How to get rid of Stink Bugs

stink bugs pentatomidae how to get rid of

The brown marmorated bug, also known as the stink bug usually appears in the spring. Homeowners will find it crawling on the walls or flying around the windows of their house. They will cause mild damage to your garden, but can become an especially aggravating nuisance once inside your home, especially if you will decide to swat them or step on them. Stink bugs are active in March and April and very active in September when they’re trying to get into your house. By preventing them from entering your house, you will avoid the nuisance of getting rid of them, in the spring, when they awaken from hibernation. The bugs stay hidden through the winter, but when springtime comes, the bugs start to move around. They seek a way out, but they often come out inside the living space of the home.
As they are spread world wide, you will be able to find them in your gardens or on your crops, affecting mostly fruits such as apples, mulberries, peaches and citrus fruits, but also fields of soybeans, sweet corn, and other ornamental plants.

When dealing with a serious infestation, there are several methods that you can apply in order to remove these pests either from your house or your garden. Whether you do this through the use of natural pesticides, chemical ones or traps, follow the steps below to make sure you cover all the areas that could be helping or causing this infestation to take place.

stink bugs pentatomidae how to get rid of

Home remedies for stink bug infestation

When dealing with stink bugs, you need to make sure they are not managing to get inside your house, especially during fall, when they are mostly likely to seek shelter inside your home. Seal any cracks and gaps you can find, especially those near windows, exhaust fans, ceiling lights, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys and from the back side of baseboards. Once they manage to enter the wall void, they are difficult to control, so it is best to just apply prevention methods and keep them out. This type of mechanical exclusion should do the trick, if applied in time. You can either use silicone based caulk to cover the cracks or screens for windows and doors, or you can also spray the exterior of your home in the fall, for a plus of protection.

You can use natural pesticides against these insects, if you prefer not to fill your home with chemical pesticides. The best powdered natural insecticide that you can use is Diatomaceous Earth. If you spread this chalky powder both inside and outside your home, especially alongside entryways such as windows and doors, you will be able to form a barrier against these insects. Once they come in contact with DE, their exoskeleton will be broken down and they will finally die of dehydration. You can also dust the stinkbugs when you see them with this powder, as it will have the same effect on them.

Applying a mix of garlic powder and water and spraying it onto plant leaves, windowsills, and other areas stink bugs frequent can prove to be useful. They will not like the strong odour of garlic and will stay away from that area. Keep in mind that this method will only repel then, and not kill the insects. The same effect can be achieved with mint.
A mix of mint oil and water also applied in different locations or around hide-outs, will successfully keep the bugs away.
Neem oil can also be used to coat plant leaves, windowsills and other places that can be potential entryways for stink bugs.
Catnip powder can also be used, sprinkled around your garden and home, especially in areas that are prone to stink bug infestation. You can also grow catnip in your garden, as it will be good for long time defense against these pests.
While some repellency to cedar also might exist, it is not very effective at repelling an invasion of overwintering stink bugs. Many homeowners prefer to use mechanical methods to prevent these insects from invading their homes.

Other methods of deterring stink bugs

Another way of removing the bugs from your household is through physical removal. By using a powerful vacuum, you can gather the bugs and even their eggs from around your house. Due to the pressure of the air, the bugs might be squashed, it is better to use a vacuum whose bag you can change and discard of, as it will smell foul for several weeks if you do not get rid of it. Make sure you dispose of the content of the bag in a large garbage bag and seal it tightly. Vacuuming regularly should help you keep your home clean and free of bugs and their eggs.
The use of fly tape is also a method you can apply. Place it along windowsills, doorways, cracks, vents, and any other notable entryways into your home and wait for it to get filled with bugs caught. Then, as soon as it is full of victims, dispose of it in a tightly sealed bag, as once caught, the bugs may give of their trademark odour.
On the outside of your house, you can install a bug zapper, that will attract the bugs and them electrocute them. All you will need to do is clean up their bodies in the morning. Designed in square or lantern shaped, the electric trap boxes consist of a light bulb to attract bugs. These boxes also have a transformer and dual layer of electrified metal. When the bugs fly to it and complete the circuit on contact, it is trapped and killed instantly. The obvious advantage of electric stink bug trap is that it can last for a longer period of time and can be used repeatedly.

However, in order to keep the stink bug population in check, you will need to control the weeds in your garden. These pests tend to be attracted to weeds and by reducing their amount, you will be able to also reduce the number of the insects as well, as they will no longer find your garden attractive. And if there are fewer stink bugs in your garden, there will be fewer in your house, when they will try to move inside coming fall.
You can also try to attract stink bug predators to your garden, such as spiders, parasitic flies, wasps, birds, toads, and praying mantises. By growing wildflowers and herbs, you will attract parasitic flies and wasps, and the other predators mentioned can be attracted with perennial herbs and flowers.

