How to get rid of stink bugs for good
As the weather starts to cool down, thousands of stink bugs are being driven indoors to set up camp for the winter.
These smelly pests may not be dangerous to humans, but their enormous numbers, ability to enter buildings through small spaces and eponymous stench can make them intensely irritating for anyone unlucky to have a swarm of them in their house.
They can also seriously damage crops by sucking the juices from their fruits and transferring plant-harming pathogens such as yeast-spot disease.
Stink bugs will attack almost any plant that makes a seed or fruit, they breed rapidly, and they have no natural predators, all of which can make them a serious problem for farmers.
In fact, the U.S. Apple Association estimated that stink bugs cost apple growers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia $37 million in damage in 2010.
Once they get inside your home, they can be hard to get rid of, and an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to identify stink bugs and the signs of their presence, as well as how to keep them from getting inside, and how to get rid of them once they’ve entered your home.
How to identify stink bugs:
Adult stink bugs are approximately two thirds to three quarters of an inch long, and most species are shaped like shields, starting out broad at the shoulders and tapering toward their back ends.
They have six three-jointed legs and long antennae, and the smell has been compared to skunks, rotting garbage, coriander and cilantro, depending on who you ask.
If you notice live or dead stink bugs in your house, a disgusting smell in the air, or damage to your plants or vegetables, you may have an infestation either established or in the making.
How to get rid of stink bugs:
Here are some steps you can take to prevent stink bugs from entering your house and to get rid of them if they’re already there if you want to do it yourself:
- Seal off the entry points.
Stink bugs are small, flat, and good at slipping through small openings, so if you have any cracks in your property’s siding or foundation, you’ll want to seal them.
It’s also a good idea to repair any tears in your screens, and to close any gaps around your doors and windows with caulk.
If there are any pipes or A/C units leading into your home, and they have open space around them that stink bugs could crawl through, you’ll want to seal those openings too.
- Don’t squish or vacuum them.
They’re called stink bugs for a reason, and liquid they release tends to cling to whatever it touches.
Unless you want the surfaces you squished them between to reek hideously, it’s better to capture them intact, put them in a tightly sealed container you don’t plan to use again, and freeze them or throw them in the garbage.
If you suck them up with a vacuum, then unless you have a type of vacuum that deposits what it picks up directly into a disposable bag, your machine will probably stink for a long time afterward.
All in all, it’s best to avoid killing them with any item you want to be able to use again without having the experience permeated with the stench of dead bugs.
- Drown them.
Put soapy water into a bucket, then knock any bugs you find into it. When disturbed, stink bugs tend to fall straight down, which makes them relatively easy to catch.
This won’t solve the problem of having an in-wall nest, but it will at least reduce their numbers and relieve you of the sight of bugs crawling on your walls.
Editors Note – The first version of the blog post caused some confusion on the use of store bought pesticides – for our customers that questioned us on this – here is our corrected version of tips for you to consider of you are doing it yourself –
If you want to eliminate stinkbugs yourself, don’t waste time on over the counter, store bought pesticides. Stink bugs tend to be resistant to most of these. It is nearly impossible to apply this spray to their in-wall homes. Even if you do manage to get the right kind of insecticide into the walls to kill them, their corpses will continue to stink.
Not only can this make the area unpleasant to be in, but it can attract other pests like carpet beetles, which might damage other things in your home.
If you’re going to kill them, it’s best to do it in such a way that you can remove the dead bodies afterward. It is best to have a professional preventative treatment to kill a great majority of stinkbugs outside. This treatment prevents stink bugs from making their way into your home.
Do you want your WHOLE stink bug infestation to be gone, and stay gone?
The methods we gave you will help you to get rid of some of the stink bugs without stinking up your house or belongings. If you’ve got a settlement of overwintering interlopers, you might need professional help to get rid of the nest without filling your walls or attic with reeking corpses. At Boos’ Bug Stoppers we specialize in the effective removal of stink bugs and we will do so with the safest processes available that are effective.
If you want to remove a stink bug infestation without spending a ton of your valuable time hunting and killing foul-smelling insects, visit this page and contact our pest control experts today!
Image Credit – Adobe Stock