The stink bug – the brown marmorated agricultural pest is making its annual fall appearance. But no need to kick up a stink or bug out over it. With a few simple tips you can keep your home stinky free and stop fuming over these malodorous six-leggers.
Writes CBS New York on Sept. 30: “Stink bugs are looking to move into homes as the temperatures drop. And Eric Morse, owner of Regal Pest Management, said you might be inviting the bugs into your house and not even know it.”
“Stink bugs typically land on the southwestern side of the house where you get afternoon sun, and once they’re sitting on the house, they’re going to look to walk into a crack or crevice,” Morse said. “It’s best to make sure that you have all the trim buttoned up with silicone and caulk to help prevent that.”
Properly termed halyomorpha halys, the stink bug was an eastern insect only until being accidentally introduced to the states in 1998. Stinkies have a tell-tale, shield-like body, and while they won’t bite, they carry scent glands on the dorsal surface of their thorax that release as a defense mechanism, or when squashed or dying.
Stink bugs, especially in the northeastern U.S., are an unfortunate autumn tradition and coincide with all things seasonally fall – football, multicolored leaves and pumpkin pie. To farmers, stink bugs are a serious fruit and veggie invader, but if you’re a typical homeowner and are dealing with the bugs somehow sneaking into your house, here are a few tips to purge the pests.
First, keep them outside by checking and sealing cracks around doors, windows and pipes. Use a silicon-based caulk and seal up openings, and use weather-stripping to close up any gaps. Screen off vents in your attack or crawl spaces.
If they are already in, then the strategy shifts. Don’t handle them or squash them – doing so may trigger the odor. You can suck them up with a vacuum, but make sure it’s a sealed bag vacuum that can be instantly removed and thrown out. Some say a little peppermint oil mixed with water and sprayed around windows and doors acts as a repellant.
Keep pesticide use outside of the home, if used at all. Inside, a simple water and soap solution will drown the little buggers in about 20 seconds. Fill up a small bucket and use a ruler or something similar to flick them off your walls and into the “bath.” Hairspray also works well to paralyze before drowning them. As does rubbing alcohol, bleach or ammonia.
Sound off below with your stink bug solution.