How do you get rid of stink bugs?

How Do You Get Rid Of Stink Bugs – In Your Garden

With the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug becoming a bigger threat to the farms and houses in the US, the entomologists are very often posed the same questions: “How do you get rid of Stink Bugs?” or “How to eradicate the stink bugs?”

The answer to it is not easy. When the Shield Bugs infested your garden the ways to fight them are usually with pesticides. There is one problem related to that method though, and it is that the usual pesticides kill also other bugs, which are beneficial to your fruit and vegetable production.

Another way which needs to be considered is the use of natural predators. A common predator can be any other insect or bird, which normally has them in its daily menu. This way of fighting the pest is getting a lot of buzzes in the US in the recent years. However, there are two major problems with this method:

  • The Stink Bugs don’t have many natural predators due to their protective smell
  • The natural predators are very often other type of garden pest. Two examples come to mind – The Predatory Stink Bug and the European Starling.

There are also many natural ways to fight an infestation. However, most of them will seem crazy, and they are not proven to work. It’s understandable since people are trying to find every way possible to get rid of them. Some of the methods mentioned include: spraying them with a hot sauce, soap and water solutions, hairspray and whatever you may think of.

How Do You Get Rid Of Stink Bugs – In Your House

Once in your house the Shield Bugs seem to want to stay in forever. You need a lot of patience and a lot of methods for killing them under your belt in order to find out which one really works.

Despite their small size, they can make a clean and bright home a real stink-hole and sure enough you start asking the same question – how do you get rid of them?

If you did not see the Stink Bugs in big amounts in your garden during the warm months of the year, usually there is nothing to worry about. Normally, they are appearing during the summer months and the beginning of fall, and if they have targeted your house for an invasion, they will do that when the weather starts getting colder.

Probably, the most important word you should consider as in every other pest fight is the word “prevention”.  The best way to make sure they are not going to come and live with you is to take measures.

There are some vegetables which these true bugs particularly like. Tomatoes come to mind as a first choice. So if you want them to stay away from your house, then the best way is not to plant tomatoes in your garden. Well, in the case that you love tomatoes as much as I do, and you cannot imagine a garden without this vegetable, make sure you put them as far as possible from your home.

Another way for the insects to get inside is when you actually invite them. Now you say “Hold on Mike, I never wanted these damn beetles in my home”. Well, that is right. Nobody ever wanted this to happen, but you didn’t take some preventive measures.

  • When you picked your tomatoes or fruits from the garden you have not inspected them and noticed that there is a bug on one of them. Once inside the insect is on the loose. Inspect your garden production carefully!
  • You did not check your clothes. Some of them may have got on your clothes, and you brought them in. Check your clothing carefully after a gardening day!

Once you notice the bugs inside your house you may want to vacuum them with the vacuum cleaner. This might be an effective way as you will also not be using some dangerous chemicals, which might affect your pets or family members.

If this method does not help you may consider using some dusting treatment. Its smell is a good repellent and this might be a very good idea as the dust treatment lasts long.

Of course as a last resort you may consider an extermination service. While this might sound as a good way let me warn you that this service costs quite a lot and is not always effective.

Stink Bugs Infestation

As you were reading through the pages of my website you have probably got to the idea that the Stink Bugs in big populations are a pest. The Shield Bugs infestation comes in two ways, which are related in their nature. However, bring two completely different but unpleasant experiences:

  • Infestation in your garden or farm
  • Infestation in your house

Farm and Garden Stink Bugs Infestation

The gardens and farms where the Stink Bugs can find a lot of their preferred food are prone to infestations. Generally having a few bugs on your fruits or vegetables is not considered dangerous for your production even though they may damage a few of your tomatoes or apples or whatever they find tasty.

The real problem starts when a big population of Shield Bugs invades your territory.

When a bug goes over a tomato, for example, it will suck juices from different places of it. At the end the parts which were in the menu of the bugs will become yellowish and damaged.

There are different ways to fight an infestation on your farm, including insecticides and home made non-toxic solutions. However, most of the suggested ways and methods are barely working or with just a temporary effect.

House Stink Bugs Infestation

You are probably thinking “OK Mike. The gardens and farms are normal targets, but why my home?”

