How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs. Although mostly harmless, stink bugs can still be a nuisance in your home or commercial property. Left unchecked, they can destroy your plants and leave a lingering unpleasant odor in your home. Though they’re often seen outdoors during the spring and summer, they tend to find ways to sneak into your property for warmth by the fall.
It’s always best to take preventative measures to keep them off your property. But what can you do once you find that they’ve made their way indoors? You have several options, though not all of them may be applicable to your type of property. Here are some ways to consider how to get rid of stink bugs in your home, office, store, or property.
What Are the Signs of Stink Bugs?
While they’ve originated from Asian countries, they’re now common on the East Coast as well as in a few states on the West Coast. These are some of the signs that could suggest a stink bug infestation on your property.
- Odor: True to their name, stink bugs are most recognized by their distinctive unpleasant odor. When they feel threatened, they release a substance with a scent that most people would describe as a herbal and chemical scent. If you try to kill a stink bug by crushing it, you’ll also be pressing the substance out of its glands. This odor can linger indoors.
- Appearance: Adult stink bugs have a flat triangular grayish-brown body that’s less than an inch long, though their legs can make them look larger as they extend to the sides. Young stink bugs, known as nymphs, don’t get wings until they’ve fully developed and have yellowish bodies and red eyes.
- Eggs and Molten Skin: Stink bug swarms tend to behave similarly to other types of insects. They have designated areas for their eggs and shedded skin, so a sign of an infestation on your property are areas where you can find these lying around.
- Dead Stink Bugs: If you are seeing dead stink bugs frequently appearing in certain areas, this can be another sign of infestation. Like ants and termites, stink bugs practice necrophoresis and bring their dead to a designated area away from the swarm.
- Damage To Crops and Fruit: Outdoors, you can also spot signs of an infestation. Farms, orchards, and other types of properties that grow crops and fruit may find damage to their produce on top of a distinctive scent.
Ways to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Some of the methods you can use to get rid of stink bugs involve either carefully killing them to minimize their lingering odor, preventing their entry into your property, or taking steps to prevent your property from becoming an environment they can thrive in.
Store Your Fruits Carefully
Stink bugs are attracted to the scent of ripe fruits. So, if you tend to leave fresh fruit out in the open for long periods of time, you’re likely to attract stink bugs any time of the year. Rather place your fruits inside your refrigerator, or don’t leave your fruits out for too long.
Seal Off Points of Entry
Stink bugs are small enough to access the tiniest cracks and openings around your property. This can include:
- Window frames
- Door frames
- Electric and light fixtures
Using sealants and performing the necessary repairs can prevent entry points that allow stink bugs and other types of insects from making their way indoors.
Invest in Stink Bug Pest Control Outdoor Lighting
Stink bugs are attracted to warmth and light, so your outdoor lighting could be attracting stink bugs at night. Consider switching to yellow light bulbs, as these are less likely to attract insects. You can also invest in electric light traps for insects or sodium vapor lights that deter insects.
Use DIY Stink Bug Repellent
You can find plenty of DIY pest control solutions in hardware stores or online. You can use repellents, which can deter stink bugs from entering your property. Spray these chemicals onto potential entry points and areas where you might have seen stink bugs.
If they have already entered your property, use stink bug killers or any pesticide that contains deltamethrin, which is lethal for stink bugs. For indoor use, make sure that there’s no one in the room, and then ventilate the area after use. This can prevent allergic reactions from anyone that comes in close contact with the treated area.
DIY Stink Bug Traps
These are sticky traps similar to fly paper, which you can place on the floor, by your crops, or anywhere you think stink bugs are infesting. These will catch any wandering stink bugs, and then you can dispose of the trap.
Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t the best solution for an infestation. First, stink bugs can fly, so it’s possible that you won’t catch any or all of the stink bugs that pass through the area. Also, if your property is infested with stink bugs, catching a handful won’t make a huge difference to your problem.
DIY Water Traps
Since stink bugs are attracted to light, you can try using an overnight water trap to kill them. First, place a light somewhere close to the infestation so that it hangs over a container filled with soapy water.
