug odor, it could conceivably permanently become infused into your walls, your carpeting, your furniture, making it next to impossible to get rid of that smell, even long after you were to manage to exterminate all of them.

Therefore, it makes sense to want to prevent stink bugs from entering your home, since too many of them can make for an extremely unpleasant atmosphere at home that is not only unsightly but also repulsive to the olfactory senses.

Reason #4) Preventing Stink Bug Reproduction

Technically this is NOT a concern with respect to this particular species of insect. Research has shown that stink bugs will not reproduce indoors. They will typically only mate and then lay their eggs on the underside of leaves hanging from trees. So you can be assured that this is not a concern. Now whether or not this type of reproduction might take place on an indoor tree or houseplant remains to be seen.

Therefore, while this is not generally a concern, it is still something you need to be vigilant about in the context of justifying the need for prevention: If you have any trees or plants inside your house that receive ample sunlight, and the temperature inside your house is kept warm, it is theoretically conceivable that reproduction could occur indoors. But this is not generally the case.

Now that we have covered the various reasons why you need to be concerned about how to prevent stink bugs, let’s talk about the various methods to achieve this aim:

Method #1) Seal Off Any Gaps In Your House From The Outside

Stink bugs are notorious for being stubborn and persistent when it comes to gaining entry into our houses. Somehow they manage to slip through the cracks (pun intended) unnoticed, by means of stealth. And this may come across to you and to me as an amazing feat, considering that they aren’t exactly as minuscule as ants are.

Make it a point to inspect each and every single one of your windows for any gaps in the window screen, or between the screen and the window sill. Check and see if there are any cracks underneath the window sill. And if you have a window air conditioner, be sure to inspect it for any gaps between the unit and the wall through which they might be able to slip through.

Also check the same at other potential entry points to your house such as the front or back doors, or a cellar door. Also be wary of any cracks in the foundation through which these bugs might be able to slip through.

If you find any such gaps, you may be able to seal them off permanently with something as simple as either duct tape, caulk, or perhaps if the situation warrants it, a combination of both.

And if you don’t already have an insect-proof mesh covering your dryer exhaust vent, or your kitchen or bathroom exhaust vents, then you would be wise to get one installed over these vents leading outside of your house. Otherwise, you are leaving a gaping hole for stink bugs to come right through. The heat that emanates from these exhaust vents is enough to attract and lure stink bugs into your home.

Method #2) Close Your Blinds Or Curtains At Night

One of the distinguishing behavioral characteristics of stink bugs is that they are attracted to sources of light and heat, as opposed to various other types of insects that may prefer cold and dark places.

Therefore, one of the ways that stink bugs gain access into our homes unbeknownst to us is when they are flying by your house and happen upon a window through which light is shining. They will venture toward the window, and once they are perched there, and they detect the heat signature of the light source, they will eventually seek out a means to gain entry into your home through any gaps or crack near the window.

So therefore in order to prevent stink bugs from taking advantage of this situation and using it to infiltrate your home, you must take the proactive, preventative measure of being disciplined about closing your blinds and / or your curtains after dark. If possible, you should use opaque window coverings through which very little to no light can permeate. This way stink bugs from the outside will not catch on that there is a light source for them to flock towards.

Method #3) Cover Your Produce

Never leave the fruits and vegetables that you are growing in your garden exposed, lest stink bugs might descend upon them and start helping themselves to feed upon them.

One thing you can do is cover your produce underneath a transparent mesh that allows sunlight, wind, and rain to get through, but keeps stink bugs out.

You can also house your garden or crops in a greenhouse which provides them with shelter against stink bugs as well.

Another means to prevent stink bug invasions is to set up traps near your produce. The traps can use either a light source as bait, or a piece of fruit that you don’t mind losing to them, or a specialized unit that emits stink bug aggregation pheromones, to lure them toward the trap.

The trap itself can either consist of fly paper, a chemical housecleaning agent that they might drown in, or could be an enclosure from which entry is easy but escape is difficult.