As mentioned before the house and garden invasions are closely related. Usually, before getting into your home the Shield Bugs are attracted to something around it.

Yes, you guessed right! There is a garden, a fruit tree or whatever they may feed on in the area of your living place. Two major reasons exist for the insects to seek refuge in the house – the light and the heat.

First, they are attracted by the light in your house and when they get in, they find out that it’s actually nice and warm there so before you even realize what is going on you may already have a problem to fight with.

The Shield Bugs are not easy to find once in your dwelling. They are looking for areas, which are outside of imminent danger, so those will be the dark and isolated corners of your house.

I am sure (as I have noticed this myself) you have seen them appear when the summer ends and the colder months start coming. This is because they are looking to escape from the harsh weather outside and what better place they can find than your “Home! Sweet home!” Once they get inside they may get into a period when they are not very active, so you might not even notice them.

When the winter comes and it is colder, you will be producing more heat in your house to warm up. This heat, however, makes the Stink Bugs active again, and you will start seeing them already coming out randomly. Before you know it, more and more of them will invade your place. Bear in mind that the Stink Bugs are reproducing very fast, so it’s not a hard task for them to take over territories like your home.

The smelly toxin produced by your new “friends” actually attracts more to come. You have probably brought their eggs inside the house by accident (on your shoes), or they have targeted you randomly. Once they are in, they are not planning to go anywhere else, unless you take serious measures.

The smell they produce can last for four to eight months, and that is why they keep coming. Only once you got rid of the “older” Stink Bugs and prevented the “new generation” from stepping in, you may consider your house completely Stink Bug free. However, prepare yourself – it’s not going to be an easy fight.

Do Stink Bugs Stink?

Well, if you are browsing through this website you should already know the answer to the question “Do Stink Bugs Stink?”, but if you keep asking yourself, or you came straight on this topic of my website from a search engine, I will give you the answer: Yes! Stink Bugs do stink and this is where their name comes from.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the Stink Bug smell and find the answers to: Where does the smell come from? Why they smell? What do they smell like?

Where does the Stink Bug odor come from?

“Shield Bugs” is another name for these true bugs, and the name comes from the shield body shape of the insects. It’s interesting, but whenever I look at them, they remind me of soldiers. As every true soldier they need their weapons. Mostly not predators, but rather digging for plants and fruits as their main “treasure”, the Stink Bugs need some sort of protection.

The odor of the bugs comes from a toxin releasing gland they have in their bodies. They are situated on their thorax between the first and the second pair of legs, and the toxin is in the form of a bad smelling liquid.

For those who truly love chemistry, I would reveal the secret – the smelly liquid contains aldehydes such as CH3–(CH2)2–CH=CH–CHO.

NOTE: People who don’t love and have a genuine interest in chemistry, please read this and go on and please don’t ask me what it means as I truly have no idea. Chemistry was never among my favorite subjects at school.

I personally don’t like the smell, and I don’t recommend you smelling them for fun. However, you may want to do it, and I cannot stop you if you like extreme adventures but most probably you will come to the same conclusion as me.

Why do Stink Bugs smell?

This is a protection against any outside threat they may feel. Generally, the nature gave them the toxic odor as a bird and other predators repelling “spray”. However, humans are not excluded from the list of enemies.

When you take a Stink Bug in your hand, chase it to kill it or simply kill it with your slipper you may experience the true smell coming from them. Furthermore, if you have a lot of them in your house you will feel this smell everywhere as they will be releasing it quite often.

What do Stink Bugs smell like?

Well, honestly, I cannot say exactly. This is a topic where I truly have no answer for you (but I think this will vary from a person to a person). The only thing I can tell you that to me the smell is disgusting and this is probably because I am not an insect lover. I would also describe myself as a Stink Bug hater, as I had a very bad infestation in my home, and it took me two years until I find an effective way to get rid of them permanently.

Common Stink Bug Species

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Not native to America this insect seems to be introduced by accident in North America and more specifically the US. The first reports of a Brown Stink Bug come from Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1998. Apart from the US, they can be seen in different countries and by the end of 2010 around thirty-seven countries reported populations of this type of bug. However, it’s quite possible that they can be found in all countries around the world.

