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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs In My House

stink bug on a leaf

It would be suitable to think that stink bugs get their name because it “stinks” to have a stink bug infestation in your home. As funny that may be, stink bugs actually get their name due to the unpleasant odor they release as a defense mechanism against attackers. It also reeks if you step on one, so that might not be the best thing to do. Originally this bug was only found in East Asia and there were no sightings in the United States - that is till the 1990’s in Pennsylvania where it was first reported. Now it can be found in more than 44 states.

 

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Stink bugs move into overwinter and invade people’s homes that are located near farmland and crop fields. These creepy-crawly bugs are most active in the winter months inside where they are trying to overwinter from October till March in search of warmth. Stink bugs in the house can be a real nuisance. As winter rolls around every year, it is best to prepare for the invasion beforehand, rather than when breeding starts. It might just be too late then.

The good thing is that stink bugs do not bite, sting or carry diseases, but they are still gross. It is the pungent smell given off by these bugs that makes them so disgusting.  Not only is the smell bad, but they can cause some major staining.

Identification and appearance

If you do not know what stink bugs look like, you can consider yourself one of the lucky few. They usually tend to be 15mm long and brown in color. There are numerous species of stink bugs that come in a variety of colors. The head has a pair of straight antennae with light grey bands. They have a pair of terrifying piercers in their mouths used to create havoc in the fields, and during combat with other insects. They also have dark bands on their front wings, and have the ability of flight. That’s probably how it got to the United States in the first place.

Habitat and diet

They usually remain contained to the fields where there are plenty of crops to destroy, but seasonally enter homes and protected structures in search of warmth and to reproduce. They usually feed on fruits and vegetables but sometimes eat other insects such as caterpillars as well.

They are quick to reproduce as females lay, on average, 25 eggs in the summer. The hatchlings are called nymphs, emerge about five days later. By the time winter comes, these would have fully matured into adult stink bugs

 

Click Here To Learn More About Overwintering Pests

 

Getting rid of stink bugs from your house

If this is the first time you’re facing a home invasion by stink bugs, you must act fast. Stink bugs have fixed migration patterns and they tend to return to the same place every year. Unless wiped out with the utmost urgency, this will become an yearly tradition. Here are some quick and easy ways for you to get rid of stink bugs:

  • While insecticides might do wonders against stink bugs, it is better to apply preventive measures and take preemptive action against them, before they have the chance to come in. As with preventive measures for all other insects, you need to seal the entry points to your home. Fill cracks and holes in the walls and repair the screens in doors and windows. Also observe any signs of activity from the chimney and the water pipes. Paint over previous holes and add wire mesh to bar future entrants. Adding weather stripping to the doors and windows can also be a plus.

  • Carefully inspect the garden and the outer walls of the house for any activity. If you see any bugs, hose them down to discourage them from being near your property. Trim the weeds in your garden and remove the clutter of any loose boards and boxes to reduce hiding spots for these bugs.  You can also spray a residual insecticides.

  • Once you do have a massive population migrating to your home, the fastest way to get rid of them is with a high powered vacuum. Whatever you do, do not stomp on them or try to kill them with a broom. To deal with the aftermath will be another problem and it might take days to exfoliate the smell. A vacuum can do wonders. Suck them in, from every corner and crevice of the house, bag them up and throw them out. Make sure they are disposed at least a couple miles out, to prevent them from returning.

  • Don’t own a vacuum? Get dual sided tape or specially designed sticky traps to catch stink bugs. These can also be effective against other small insects such as centipedes and cockroaches. Although stink bugs can fly, they usually just walk in search of food. If the trap is of high quality, the unsuspecting bug will be caught and won’t be able to escape.

  • Home remedies include different kinds of sprays such as peppermint, garlic, chili, vinegar and lemon juice. Spraying it directly on the bugs would make them run for the hills and prevent them from returning. They cannot stand sharp acidic smells. For the utmost effectiveness, apply spray generously and then clean the residue afterwards.

Caution

Remember to be very careful and delicate with stink bugs. Even if you accidentally step on them, they will give out an unpleasant odor that won’t go away soon. Sometimes nature can be tricky to deal with. You just have to be smart about it.  Think about spraying a good residual before they invade in the cooler months.

 

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