If you are indoors but you keep your windows open, and you keep fruit out on the table in the kitchen, the aroma from the fruit might attract stink bugs from outside to come toward your house. So if keeping your windows shut is not an option for you, then you may want to consider covering or refrigerating your fruits as a means of tempting stink bugs. Otherwise you would be extending an open invitation for them to come into your house for a delectable vegan dinner!

Method #4) Thoroughly Cleanse Any Item That May Have Been Infused With Stink Bug Odor

One very important step that you can and must take in order to prevent the onslaught of subsequent stink bug invasions is to thoroughly cleanse any furniture items, walls, flooring, or any physical objects that the stink bug may have come in contact with.

While this may sound like a bit of overkill, you should consider the alternative: By allowing the residual scent of either the stink bug stench or the stink bug aggregation pheromone to linger, it will only increase the odds that other stink bugs will detect the scent and will attempt to home in on it, thereby increasing the stink bug population within or near your home.

Method #5) Dispose of Dead Stink Bugs Properly and Responsibly

Whether you squash a stink bug, you spray it with dish soap, you vacuum it up, you lure it into a bug zapper light, or kill it through any other means, disposal of dead stink bugs is something that must be handled with great care. You must take deliberate steps to ensure that they are disposed of properly. And that means doing so in a manner that isolates any trace of its odor and precludes any possibility of its odor from reaching other stink bugs.

Failure to take the necessary precautions during the disposal process can actually backfire, thereby undermining your efforts at preemptively safeguarding your home against future invasions by new stink bugs.

When disposing of stink bugs, don’t just dump them into an open trash can. Your first preference should be to flush them down the toilet.

Otherwise, what you should do is dump them into an airtight container or into a carefully wrapped and sealed bag.

If you have a bagless vacuum, be sure that you empty it out into a bag that you can then carefully tie up and shut properly.

Whatever preventative measures you can take to prevent exposure of the stink bug cadaver to the air, the better, as it will reduce the risk of attracting other stink bugs to the scent of the deceased one.

Method #6) Set Outdoor Traps Near The Perimeter Of Your Property To Fend Off Stink Bugs

Ultimately, one method for how to prevent stink bugs from invading your property is to guard the perimeter of your property using various forms of traps specifically designed to attract them and lure them into the trap. By diverting their attention away from your home and toward the trap, you will have one sure-fire way how to prevent stink bugs from infiltrating your home.

One example of such a trap would be to use a light-zapper. Stink bugs are attracted to light, and so if you have this on in your back yard at night, they will naturally be inclined to fly toward it, seeking what they perceive to be warmth from the light source… only to be zapped in the process.

Another example of such a trap would be to use fly-paper that is laden with the infused scent of stink bug aggregation hormone. This will also lure stink bugs toward that… and when they land on the fly paper, their legs will get stuck to it and they will not be able to escape.

You can also set up a stink bug trap that involves fruit or vegetables, since stink bugs thrive on vegetarian items.

Once they enter the trap and are killed or immobilized, you can then take the necessary measures to dispose of them in the proper manner.

Do NOT Use Pesticides Except As a Last Resort

There is much debate about whether or not you should use pesticides as a means of exterminating insects, let alone stink bugs themselves. The chemicals used in pesticides are not only lethal to insects but can also cause undue harm to household pets, can cause collateral damage to property, can harm other innocent animals, and can even cause irritation for babies, young children, and even to adults in some cases. Is it worth it? Perhaps only as a last resort if all else fails.

The bottom line is that there are many ways how to prevent stink bugs that you should avail yourself of. This website is choc full of informative articles and resources on how to deal with the stink bug problem.

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bug Smell

Getting rid of that stink bug smell once it gets on your clothes, the carpeting or any rugs on the floor, any fabric items in your house, or even on your skin can be quite a bit challenging. The odor that this particular species of insect emits can be quite potent while at the same time it is pungent.

Stink Bug Smell On Your Clothes Or On Fabric

Once the smell gets on your clothes or any type of fabric material, it is a simple matter of throwing them into the washing machine and using a good quality laundry detergent. That should be sufficient to do the trick.