They are a well known agricultural pest, mostly in Asia where they usually attack the soybean crops and damage vegetable and fruit production. However, after their introduction in the US, the population is gradually growing, and they are becoming a new pest.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is taking over US territories step-by-step, and it seems this little “warrior” will not give up. The reports show that 2011 could be the worst year in terms of Stink Bug infestations, so be ready!

The Green Stink Bug

The differences between the Green Stink Bug and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug are not much. Of course, the first and obvious difference is the color (hence the different names). Their color is usually bright green, so not easy to miss this one on your crops. The green bug is similar in size, form and “diet” habits to its brown relative.

It can be found in gardens, orchards and farms in different parts in North America. It also seems that the fruits tend to attract more this type of shield bugs. Part of their daily meal is cherry trees, orange trees, soybean, cotton, apple trees, etc.

Other Stink Bug species

There are more than 250 species of Stink Bugs around the world. In the US, you can “meet” more than 20 different types of Stink Bugs (could be much more). They all vary by color, size and physical characteristics. Some of the Shield Bugs are predators (The Florida predatory Stink Bug) and are feeding on different insects, including other species of Stink Bugs. You can definitely consider them a natural pest control method, but we will discuss more on that topic in the Stink Bugs infestation section of the website.

Conclusion

As you can see there are more than just one or two types of Shield Bugs, which can harm your fruit and crop production or even attack your house. While in general they are harmless insects the tendency to grow big populations actually turns them into a pest. On this website, we are discussing various topics on the Stink Bugs but also different ways to get rid of them permanently. As Sun Tzu says in “The Art of War”: “Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster!” Good Luck!

Stink Bugs Facts

General Stink Bugs Facts

Stink Bugs or Shield Bugs are a part of the Pentatomidae insect family. The antennae of the insects in the family have five segments, and this is where the name comes from (Greek: pente which means “five” and tomos meaning “segment” or “section”). Their bodies are often with the shape of a shield, and the forewings are hardened. And that is where the name “Shield Bug” comes from.

They are originating from Asia. However, we can see them more and more in the US and other countries around the world. A theory suggests that they have been “imported” (obviously illegally) with the merchant ships coming from the Asian countries (mainly China).

Hey, this is what I call a “good” deal – importing “goods” without a proper demand!

Stink Bugs Facts – Where Does Their Name Come From?

Well, I wish I could tell you that the name originates from some myths and legends, which are not even close to the truth. Regrettably, I have to disappoint you – Stink Bugs actually stink! The smell they emit is a protective reaction to outside threats. Furthermore, if you smash one of them, you will definitely feel this horrid odor. So if you plan on killing a Shield Bug with your slipper or sneaker remember to wash it very well after that.

 

Stink Bugs Facts – What Do They Eat?

Have you heard that Shield Bugs are an agricultural pest? Well, if you haven’t, now you have the answer to your question. The insects are sucking juices from plants and also have a damaging effect on farm crops. An interesting fact is that they are picky in their diet. A Shield Bug is usually “biting” here and there from the fruits and plants, leaving behind a devastated garden or farm. Why am I saying devastated? Well, these little “fellas” have the habit of growing huge populations. Now imagine you have a whole army of “diet picky” Stink Bugs attacking your precious garden or farm products. You get my point.

 

Stink Bugs Facts – Do They Fly?

Yes they do. As mentioned earlier the insects from the Pentatomidae family have harder top wings, but they also have membranous under-wings. The need of fresh and new food is their major driving force to fly from crop to crop, garden to garden and farm to farm.

 

Stink Bugs Facts – Do They Bite?

The answer to this question is short and simple – yes they do when they feel in danger. When they bite you, it will cause a blister or a rash like inflammation. Nothing to worry about though, the bite does not have any long term effects, and you need to treat it the same way you treat any other insect bite.

 

Stink Bugs Facts – Will They Come In Your House?

Unfortunately Stink Bugs are not only a garden pest but very often we can see them invade houses. Now if having them eating and damaging your garden production was an annoyance, living with them is even a bigger one. They will fly around you, share your bed, bite you and most importantly stink! Having a whole army of them in your house will test all your senses at once, so be prepared for a war!