RSS Feed
Email this article
Printer friendly page

Ask Rick A Question


How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs


Summary: Stink bugs are nuisances that will invade homes looking for shelter. Learn how to get rid of stink bugs by using the right products at the right time.   Read more about these products here.

Have small, shield-shaped bugs flown into your house and emitted a gross
odor? These insects are called stink bugs because they possess a gland that releases an odor as a means of self-defense. There's nothing like a good dose of “stink” to protect yourself from being eaten by a bird or lizard.

Exterior insecticide treatments applied to the west and south-facing sides of homes will provide some relief if used properly. The most popular professional product for stink bug control is Talstar Pro. Mix one (1) ounce of the concentrate to one gallon of water. Apply with a pump sprayer.  Be sure to close down the nozzle so the material comes out in a fine, fan spray. You do not need to apply it to the point that it is running down the sides of the house. That's too much product. Treat the sides and pay special attention to window and door frames.

A more expensive product, but one that lasts longer in sun and rain and provides even more effective control, is Suspend Polyzone. This is the latest and greatest and it is said to last up to 90 days in outdoor conditions.

small_4353070212.jpg

Insecticides break down in direct sunlight, so a reapplication of the pesticide may be necessary every seven to ten days. Retreating exterior surfaces on a regular basis, especially during peak stink bug migration seasons, will make these prevention measures more effective.

Remember to always read the product label.  If you are uncomfortable applying pesticides or lack the proper equipment you might consider having a licensed pest control operator apply the materials. When applied per label this product will not harm children or pets.

Exclusion is the key to avoiding stink bug invasions. Sealing your house by closing doors and windows will help keep them out of your home. If there are cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, behind chimneys, or other openings, good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk will help stop stink bug entry. I really like the exclusion product  Xcluder. It is easy and inexpensive to use. It does a great job of stuffing cracks and crevices and it won't break down when exposed to rain or snow.

For stink bugs that have amassed on walls and ceilings you can just vacuum them up. If they are in the attic you can use foggers or "bombs", as they are popularly known. But, pesticide "bombs" work best on exposed insects, rather than insects hiding deep in cracks. Readily available aerosol-type pyrethrum foggers like  PT 565 Plus XLO will knock them down, but the treatment will not prevent more stink bugs from emerging shortly afterwards. You would do a lot better simply doing a thorough inspection and using a vacuum to collect the bugs. Nuvan ProStrips are great for controlling stink bugs in enclosed attic spaces, slowly releasing a vapor over a four week period that keeps on killing them.

Replace ripped window and door screens and install screens on attic vents. Inspect entries to crawl spaces to make sure they are properly sealed.

Although stink bugs are primarily pests of crop fields, they can be found in meadows, fields, yards, or gardens and especially those with low shrubs. They are known to infest up to 70 different ornamental plants. Stink bugs are most active from spring through fall, but they usually become house invaders at the beginning of fall when temperatures start to drop. They sometimes hibernate on the outside of some south-facing buildings for warmth, but usually over winter in protected areas under dead weeds, stones, in the bark of trees or in your house.

Brown_marmorated_stink_bug_eggs_on_leaf.jpg

The stink bug's eggs are yellow, yellow-red, white, or pale green in color and can be found on the underside of leaves in clumps of 20 to 30 eggs. Eggs are only found outdoors on plants because stink bugs do not reproduce indoors. Thank goodness for small favors. Crop plants are the primary source of food for stink bugs. They typically feed on fruit crops, but they enjoy honeydew, tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, peppers, cabbage, and any type of fruit, using their beaks to pierce and suck plant juice. This activity can cause major damage to gardens. If you discover stink bugs on your plants you can scoop them up using a pill bottle or other small container. This is time consuming, but the containers help you avoid the smell they emit.

Here's the part I know you will hate hearing. You just spent a ton of money installing outdoor lighting to make your home look warm and inviting. Or, you added lighting as a security measure. Well, these the stink bug is attracted to light. So, now your house is a beacon that shouts “Come to me all ye bugs looking for a home.” They are drawn to lights coming from your windows, too. I can't ask you to shutter your windows at night, but closing the shades will help. You may want to consider placing sticky glue board traps along window sills. The glue traps won't trap all the stink bugs, but it may help.

When stink bugs get into your home they often hide in dark attic spaces. Placing an insect light trap in these spaces will attract and capture some of the bugs. It won't eliminate them totally, but anything that helps in the stink bug fight needs to be mentioned.

If your home becomes infested, be wary before sucking stink bugs into the vacuum cleaner. Squashing them or vacuuming them will usually make the smell worse. Wear gloves if you need to handle stink bugs because their unique beaks are fully capable of biting humans. Although stink bug bites are not harmful, you will feel something similar to a sharp pinprick if you are bitten. Not fun!

Once your home has been invaded by stink bugs it is very likely you will see the bugs during the winter months. As outside temperatures drop, stink bugs move away from cold exterior walls and towards warmer interior walls. Often, they emerge inside your living spaces. If that happens you should consider treating the attic rafters. You'll need a good flashlight and an extension mirror to locate all stink bug hiding places.