If the item requires a little bit more delicate handling or is too big to fit in your washing machine, such as a bed comforter, or is a professional suit, you may want to take it to the dry cleaners.

Getting rid of the stink bug smell in the aforementioned scenarios is pretty straightforward and is a no-brainer.

Stink Bug Stench On Your Skin

But what if it gets on your skin? Many people have reported that try as they might, the foul stench of the stink bug won’t go away with soap and water. That doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

In that case, what should you do?

While there is no textbook answer, there are many “home-remedy” types of solutions that many people have shared in various discussion forums online. For example, will swear by using acidic solutions such as that found in tomato juice or lemon juice. You basically wash the affected area with these juices. The acidic composition of the juice will usually permeate the skin, neutralize and eliminate the stubborn odor-causing molecules of the stink bug stench.

Stink Bug Stench On Furniture Or On The Walls

You can use an aerosol air freshener to mask the stink bug odor in rooms where it has become prevalent, although this will not permanently eliminate the source of the odor. If you happen to know what surface(s) the stink bugs were on when they released their trademark odor, then it may be possible to cleanse the surface and purge it of the odor-causing chemicals that may have saturated it.

As for cleaning furniture or walls, you should resort to using whatever cleaning agents you might have normally used otherwise for anything else. Any highly concentrated cleaning agent for fabric upholstery will do on furniture. Any chemical cleaning agent designed for cleansing wood, steel, or plastic will do the job just fine.

So, sorry folks, if you came here looking for some kind of exotic answer. While the stink bug stench may be quite pungent, it isn’t something that can’t be overcome with today’s modern household cleaning technology.

The good news is that the chemicals released by stink bugs that cause the stench are not in any way toxic. They are just annoying. (Although to many people, the smell happens to bear a strong resemblance to that of the herb known as cilantro.)

If you are having a difficult time figuring out how to get rid of that stubborn stink bug smell, then you really should just make sure that you are using a highly concentrated dosage of whatever cleaning agent you use, and that you scrub it thoroughly. Sometimes it may take several tries to get the odor out, but it eventually will.

And in the worst case scenario, you can resort to (or supplement with) using room air fresheners or scented candles to mask the smell.

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.

 

 

 

What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

The question of what do stink bugs eat is a fascinatingly curious one.

Ever since this particular species of insect first arrived on the shores of the United States a couple of decades ago, many entomologists have been scrambling to gather as much information and learn as much as possible about them. Their numbers have grown exponentially over the course of this time.

Having first been identified in Allentown Pennsylvania and now having spread to well over 38 states nationwide, even the federal government, through the auspices of both the USDA (United States Department Of Agriculture) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), has now taken it upon itself to divert some of our tax dollars toward finding a solution to this troublesome stink bug epidemic, before things get blown completely out of control. And believe it or not, an investigation as to what constitutes the typical diet of stink bugs is a critical one.

Why Does It Matter To Us?

Why does it matter what do stink bugs eat? Why would the government want to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on something that is better off being privately funded for entomological research at universities? The answer is quite simple: There is the old saying that knowledge is power. By arming ourselves with as much information as possible about what makes stink bugs tick, we will be able to devise more effective strategies on how to quell their population growth and exterminate them in the most expeditious manner possible. While we are a far cry from a total mass extinction of bug race, we can do whatever is within our technological means to keep their population in check.

Stink Bugs Are Vegans

Having said all of this, the answer to the question as to what do stink bugs eat has been determined to be, without a doubt, a steady diet that consists one hundred percent of fruits and vegetables. They don’t feed on wheat. They don’t feed on meat. They don’t feed on grain, rice, leaves, or grass. They don’t even suck on the blood from other animals the way some other insects do. They are, for all intents and purposes, one hundred percent pure vegans.

Where And How Do They Eat?

As for the question of where do stink bugs find their food, the simple answer is that stink bugs are notorious both here in the United States as well as in southeast Asia, for congregating en masse in farming fields where crops of fruits and / or vegetables are being grown and harvested.

