This article comes from HGTV.
Stink bugs feel like nature’s revenge for every insect you’ve ever squished. They get their name from the foul stench they release when they’re threatened or disturbed. It’s a smell that’s tough to describe. Chemically it contains compounds found in cilantro, but the odor is stronger, with notes of dirty socks, rotting fruit and paper-mill pulp. In short, it stinks — and worse, it lingers.
Seasonal cues trigger stink bugs’ search for winter quarters; the shortening days and falling temperatures sending them scuttling for cover. If they sheltered beneath tree bark or mulch, it would be one thing. But they prefer sharing your home over winter, piling into cracks and crevices by the thousands. Researchers once found 4,000 in a bread box size container — and 30,000 inside an outhouse-size building.
Once stink bugs hide indoors, they stage a slow-motion home invasion all winter long. They’re intrepid explorers, lumbering along any surface — countertop, couch, toaster or bed. They like warm places, which means they’re happy to jump into your shower or morning coffee. When they fly, they bump and blunder into things, sounding like helicopters with serious mechanical issues.
The reason for a stink bug’s disoriented behavior indoors is diapause, a sort of insect hibernation. This zombie-like state allows them to move, just not with much finesse. They typically appear when a winter warm spell fools them into thinking it’s spring. Instead of finding their way outdoors, they emerge in your living spaces — and chaos ensues.
Inside, stink bugs tend to congregate on upper floors and in tight spaces. That’s why they often tuck into drapery folds and walk along the tops of walls. It’s why they mass in attics and crawl spaces above garages. So what do you do when you spot a stink bug on the move inside? It’s best to deal with them one by one. Try one of these techniques.
Kill two birds with one stone by making your house smell great even as you are banishing stink bugs. Mix 10 drops of mint essential oil with 16 ounces of water and spray at interior entry zones like windows and doors.
This plant-based natural insecticide may take a week or so to work since it interferes with bugs’ instinctual behaviors. Combine 32 ounces water and two teaspoons neem oil and spray at stink bug entry points like windowsills.
This earth-friendly pesticide powder made from natural rock can be placed at entryways like doors and windows both inside and outside and breaks down the stink bug’s protective exoskeleton so they eventually die of dehydration.
For bad infestations, some homeowners buy a small shop vac dedicated for stink bug use. You can also use a vacuum you already have, but proceed with caution with this tip. This method only works for vacuum cleaners with bags. And you’ll need to throw the bug-filled bags away immediately to prevent a stink bomb from developing.
A stink bug’s natural reaction to any perceived threat is to drop straight down. Fill a wide mouth jar with soapy water (add some vinegar for extra killing power), move it into position beneath a stink bug, and most often it will drop right into the suds and drown. Combine equal parts hot water and dish soap in a spray bottle and spray on windowsill entry points.
While it isn’t the prettiest of methods, strips of fly tape spread on windowsills and at other entryways will catch these critters.
Prevention is key in combatting these critters. Caulk all cracks and crevices where bugs can enter. Place fine mesh over air vents to keep bugs from trying that sneaky alternative entryway.
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