Okay! You are armed with just enough information to do battle. Go out and fight a good fight!

By David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

photo credit: <a href="stevendepolohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4353070212/">stevendepolo</a> via <a href="photopinhttp://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="adamentmeathttp://www.flickr.com/photos/adamentmeat/5003171724/">adamentmeat</a> via <a href="photopinhttp://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="cchttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>





Ask Rick A Question

Comments

Terry
03 Sep 2013, 13:23
I live in DE and have seen a few stink bugs over the past few days, mainly on our garage, and a couple of dead ones on our deck. Has anyone else seen them yet? I know they're not "due" until around the 3rd week of September but we usually see a few around - like an advance guard! - before the big invasion hits. We spray our house with Suspend Polyzone and it's done a pretty good job so far. And I have the Bugzooka ready this year! And the Dawn w/water in the spray bottle - which really does work! I HATE THESE BUGS!!
MaryD
03 Sep 2013, 16:28
They've started here too. I live in Frederick County Maryland and I saw a couple hit my window last night. I just got finished spraying with Talstar and saw maybe 75 on the outside of the house but also saw them flying at the house from the trees. I think our only hope this year is an early freeze.
countrygirl37
21 Sep 2013, 16:32
Don`t flush them in the toilet! They will clog the neck and cost you hundreds in plumbing bills!
countrygirl37
21 Sep 2013, 16:38
I have used lavender scented dryer sheets on window screens and actually sprayed levender on out side of house. It seems to do the trick as they are repelled by lavender and lemon!
CJ
27 Sep 2013, 08:50
The invasion has started here in Lebanon County, PA. I have been spraying a mixture of vinegar and garlic ( i heard it repells them) but it does not work. I do kill them with a mixture of dish soap and water, but I need something that will keep them off my porch. I am really, really, really terrified of these things and I have been battling them for 6 yrs now. It only gets worse and never gets better no matter what I try.

If you guys use window a/c's please use duct tape all around the sides of the unit, underneath and where the opening is between both the windows, this is guaranteed to keep them from getting indoors through your units.

Any tips on ways that I can repell this bug, that really does work, please let me know. I will try anything.
Ask the Exterminator
27 Sep 2013, 10:15
Like it says in the article, Talstar or Suspend PolyZone do a pretty fair job of killing stink bugs once they land on a treated surface.
Dawnthe SBKiller
27 Sep 2013, 16:00
Well here we go again...seeing tons of them today in Pittsburgh. It was pretty okay his year - for some reason numbers were way down August and most of this month. It's almost like they pick a day every year to really make their presence known. Last year it was October 2 (worst day ever)..It's pretty sad that I actually remember that day. Sprayed Talstar who house last Sunday, stink bugs landing on windows after about ten minutes begin to rub legs together - Talstar working, yay. Hope this invasion is short lived.
Cheryl
01 Oct 2013, 02:26
They arrived later this year than most years. We usually see a few flying around in late August to mid September. This year, we saw our first one on September 26, rather late for central PA. We are seeing a lot fewer this year. We did spray the house twice now and that helps greatly. So some land on the windows but then they slow down and eventually die. Only one has made it indoors but that could be through the garage door when we came home today. As we are doing a much better job with exclusion and sealing up windows and getting out the AC earlier. We are due for a hot day tomorrow, unseasonably warm for October 1st so we will miss the AC but it will be worth it for a couple of hot days as it is October now...and it is better to have the house sealed as they will be out and about tomorrow with temps in the 80s and sunny..ugh.
Cheryl
01 Oct 2013, 02:40
The bugzooka is great for the ones that manage to get indoors. It enables one to capture the bug without getting that close up to it and not touching it.
We use it all of the time and because I am so scared of bugs and have a real bug phobia, that calms me down considerably. They are easy to use and quite inexpensive. You can get them at Amazon or many other retailers. Also using a power washer with insecticide has worked wonders for us because we do not have a large ladder and we have a 3 story townhouse where the ground floor is the garage..that helps a lot to spray the house and also each year, we improve on how we seal off the house and how we are more careful about shutting the blinds and keeping the lights off.

I am absolutely crazy when it comes to turning off lights and only turning on lights when absolutely necessary..but wow it helps and cuts down on the electric bill too..so that is great. The biggest thing is I do not want them anywhere in my bedroom so I only turn on a light in the bedroom for a short time and as little as possible, that works great.
DawntheSBKiller
02 Oct 2013, 17:40
Has anyone tried Suspend Polyzone? From what I hear works really well - thinking about switching up next year. Went outside this morning, about 50 dead / dying stinkbugs on back porch. Seeing a good bit but numbers are down this fall - compared to last.
Christy
04 Oct 2013, 10:03
Draft Décor offers two products that will keep stink bugs from coming in your flue and getting into your fireplace vents. Magnetic Vent Covers and our Flue-zee help by closing off entrances for stick bugs. www.christywalkercreations.com As an added bonus you will be stopping drafts from your fireplace and saving money!!
Christy
04 Oct 2013, 10:06
Draft Décor offers two products that will stop stink bugs from coming in your flue and getting into your fireplace vents. As an added bonus you will be stopping winter drafts!
www.christywalkercreations.com
MelodyVan23
07 Oct 2013, 17:40
Ive been trying to get rid of the stinky bugs at home some i use moth balls in it or insect killer but it keeps coming back.