At night, make sure the room is dark and then leave the light on. Overnight, the stink bugs will be attracted to the light, fly to it, and then fall into the soapy water to drown. However, just like other types of traps, this isn’t a completely effective method of getting rid of a stink bug infestation.
Apply Essential Oils
For a more natural repellent, you can opt to try essential oils instead of DIY chemical repellents. Rosemary, mint, and peppermint are some oils that can deter insects, so applying them to potential entry points, infested areas, and near your plants can repel stink bugs.
For a wider scope, mix ten drops of essential oil with 16 ounces of water and use a spray bottle to apply them to any potentially infested areas. You can also add essential oils to your humidifier or scent diffuser to spread these scents around.
Some people claim that essential oils work, but keep in mind that this isn’t a method regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Though it’s unlikely to cause harm to humans, there’s no hard evidence to suggest that essential oils will work effectively as a way to get rid of stink bugs.
Add Diatomaceous Earth to Your Garden and Entryways
Diatomaceous earth is a powdered silica substance that has multiple uses, including an organic insecticide. It can kill insects by absorbing the oils and fats from an insect’s exoskeleton. Stink bugs don’t need to consume diatomaceous earth and only need to come into contact with the powder.
Diatomaceous earth is safe for plants, so you can sprinkle it around your crops as an organic pesticide. You can also place it near your doors, windows, and other potential entry areas. However, just like essential oils, there is no hard evidence to say how effective this method is. You can buy diatomaceous earth online or in specialty stores.
Special Pest Vacuums
You can find special vacuums designed to capture stink bugs and prevent their scent from infesting your property. There are also pest control vacuums with long tubes that allow you to capture stink bugs and then release them away from your property.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to buy a special type of vacuum, you can use an everyday vacuum as long as it’s a model that uses a disposable vacuum cleaner bag. These vacuums can make stink bugs feel threatened, and they will then release their odor. So placing them in the bag can allow you to isolate and dispose of the bugs immediately without creating a stink.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Company
If all else fails, you might just have a serious stink bug infestation on your hands. DIY solutions may not work, especially for traps that only kill a handful of bugs. Your best solution, in this case, is to hire a professional pest control company.
A team of pest management professionals can find where the swarm is hiding, and eliminate all adult stink bugs, nymphs, and eggs. Pest control professionals will then take preventative measures to ensure your property is less likely to see another infestation in the near future.
Why Preventative Measures Are a Necessary Part of Your Stink Bug Pest Control Solution
Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to pest control. Aside from their unpleasant odor, stink bugs can damage your plants, crops, fruits, and other produce, which can affect homes, restaurants, and other properties like farms and food manufacturing centers. Rather than taking a reactive approach to stink bugs and having to deal with the damage they can do, preventative measures reduce the risk of these incidents happening in the first place.
Once you’ve figured out how to get rid of stink bugs, you should now consider ways to prevent them from coming back. Some simple but effective solutions include:
- Sealing Cracks: Use a sealant or caulking gun to seal up cracks and other openings around your home. For your door frames, garage doors, and windows, you can purchase adhesives that safely cover up the cracks that could potentially let insects and pests in. Get weather strips, sweeps, and rubber seals and replace them regularly to prevent your seals from wearing out.
- Perform Regular Property Inspections and Maintenance: Having a professional inspect your property can help you spot the cracks and issues on your property before they get worse. Since you can catch these issues at an early stage, you can have it addressed before it gets worse. On top of preventing potential entry points for stink bugs, you can also save up on the costs of repairing moderate issues on your property.
- Proper Food Handling: For outdoor properties, ensure that your crops and produce are surrounded by adequate pest control solutions. Indoors, make sure your kitchens are regularly cleaned. Ensure your raw ingredients are properly stored and disposed of when they start to go bad.
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Stink bugs are a nuisance for any home or commercial establishment. However, with the right steps, you can get rid of them and prevent their unpleasant odors from wafting around your property.
With Pest Control unlimited, we offer reliable services for competitive prices. We use the latest products and the best industry practices to not only eliminate pests on your property but also take steps to prevent a future infestation from happening with our maintenance services.
Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and estimate on our services.