What these bugs will do is pierce the outer skin of any particular fruit or vegetable and suck out the juice from that fruit. (So perhaps it could more appropriate to say that stink bugs don’t eat fruits and vegetables. They drink the juice that gets squeezed out from that particular piece of produce.

And once a stink bug does that to a piece of fruit, that piece of fruit is no longer  safe nor is it appetizing to consume anymore. There will be unsightly holes in the skin of the apple, plus it will show signs of serious discoloration. That particular fruit item will have been destroyed and will be unsalable on the market, for all intents and purposes.

The Threat To Agriculture

Believe it or not, this tendency of stink bugs to raid produce crops on farms has become a serious problem, that has elevated itself to the level of a crisis that must be dealt with. Stink bugs have caused millions of dollars worth of damage to farmer crops across the country.

And therefore, the United States federal government has made it a top priority to identify the means how to deal with the threat of stink bugs and thus either minimize or eliminate the damage being done to the US economy and food supply as a result of their eating habits.

Your Tax Dollars At Work 

So next time you file your federal income taxes, let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that Uncle Sam, in his infinite wisdom, is spending some of your tax dollars to figure out what do stink bugs eat, in an effort to use that information against them (eg – by setting up traps laden with fruit to lure, capture, and exterminate them).

Can Stink Bugs Fly?

One of the questions that people who have ever encountered stink bugs crawling around in their house or on their windows is: Can stink bugs fly?

This particular species of insect looks like a cross between a reptile and a cockroach, neither of which are capable of flight. So if you ever come across a stink bug, it might be easy to get complacent and to fall into a false sense of security, believing that they are just some slow moving bugs (since you might see them standing still most of the time, or just crawling around at a snail’s pace most of the time).

But the fact of the matter is that stink bugs can and do fly.

Now, if you are the type of person who is totally frightened by stink bugs, then a word of caution before you read any further, as you may not like what you are about to read.

Stink bugs are notorious for dive-bombing into a room. They don’t just casually fly in. They will zero in on a target and drop right in, accompanied by an extremely pronounced buzzing sound. You could be sitting at your desk with your laptop while reading this, and out of nowhere, a stink bug could come crash landing onto your laptop screen, taking you completely by surprise.

The funny thing is, their act of dive-bombing their way onto a table, a wall, or some other surface, is not necessarily a deliberate act of hostility. It is more like errant flying. It is more frightening and annoying than anything else, in actuality.  As a matter of fact, this dive-bombing behavior can be likened to that of a Japanese kamikaze attack. (During World War II, Japanese warriors would deliberately dive bomb their aircraft directly into targets on the ground, committing suicide in the process of completing their mission.)

These four-winged insects typically will only fly when the temperature is warm enough; some researchers have placed it at fifty degrees Fahrenheit or more. And typically they fly when they are in search of food or when they are migrating in search of a warmer climate (or a warm habitat such as a house).

I would not recommend that you attempt to swat at a stink bug to make it fly away. Unlike a regular house fly that would fly away unscathed and leave you alone, stink bugs will not leave without putting up a fight. Their instinctive initial reaction to being attacked is not to fly away but to release a foul odor as their form of self-defense. This is similar in behavior to what a skunk does when it is threatened, as skunks will do the same thing, releasing a noxious odor when they are attacked.

So what should you do if you see a stink bug? If simply ignoring it is not an option for you, then you should either attempt to vacuum it up, scoop it up with a paper towel as quickly as you can, or attempt to lure it into some kind of a trap. If the bug happens to already be near a window or a door, do whatever you can to gently shoo it away and nudge it in the general direction of the outside world. (Don’t do it too aggressively, otherwise it will unleash its noxious fumes on you.)

The bottom line is, yes, stink bugs can fly. But it absolutely should not be a cause for alarm for you that this is the case.

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs Naturally

Stink bugs have become a real problem in the western hemisphere over the past couple of decades. Farmers are up in arms about the problem. And things have gotten so bad that it has come to the point where even the United States federal government is having to step in to help find a solution to this problem.

