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Keeping Stink Bugs Away
Stink bugs are not only invasive because of their propensity to invade our homes in the fall, but because they are considered an invasive species to the United States. First discovered in 1996 in Pennsylvania, these insects are quickly spreading throughout the country.
Native to China, Japan, and Korea, stink bugs are not a pest that will cause damage to our homes or bring risks to our health. However, they are a nuisance by coming into our homes in large numbers in the fall, looking for a warm and cozy place to spend the winter months. When disturbed or squished, they release a foul defensive odor, which is how they got their name.
A Dozen Tips That Deter Stink Bugs
When stink bug season is upon us, there are steps homeowners can take to try to ward off their invasion before it becomes an infestation:
- Seal gaps and openings in your home. Stink bugs march and fly in through vulnerabilities in our homes. Cracks around windows and doors, as well as damaged screens and weather stripping on doors and windows, are the most common spots to caulk and repair.
- Use natural oils. Create a mixture of mint essential oil or neem oil with water and spray around window sills, doors, and other potential entry points.
- Reduce outdoor lights. Stink bugs are attracted to light. Turning outdoor lights near the house off will lessen the number of stink bugs congregating close to entry points.
- Spread diatomaceous earth. Made from natural rock, this powder can be placed around entryways both inside and outside your home. Unfortunately, when it gets on a stink bug, it will break down its exoskeleton, leaving them to die of dehydration.
- Reduce leaks and moisture around your home. This is one of the best pest control deterrents a homeowner can do on one’s own because a secure source of water will attract many pests to your home.
- A soapy water solution helps. Stink bugs tend to fall straight down when disturbed. Combine equal parts of dish soap and water and place the container directly under the bug. Or, put a tray of soapy water underneath a light at night in a room of your home with many stink bugs. They will fly to the light, fall, and drown in the soapy water.
- Rub dryer sheets around window sills and doors — stink bugs do not like the smell.
- Seal all food sources. Keep food in sealed plastic containers and keep floors and counters free of crumbs. Stink bugs are especially attracted to fruit.
- Vacuum them up. This works best if you have a vacuum that uses a bag because vacuuming them will release their stink. It’s best to take the bag out of the vacuum outside and seal it so they don’t escape, and place it right in the trash.
- Place an electric bug zapper in your attic. Stink bugs like to congregate in a warm, dark attic. They’ll get zapped too quickly for them to release their stink.
- Crush a few. Dead stink bugs repel the live ones.
- Keep your attic, basement, garage, and crawl space well ventilated.
Call Pest Control When Faced With an Infestation
When the number of stink bugs in your home becomes too much, it’s time to call in professional pest removal services. Remember, the stink bugs in your home this fall will re-emerge in spring to try to find their way back outside. Ecola knows how to kill bugs that are bugging you in an eco-friendly, family-friendly way. Call 800-471-BUGS (2847) to eliminate the stink bugs in your home today.