Wondering how to get rid of stink bugs? Stink bugs, along with their less agreeable insect companions (such as roaches), are one of the more obnoxious signs of spring. Stink bugs, like fruit flies and gnats, are sure to make an appearance in your yard or house at some point.
The type of stink bug you've probably seen is the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), which was imported to North America from Asia in the mid-1990s and is harmless to people but can be a nuisance if let to walk freely around sunny, otherwise pleasant bathrooms and bedrooms.
Before you go full bug-zapping mode, learn more about the source of the problem and how to prevent and how to get rid of stink bugs.
What Attracts Stink Bugs?
While it may look as if these pests arise out of nowhere, they are usually the result of a combination of causes. Fruit (especially ripe fruit) attracts stink bugs, so if you have a ripe bunch of bananas on your counter, they could be the source of the problem. Stink bugs love a wide range of native plants, from attractive shrubs to wild vines and weeds, which is unfortunate for gardeners. They are known to eat any and all parts of plants, including blossoms, buds, fruits and vegetables, and even nuts, so your garden is likely to have some interesting flora.
Stink bugs also enjoy warmth and sunlight, which adds to their list of unavoidable charms. During the chilly winter months, they often go into "hibernation," hiding in walls or vacant locations such as attics. When the temperatures in the winter begin to rise and the days become brighter, the bugs emerge from their winter hibernation (eek!) and become more active. Stink bugs can wriggle their way into tight spaces, but they often can't figure out how to get out, resulting in a small community swarming your home.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs emerge from their winter slumber as the weather warms up in the spring. Females soon start laying their eggs on whatever plants they can find. Stink bug larvae and adults will feed on plant juices, but they may also target neighboring fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, and beans. Pinpricks surrounded by a yellow or green tint may be visible damage. While a few stink bugs in the garden may not be harmful, a large number of them can swiftly injure plants and harvests.
While getting rid of stinkbugs can be tough, there are some natural ways to get rid of them, or at least deter them, before resorting to pesticides.
Keep the garden and its surroundings clean and debris-free. When it comes to getting rid of stink bugs, one of the first things you should do is eliminate any nearby weeds or overgrowth, as they like to hide in these places. Remove any hiding spots, such as old boards, logs, and so on.
Any potential entryways should be closed or sealed. If you have a stink bug infestation in your home, there are several things you can do to keep them out. Make sure all windows and doors are closed or covered with screens. Many individuals have had luck repelling these bugs by wiping their window screens with dryer sheets – the more scented, the better. Because they are attracted to light, closing the shades or blinds at night may assist. Caulk any cracks or openings you find. In addition, using insect repellent around entryways may assist to keep these pests at bay.
In the garden, use natural repellents. Because stink bugs feed and lay eggs on garden plants, you might want to try spraying them with a kaolin clay (mineral clay) solution as a stink bug control strategy. This makes it impossible for the bugs to lay eggs or feed on plants since they can't attach. It's also non-toxic to plants, including edibles, and easy to remove. Additionally, pheromone sprays can be used to attract and drive stinkbugs away from locations outside your home's perimeter. Of course, this would only be a temporary fix. Cedar sprays can help repel these pests in the home.
Encourage beneficials to the garden. Stinkbugs have a variety of natural enemies. By attracting these helpful organisms to the region, you can reduce their numbers. Stinkbugs have a number of natural enemies, including:
- Minute pirate bugs
- Praying mantis
- Parasitic flies
Planting trap plants is an option. Using decoy plants in and around the yard to attract stinkbugs away from your treasured garden plants is a terrific technique to keep them away. They'll swarm to the trap plants, which may then be removed (bugs and all), placed in a rubbish bag, and let to 'bake' in the sun for a few days before being completely disposed of. Stinkbugs are particularly fond of the following plants:
- Sweet corn
Make use of traps in and around the house. Traps, like decoy plants, can be employed to lure stinkbugs into being removed. Pheremone traps are available, and these pests will naturally be drawn to them. They will eventually die if they are trapped inside the trap. Early in the spring, place traps on trees, bushes, or other hardy plants near the house or garden. Make sure that the plant is in contact with both the top and bottom parts of the trap. This gives the stinkbug easy entry into the trap but no way out once inside. Similarly, pegs every 20 to 30 feet (6-10 meters) around the perimeter of your garden can be used to hang the traps.
Another way of eradication that has proven to be effective is draping damp towels over lawn chairs or porch railings overnight. The towels are covered in stinkbugs by morning and can be thrown into a pail of soapy water. Use sticky traps in your home (similar to those for roaches). These are effective in removing stinkbugs, but they will need to be replaced on a regular basis.
Pesticides for Killing Stink Bugs
Wondering what kills stink bugs instantly? There is no way around it except using pesticides. When all other methods have failed, pesticides may be your only alternative for getting rid of the problem. Stink bug control is difficult, however, because they are resistant to the majority of pesticides. Poisons have a hard time penetrating their waxy layer. There are, however, a few options to consider.
First, look into organic pesticides for stinkbug control. These are some of them:
- Neem oil
- Insecticidal soap
Some people have had success eliminating stink bugs with homemade nicotine treatments. Shredding roughly half a pack of cigarettes and dissolving them in warm water accomplishes this. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle after passing it through a filter and adding a little detergent.
To kill bugs, the poison can be sprayed on them. Sprays containing cypermethrin can be effective in some cases and are readily decomposed in soil and on plants. Large infestations, on the other hand, may necessitate the assistance of a qualified pest controller who specialises in the use of heavy pesticides.