What is at stake here? The potential for massive financial loss due to damage to agricultural crops. Stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables, and so what we have seen over the past two decades ever since these bugs were accidentally brought here from overseas in Asia, is that they descend upon entire crops of fruits and vegetables en masse. As they suck up the juices from the fruits and vegetables they feed upon, these crops become destroyed and unsellable in the marketplace.

With a population that has been multiplying at an alarmingly exponential rate, something must be done about this problem. The question is, what steps can be taken to curb their population growth?

Obviously we have access to pesticides. But the decision to use pesticides is never something that you should take lightly, as its exposure to your home environment can cause unintended consequences that could be harmful or even lethal to you, your children, or your household pets. Is it really worth the risk to use pesticides? What if there are better, more efficient, and more effective ways? Your stink bug infestation would have to be really severe and out of control in order for you to decide that you need to resort to using pesticides. They should really only be used as a measure of last resort.

And then there are many other clever ways that have been devised for how to get rid of stink bugs naturally or through some other means that does not involve any manual intervention. (We all know what happens if we try to manually kill a stink bug by squashing it with a shoe or some other object, right? You get a big whiff of a putrid odor right in your face, thanks to the stink bug’s self-defense mechanism.

One very simple solution is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up. This catches them by surprise, giving them little or no time to react. You get them before they able to spray that odor in your face. And once they enter the vacuum, they will be unable to escape and it will only be a matter of time before they will die due to either suffocation, starvation, or dehydration.

And then there are stink bug traps which you can set up with which to capture them. These traps come in all different shapes and sizes and function in many different ways. There are some traps which are commercially available, designed exclusively for use to entrap stink bugs and allow them to die naturally (as opposed to being killed directly by any apparatus connected to the trap). And then there are many stink bug traps that you can design entirely on your own using household products such as buckets, jars, light bulbs, dish soap, and fly paper. All you have to do is Youtube how to set up your own stink bug traps and you will find numerous videos with many different creative and unique ideas on how to create and set up your own stink bug traps. Which type you choose to create depends on your skill level and comfort level, as well as how complex or serious your particular stink bug infestation problem happens to be.

Researchers in recent years have been looking for ways how to get rid of stink bugs naturally – without any human intervention at all; in other words, they are looking for a way for nature to take its course in order to slow down their population growth or to kill them off through some natural or environmental means. And what they found is that while stink bugs have no known predators in the wild who would hunt them down, kill them and eat them, there is a species of Asian wasp known as Trissolcus, that may show some promise as a means to keep stink bug population growth in check.

Apparently this species of parasitic wasp will “hijack” the eggs laid by stink bugs by piercing the eggs and then laying their own eggs inside the eggs of the stink bug. The unborn stink bug larvae are devoured from the inside out, such that when the egg does finally hatch, a baby wasp is born… and there is no trace of the baby stink bug whatsoever!

The theory goes that if a large population of stink bugs is identified somewhere, and you are able to find stink bug eggs having been laid, you can introduce these Asian wasps into that environment and they will eventually kill off the baby stink bug eggs before they are ever born.

Now where can these stink bug eggs be found? They are most typically found on the underside of leaves hanging from trees. So according to this theory, you can unleash one or more Asian wasps into the environment and they would devour the stink bug eggs and claim them for their own babies soon thereafter.

The bottom line is that there are ways how to get rid of stink bugs naturally. And the government is working on it. In the meantime, there are many different ways to combat the stink bug problem without having to resort to doing something that you are not comfortable doing, such as squashing them.

If you are the type of person who is deathly scared of bugs and don’t want to have to even deal with killing them, the good news is that there are a myriad of ways, as described above, how you can get rid of them without having to get too close to them.

 

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs In The House

There is nothing worse than to have your home invaded by bugs. The vast majority of people on this planet will attest to the fact that there is absolutely nothing pleasant about it. And that goes double, nay triple, for stink bugs! Whether you are easily freaked out by bugs and are an absolute entomophobe, or you just find them to be annoying at best, you no doubt are looking for a way  how to get rid of stink bugs in the house.

