Stink Bugs Problems and How to Solve Them

It’s that time of year again! The weather is growing colder, the leaves are changing color, and apple cider and pumpkin spices are everywhere. As the fall season begins, there is much to look forward to. However, it’s also approaching the months when unwanted pests begin to look for warmer places for the winter.

One of these “stinky” pests is the notorious stink bug. As the seasonal chill approaches, here’s how you can prepare your home and keep out any smell invaders.

seal off the entry ways

What are stink bugs?

The common brown Marmorated Stink Bug is very recognizable. These brown, oval-shaped insects have a hard shell, long legs, and they can fly. Though not particularly harmful, these bugs produce a foul odor, especially when crushed.

While they may not hurt us, they can become a problem should they attack fruit trees or other crops. One thing’s for sure, they definitely don’t belong in your home. If you find yourself with a stink bug problem, here are seven tips to help you get rid of them.

1. Seal off All Entry Points

The best way to keep stink bugs out is by not letting them inside in the first place. These pests are small and can sneak through cracks in doors, windows, or basements. Repair window screens and cracked foundation. Also, check vents, attics, and crawl spaces thoroughly for any possible openings. Do a recon of your home’s interior and exterior to be sure there’s no way for these pests to sneak inside.

2. Check Anything Coming In and Out

If your home is sealed up and repaired, be sure that you aren’t the one inadvertently bringing stink bugs into your home. Fall is a time when we love to decorate our homes or bring in our summer things for storage. Be sure to check anything that you move indoors. Even your grocery bags can bring these stinky little bugs inside. Check yourself and any other objects you may bring inside.

3. Turn off the lights and the water.

Stink bugs are drawn to light; they love the warm glow of lightbulbs. An easy way to stop them from buzzing around your front porch and getting in your home is simply to keep your lights turned off. Auto-lights can solve that problem if you want to keep a light on, but also want to avoid a swarm of insects hanging around.

The same thing applies to any moisture in your home. Stink bugs love moisture, so if you happen to have dripping pipes or a wet basement, be sure to fix those pipes to deter any unwanted visitors.

4. Eliminate Food Sources

This tip is true for all manner of pests. If they don’t have a food source, they are not likely to stick around. If you want to deter stink bugs from pulling up residence for the winter, seal up your food. Place loose food in containers and clean up any crumbs or residue after cooking. If you have meals in other parts of your home, be sure you clean up thoroughly.

clean up outside

5. Clean up the Outside

If you want to keep stink bugs out, cleaning up your property is a great way to keep them away. These pests often live in shrubs, trees, and other overgrowths. Keep your grass cut, shrubs trimmed, and all yard growth tamed. If you have firewood, be sure to keep it at least 20 feet away from the house and off the ground. Don’t give the bugs a reason to stick around your home.

6. Vacuum Them Up

If you do find stink bugs in your home, a simple way to get rid of them is by vacuuming them up. You do not want to squish them. Doing so will leave your home with a horrible odor. The vacuum cleaner is an easy way to suck them up and dispose of them without having to crush them. You can dump them outside or dispose of the vacuum bag afterward.

7. Natural Solutions

If you want to deter or out-right kill your stink bug invaders, there are few natural solutions you can use. Diatomaceous earth is an effective, natural bug killer that is safe to use around children and pets. If you sprinkle this substance near any entryways, it will break down the waxy protective layer of their exoskeleton and they will die. You can also try peppermint oil. Additionally, you can spray them with a mixture of water, dish soap, and lavender.

Causing a Stink

The best way to protect your home from a stink bug invasion overwinter is to take steps to prevent it. Make sure any entryways are sealed, keep your yard tidy, and check anything you bring into your home. Should you experience a major stink bug infestation and these methods have no effect, it may be time to consult a pest control expert. Don’t let these stinky pests ruin your fall. Contact a professional today.

 


 

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