Normally, stink bugs do not attack in large numbers, however, if their population does grow very large, it can cause a lot of damage to your garden and crops. They prefer the fleshy part of fruits but can adapt to conditions as plants in late season begin to loose moisture. Some types are known to exist in arid climates on woody plants and even cacti, yet prefer commercially raised, irrigated crops that are grown in such regions.
The damage they do is often cosmetic but also leads to early decay and spoilage. In addition to the piercing of the plant which can result in blemishes, the insects also inject a digestive enzyme that causes discolouration as it spreads through the plant’s vascular system. Given the choice, the stink bugs will always choose fruit over foliage. Damage on cabbage and other leafy crops can be seen in grey and beige blotches. Corn attacked by the pests will have dark spots on stalks and, more likely, deformed ears with missing kernels. Fruit skins will show browning where the bugs have fed and tomatoes show a darkened bruise around the spot where the pest has inserted its proboscis.

To be able to protect your garden from these insects, make sure you remove as many boxes, boards and other type of clutter as those are places under which stink bugs thrive. Also trim the weeds and grass around the property, the weeds in ditches and along fences and remove any piles of clippings. This modification of the environment will help, that come spring, the bugs will be fewer, and thus, less likely to cause such issues.
The use of decoy plants in and around the garden is a great way to lure stinkbugs away from your most prized garden plants. They will flock to the trap plants, which can then be removed. Such trap plants are sweet corn, okra, mustard, or sunflower.

  • Keep areas around gardens clear of tall grass, brambles, downed limbs and other natural litter to deny a place to over winter;
  • Use good organic practice such as soil building, encouraging beneficial microbes and other soil life;
  • Balance nutrient and moisture management, applications of compost, as it helps plants resist damage caused by stink bugs;
  • When stink bugs are expected, especially as crops approach harvest, use row covers to prevent them from gaining access.

Spraying concentrated insecticides for Stink Bugs control:

Concentrated insecticides are the most common used products in fighting insect infestations. They provide the safety that any insect coming into contact with the treated surfaces dies shortly.

Stink bug elimination is difficult since they are resistant to most common pesticides. Their waxy-like coating makes it hard for poisons to penetrate. However, there are a few options you can try besides the organic solutions mentioned above. Cypermethrin insecticide can sometimes be effective and are easily degraded in soil as well as on plants. Also Pyrethrum can be used, as it is highly effective against stink bugs. The insecticide is not dangerous to the user and it does not damage the wildlife or plants.

Sprayers used for Stink Bugs control:

Concentrated insecticides are the most common used products in fighting insect infestations. They provide the safety that any insect coming into contact with the treated surfaces dies shortly.

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    €35.57

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    • 5 litres
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    • 10 litres
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    • 4 litres
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    • 10 litres
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    • 18 litres
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    475 Comfort

    €145.99

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    • 5 litres
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    458

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    • 1.5 litres
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    • 7 litres
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      Type of Apparatus:

    • Sprayers Hand

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 7 litres
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    • 8 litres
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    Astro 5

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      Tank Capacity:

    • 5 litres
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      Tank Capacity:

    • 0.5 litres
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    • 7 litres

You can use a low pressure sprayer to pulverise the insecticide over the infested area, you will need to dilute 50 ml of insecticide in 1-2 liters of water and then use the hand-sprayer just like you would normally. For large spaces the hand sprayer will not cut it, but you can use a low pressure back pack pump, but you need to spray really carefully and cover all the surfaces.
The treatment is done using a low pressure back pack pump, and atomizer or a strong pulveriser because the treatment needs to be residual. The whole surface you want to protect needs to be treated, no part should go untreated. If you are applying this in a yard you need to really insist or use an ULV treatment that has the insecticide pointed to the ground, especially if the grass is tall. The environmental factor will degrade the insecticide so it will not last long. The treatment should be done on walls and tress too. Like all insecticides this one will only last until the first rain. If the grass is tall, even the morning dew can affect the insecticide.

Dusting insecticides for Stink Bugs control:

Dusting insecticides are ideal for areas where liquid insecticides can not be sprayed, such as cracks and electrical installations. Apply on dry surfaces, do not dissolve in water. It is very important to identify and treat areas with high potential of nests. Careful of air flows!

Using stink bug aerosol insecticide is yet another way to controlling them. In this method, synthetic chemicals prove more effective than organic ones but one should take into account the presence of small kids and animals because they may receive skin allergens from such chemicals. Use an insecticide meant for on-the-spot treatment rather than one that is designed to have a slower effect. Spray it directly onto the bug when you see it, and once it stopped moving, sweep it away.

Mist Blowers used for Stink Bugs control:

Mist blowers are also useful for treatment application, as they use a very low volume application rate per unit area / space, that guarantees economic control of pests.

  • makita sprayer pm7651h - 2, small

    Dispatch in 3 days

    PM7651H

    €676.9

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Mist Blowers

      Manufacturer:

    • Makita

      Tank Capacity:

    • 15 litres
  • eu solo sprayer fogger master 452 01 - 1, small

    Master 452-01

    Regular Price: €434.22

    €369.09

      Type of Apparatus:

    • Mist Blowers

      Manufacturer:

    • Solo

      Tank Capacity:

    • 12 litres

Whenever dealing with stink bugs around your property, keep in mind that the best action you can take against them is applying methods of prevention. It is always easier to prevent them from entering your house or developing in your garden, than getting rid of them. For more details on how you can do this, check our article “Prevent infestation with stink bugs”.

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