The Challenge Of Dealing With Stink Bugs

Obviously dealing with the problem of stink bugs poses its own set of uniquely complex set of challenges that vary greatly from how you might deal with the problem of, let’s say ants, roaches, or termites.

For one thing, stink bugs are a tad bit bigger than other bugs. Adult stink bugs can grow to be as long as one whole inch in length, which is pretty large and unsightly for a bug. (Ants are more inconspicuous, measuring no more than half an inch even when fully grown.)

Secondly, stink bugs feed on fruits and vegetables exclusively, which sets them apart from other insects, such as ants which will eat a whole variety of other foods.

Thirdly, stink bugs seek out heat and light, as opposed to darkness.

Furthermore, stink bugs do not have any natural predators in the wild.

Fifth, stink bugs emit what is known as an aggregation pheromone, which is their way of calling out to other stink bugs and saying, “Hey everybody! Look where I am? Why don’t you come and join me too?”

And finally, stink bugs are well known for emitting a foul stench when threatened or attacked, in much the same way that skunks do.

Giving Stink Bugs An Eviction Notice

Ok, so if you have discovered one or more stink bugs in your home, the question arises as to what is the most effective way how to get rid of them. Obviously, if you have tried squashing them with a shoe, you have probably figured out that is by far not the best way to kill them, as they will leave a foul stench and bloody marks on the surface of whatever you killed them on.

And if you have given any thought to the use of pesticides, that is something that you should really only consider as a last resort.

So if squashing them and using pesticides to kill them are both not exactly the most ideal of solutions, then what are some alternative ways to deal with the problem and get them out of your house once and for all?

Here are a couple of general suggestions:

  • Use what you know about stink bugs against them. Knowledge is power. The more your understand about what makes stink bugs tick, the easier it will be for you stay one step ahead of these critters and come up with a plan of action to extradite them (or exterminate them) from your home once and for all.
  • Research ways how to set up stink bug traps within your home. This way you can lure them toward one receptacle where they can become entrapped and suffocated, drowned, poisoned, or starved to death. Or you can take the entrapping receptacle and dump the bugs outside if you don’t have the heart and the wherewithal to actually kill them. Stink bugs are attracted to four things: light, heat, fruit, and the aggregation hormones emanated by other members of the same species. You can use any combination of one or more of these as your bait to lure them into a trap that either kills them or merely traps them.

Preventing Stink Bugs From Entering Your House

It’s one thing to have to deal with a stink bug infestation within your house. But sadly that is just a mere half of the battle. When it comes to battling stink bugs, you have to confront them by waging a war on not one, but two fronts. One is to fight the bugs that are already within your house. And the other front is to fend off a fresh invasion of new bugs that are trying to come in from outside your house.

Here are a couple of tips on how to safeguard your home against an invasion of stink bugs:

  • Seal off any cracks in the doors or windows to your house. Install a protective insect-proof guard over all vents leading into or out of your house.
  • Keep your blinds shut at night so as not to attract any new stink bugs flying by which might be looking for a source of heat and light where they can seek shelter.
  • Use a bug light zapper near your home. Stink bugs are very likely to fly directly toward it and then get zapped and die.

These lists above are by no means exhaustive. But it will give you an idea as to what you need to focus on. Please refer to the links in the above paragraphs within this section for more detailed tips and tricks on how to combat the stink bug problem both externally and from within.

Stink Bugs Make Poor Roommates

If you are faced with a situation where your home has been overrun by stink bugs, you can take some solace in the fact that they are not in any way particularly harmful to humans (although some people on various discussion forums will claim that they have been bitten by stink bugs before, whereas research has shown that they do not even possess the physical capacity to inflict any type of harm on animals, other insects, plants, or human beings. They don’t generally bite or sting. (They happen to have an appendage through which they are able to pierce through the skin of fruits and vegetables and suck the juice out of them, but this appendage is not used for attacking other animals and people.) They are just creepy and annoying at best. (Although that might be enough to drive some people into a fearsome panic.)

Read more about protecting your home against stink bugs.

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!

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.