Stink bugs can damage fruit and vegetable crops and create an unwelcome odor in your house. You can prevent and exterminate these nuisances by following a few tested procedures.
- Step 1: Vacuum up any stinkbugs that are already inside your home -- dead or alive. Then empty the vacuum's receptacle outside in a trashcan with a tight-fitting lid.
- TIP: Live stink bugs may leave your vacuum cleaner with a foul odor for several days, so you may opt for a broom and dustpan instead.
- Step 2: Call a licensed pest control expert if all else fails. A professional will have chemicals and sprays available that you may not know about or know how to use. They will also have a trained eye and may be able to spot entry points better than you. Until the bugs are completely eradicated, you risk having a smelly situation all winter long.
- FACT: Stink bugs are native to Asia and have only been in the United States since about 1998.
- Step 3: Treat the outside of your home with chemical repellents. Spray a chemical product around the outside of the house as well as the surrounding area in early fall, before the bugs migrate indoors. Spray as far up the wall as you can and let the product drip down the walls for maximum coverage.
- Step 4: Cut back leafy plants in your garden. Stink bugs like leafy plants. If you have a garden close to your house, move it a few feet away. If you grow vegetables -- especially tomato plants -- move the bed at least 20 feet from the house.
- Step 5: Check your doors and window frames for openings. Seal off any cracks or other potential entryways. If you have loose-fitting doors, screens, or windows, tighten them or caulk around them.
- TIP: Cracks are often found around utility pipes or chimneys, under wood fascia, and in doors and windows, so check those areas carefully.
- Step 6: Focus on sealing the inside of your house if summer has passed. The bugs may already be inside your walls. If you seal cracks around the insides of your windows and door frames, ceiling fixtures, and in walls above false ceilings, you can prevent them from getting in.
- Step 7: Try to determine where the insects are getting into your home. Stink bugs are looking for a place to hibernate and are attracted to the brightest side of a house. Check the most reflective side of your home for holes and then seal them.