Have you ever tried to kill stink bugs? If you have tried to kill them the old fashioned way, by attempting to squash them or swat them, then you must know from first hand experience how unpleasant the process of killing them can be to your olfactory senses. Whether you are able to successfully kill them or they somehow manage to flee your wrath, perhaps you got to experience the self-defense mechanism of the stink bug first-hand.
If you have ever caught a whiff of the noxious odor that these little buggers emanate whenever they are frightened or attacked, then you might be inclined to think twice about attempting to kill them in this manner next time around. As a result, attempting to kill stink bugs can present a whole host of logistical challenges. It requires a certain degree of ingenuity, as you have to plan out how to kill them in such a way so as to contain them before they can release that odor.
The odor that they release isn’t in and of itself harmful to humans. It is more of a nuisance, which is enough to act as a deterrent against most any predator in nature.
How NOT To Kill Stink Bugs
As mentioned above, one method you definitely do not want to employ is to squash them outright. You also don’t want to use a method of extermination that leaves them exposed such that if they are able to summon the ability to release that odor, that they do so right at the moment before dying. On the contrary, you want to do everything that you can to contain the bug such that the odor can’t be released into the air.
Another common solution that most people resort to when it comes to serious insect infestations in their homes is the use of pesticide sprays. While the commercial vendors of these products will tout their effectiveness and exterminating bugs and keeping your home safe from future infestations of them, the fact of the matter is that pesticides can often times do more harm than good. They can yield unintended consequences. Pesticides are bad for the environment. They are toxic to household pets. And obviously if you have babies and small children in the house, you don’t want them going anywhere near the areas of the house that were treated with any type of bug spray. That’s just not a smart solution.
What’s The Big Stink About The Smell?
So what exactly is the big deal about the stink bug smell? If it is not harmful to humans or animals in any way, nor is it lethal even to their predators (in much the same way that the odor released by a skunk is annoying at best and is non-lethal to any of its predators) then why bother to go through the pains of trying to avoid the smell whilst in the process of attempting to exterminate them? Why not just put up with the stench while squashing them?
Your mileage may vary, but there is a reason why stink bugs were endowed with the weapon of stink as their primary and sole means of self-defense. It is enough of a deterrent to drive away just about any predator, and that includes human beings.
You wouldn’t want to linger near a skunk would you? If you spend too long in the presence of a skunk, then its odor could quite literally permeate your skin, your clothing, and your possessions.
So… What Will Kill Stink Bugs Then?
There are a vast number of “homeopathic” ways to kill stink bugs without ever having to call an exterminator, use bug sprays, or squash them. In fact, there are many ways how to kill stink bugs, repel them, and drive them away without you ever having to come in close contact with them, without you having to handle them, or without you having to become the target of their stink bombing.
Some of the most popular solutions for do-it-yourself, non-toxic, low-cost (or free) extermination include the following:
Yes, believe it or not, dish soap is perhaps one of the most potent and most cost-effective means to kill stink bugs. There’s no need for you to be going out and spending money on expensive bug sprays and other pesticides. Good old fashioned dish washing liquid is sufficient to do the trick.
All you have to do is to keep yourself armed and ready with a spray bottle filled with dish soap. When you see a stink bug, just reach for the spray bottle, and then get ready, aim, and fire! A few squirts is all you will need in order to paralyze and to stop the stink bug dead in its tracks.
If you don’t believe me, try this for yourself! You will see just how effective it truly is.
One piece of advice, though: Be sure to aim for the stink bug’s belly if at all possible. Aiming for its back, where the “armored shield” of the bug is located is not nearly as effective, as this “shield” tends to provide some measure of protection for the bug.
So there you have it! You can keep your dishes clean and get rid of stink bugs in one shot!
Similar to dish soap, hair spray is another extremely potent weapon against stink bugs. And the principle is the same. If you see a stink bug, just grab your bottle of hair spray, shake well before use (just kidding about this part, I’m not sure whether you need to shake well before using it as an insect extermination tool as opposed trying to do your hair), aim, and fire the spray at the bug.
A few sprays ought to do the trick. The first couple of sprays will merely paralyze them. But a few more should be sufficient to kill them.
And of course, try to aim for their underbelly, as this would be the most expedient spot to get the job done most quickly.
Lemon Juice and Vinegar
Believe it or not, lemon juice mixed with vinegar is another potent, natural pesticide for stink bugs. As it turns out, the high level of acidity found in these two fluids is enough to stop stink bugs dead in their tracks. It is okay to mix some water in with these in order to increase the quantity of the spray. But don’t put too much, lest it dilutes the effectiveness of the mixture.
Put it into a spray bottle and fire away.
Disposal of Stink Bugs
Once you kill a stink bug, how should you dispose of it?
You can either flush dead stink bugs down the toilet, of if that is not an option for you, it is advisable that when you scoop them up, you do so gently so as not to squash them. If you squash them, you might run the risk of compressing the glands through which they release their trademark stink. If you have access to a plastic sandwich bag, it may be a good idea to place the stink bug carcass into the bag and seal it up, before disposing of it. This will also prevent it from being compressed in the trash and thereby inadvertently releasing the stink.
A More “Hands-Off” Approach To Killing Stink Bugs
You can also seek to get rid of them without killing them directly, if getting up close and personal with a stink bug in order to spray it is something that repulses you. There are cleaner, easier, less messy, more “hands off” approaches, such as these two below:
Stink bug traps
You can always set up stink bug traps that are designed to lure them in and then entrap them, and in the process either killing them on contact, keeping them stuck until they die of dehydration or starvation, or keeping them alive until you come by and dispose of them or release them from the receptacle that you have entrapped them within.
Sucking it up
When in doubt, if the mere thought of coming within a few inches (or a few feet) of a stink bug frightens or repulses you, then your best bet would be to use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension hose to suck them up. Hopefully the stink bug will suffocate within the confines of the vacuum bag (or the bagless compartment, amidst all the other dirt and dust). And you can empty out the vacuum into the trash at your own leisure. And for those of you who are extremely paranoid about bugs, the chances of the stink bug somehow escaping from the vacuum cleaner or remaining alive for too long in there are pretty slim.
If you live on a property on which there are a large number of trees and shrubs, you may want to ascertain whether stink bugs have made this greenery into their home. One thing that we know for sure is that stink bugs will lay eggs and attach them to the underside of leaves. And so when they hatch and are looking for a place of heat and warmth, particularly at night, or during the spring and autumn months, they may all flock toward the windows of your house.
If the property belongs to you, then you may want to seriously consider cutting down some of the trees or shrubs near your house where you suspect that stink bugs might be dwelling. This attempt at micro-deforestation may help to forestall what might otherwise have been a chronic source of new stink bugs seeking refuge in your house in droves.
The bottom line is that stink bugs are a nuisance and they are indeed, without a doubt, a bear to kill. Their population seems to be on the rise, particularly in the western hemisphere. While the government is aware of the stink bug population crisis, these bugs are not going anywhere anytime soon. They managed to come aboard our shores from abroad within the past couple of decades, and now they are here to stay.
We have to learn how to deal with them in the manner that is the most expedient. And that just might mean educating ourselves a little bit better about the best ways how to kill stink bugs and prevent them from invading our homes.