Stink bug control can be a daunting challenge. It is a lot more complex than what meets the eye. The reason for this is based on a number of factors:
1) Stink bugs are not indigenous to the North American continent. Hence, whatever data we have on their characteristics and behavior in this habitat is based on a mere 2 decades worth of data. Beyond that, we must seek to understand what makes this particular species of insect tick, within its native habitat of southeastern Asia.
2) Stink bugs have no known predators in the food chain that would attack and feed off of them. Hence, as a result, the United States has witnessed an explosive population growth in terms of the sheer number of stink bugs that being born and are thriving each and every year. So if live, adult stink bugs are not being hunted, then there is means whereby nature is keeping their population in check. (This applies to adult stink bugs only, as it has been observed that certain species of wasps will actually feed off of the unborn eggs of stink bugs.)
3) Stink bugs are known for their trademark characteristic of emanating a pungent odor as a self-defensive mechanism whenever they are attacked or threatened. This makes the task of killing stink bugs to be anything but trivial. Why is this?
- For one, the odor is remarkably pungent enough so as to drive away and repulse most people and most members of the animal and insect kingdoms.
- And secondly, this foul stench that they give off is no subtle odor. It can be extremely overpowering, especially when multiple stink bugs are being threatened at once, and are all giving off that odor in unison! This odor can penetrate your skin, on your clothes, on the walls, on fabric, on furniture, and what not. And this odor is by no means easy to remove. It requires a great deal of deliberate scrubbing with plentiful soap in order to get rid of that smell completely.
Therefore, the methods of stink bug control, in many circumstances, can differ from that of how you might deal with the problem of some other typical household insect infestation, be it roaches, ants, or what have you.
In isolated cases, it might be possible to sneak up on a stink bug and then attempt to scoop it up with a paper towel. But more often than not, the stench can permeate through the paper towel and get onto the skin of your fingers. Therefore, you will want to try some other approach. And by other approach, we mean to say that you methods for stink bug control might end up having to involve using stealth as a means to achieve your goal.
Some examples of how you can kill stink bugs or at the very least get rid of them safely, using methods of stealth include:
- using a bagless hand-held vacuum cleaner. Simply sneak up behind the bug (or in front of it, for that matter), and push the button to active the vacuum. The bug will be sucked into the debris chamber instantly. Will the stink bug still give off its odor? It sure will. But at least the odor will be confined to the innards of the vacuum debris chamber and will not be exposed to the outside world.
- setting up a trap with bait. There are many different variations on traps you can set up for stink bugs. First of all, you can use different types of bait in order to lure and attract them toward the trap.
* For example, armed with a little bit of knowledge, you might have learned that stink bugs are pure vegetarians. They feed off of the juices found within various fruits and vegetables, such as apples, and pairs, etc. So if you could lay out a piece of fruit as bait, you can then set a trap that engulfs the bug when it comes to feed off of it.
* Or, you can set up a light trap that zaps the bug when it approaches it.
* Or, you can set up a trap that involves adhesive fly paper and other stink bugs that are already stuck to it. Entomologists have observed that this particular species of insect gives off what is known as an aggregation pheromone, whose purpose is to attract other stink bugs to come and congregate with it. So if you have one stink bug stuck to a piece of fly paper, then it may be able to attract others toward the same location, and consequently also get stuck on the paper as well.
* Or, you can use common household dish-washing liquid that comes in a spray bottle. Indeed, it has become widely accepted that dish washing liquid is harmful, if not lethal, to stink bugs. Simply spray this in generous quantities onto the belly of a stink bug, and watch it writhe frantically in pain until it succumbs to paralysis and eventually to death.
* Or, you can also rely on commercially available pesticide sprays. But this would have to be purely a measure of last resort, which would only be used in the most extremely challenging of circumstances. If you suffer from a severe stink bug infestation, and you need to exterminate them en masse, then pesticide might be the best option for you.
- This also applies to farms and gardens. If you are a farmer and you run the risk of losing your crops to stink bugs, then a pesticide solution may be the answer.
- Also in the case of farms and gardens, wherever feasible, you should consider putting an insect-proof net over your crops. Or house as much of your crops within a greenhouse as possible, in which there are no other known insects. It should be an immaculate environment, where stink bugs are not already present, have not already been there before, and which would not be likely to attract any more additional stink bugs.
Here are some more practical solutions on stink bug control.