<a href="http://www.bugmuggers.net/residential-pest-control">exterminator pittsburgh</a>
John
12 Oct 2013, 21:26
Has anybody else seen fewer this year than previous years? I'm in central Maryland and three years ago around this time was the worst. I found about ten a day inside. The next year was better, the next year better still, and now this year I've only found two inside in the past two weeks.

Maybe they're moving west, or are getting killed off? Somebody above said Pittsburgh was bad. All I can say is have hope, it will get better.

Angela
12 Oct 2013, 23:46
Has anyone found them in their car?! I constantly do and am afraid of driving. Cant figure out how they get in when the car is in the garage and all windows shut. Any ideas?
Cheryl
13 Oct 2013, 00:02
John, we are in Central PA and seeing a lot fewer this year. None have made their way inside yet. But then again, we took out our window ACs early and taped the windows shut with waterproof tape. Plus my husband sprayed the house concentrating on windows and doors with insecticide and it really helped greatly.

But we never one until September 29th and then very few overall in our region. And the weather has been unseasonably warm too..even hot for early October. However friends in WV and VA said they really got a lot for about a week but overall fewer than last year too..but considerably more than we got in PA
John
14 Oct 2013, 23:29
@Angela, they're attracted to warmth, so after you park the car in your garage, put down a window. That equalizes the temperature and they'll have no reason to go in there.

Bugphobiagirl
14 Oct 2013, 23:38
I would not advise keeping the windows open! John how could you
John
15 Oct 2013, 00:55
Car window, bugphobiagirl! Car in a garage. They'll head toward the garage door into the house instead.

Angela
15 Oct 2013, 08:04
Thanks for the tip John. What you say makes perfect sense but I will have to think about it since it may work or backfire on me bigtime! I am wondering if the problem is a weatherstriping defect of my GMC envoy. You would think the government would be concerned about farmers losing their crops over these nasty -imported-bugs instead of playing these baby tantrum games :-) Do you think Obamacare will incude stink bug phobia therapy? Sorry, I couldn't resist that!
Nancy Hill
24 Dec 2013, 11:37
It's Dec.24th, and we are still killing stink bugs in our house! They ase so nasty!
Cheryl
24 Dec 2013, 11:46
Since the temperatures turned colder, the stinkbugs that did manage to get inside are making themselves known. With all the christmas lights on, we have seen and killed about a dozen in the last month. Just yesterday, one came in on the bottom of a grocery bag, it must have gotten into the trunk of the car.
FedupwithSBs
12 Jan 2014, 01:00
The weather here in Pittsburgh is not helping the infestation. Below zero for a few days now back up in the 50's. So,through all of these temp ups and downs the stink bugs have been invading full force! At any given moment there are at least 50 in any given room; on the walls/ceilings, in drawers, in closets and in the lights. I've actually went from room to room with the shop vac I bought especially for this purpose and when I get back to the room I started in they are everywhere again!!! I'm about to pack up and move!! We are so overrun with them nothing I've done can control them! So fed up!!!
Ask the Exterminator
12 Jan 2014, 09:19
Understand that they are not invading from the outside. They are already over-wintering in attic spaces. Set off aerosol bombs in the attic to cut down stink bug populations.
DawntheSBkiller
12 Jan 2014, 16:05
Yes, the weather has been crazy in Pittsburgh, feel so sorry for FedUp-agree with ATE, stink bugs have been there, warmer weather has brought them out. Knock on wood I have only seen one in house since October of last year. How many more years until DOA decides to release parasitic wasps? Enough already - stink bugs are truly a drag😩
nancy masterson
29 Jan 2014, 22:43
I live in northeastern Indiana & we are being invaded by these creepy bugs!!! They our in are home during cold weather & out sunning in warm weather ! I had one in my bed & it got me on the face before I could catch it...it hurt & left a big sore! I hate these things & have been using alot of insectides to kill them ! This site has been a great help to me & I want to says " Thanks so much ! ", Happy Stink Bug Killing Everyone ! Nancy M.
GrossedoutbySB
06 Mar 2014, 11:22
Last couple winters I've had these gross stink bugs. We live in eastern CT and started looking for ways to prevent these bugs from getting in the house but I think I to have to learn to live with them. I have a fireplace with glass doors and I think they are getting in either through the chimney or the vents in the attic. The house is over 60 years old with original windows so we have drafts, etc. I try to caulk windows after the a/c's are removed but they still get in. All of a sudden I will be sitting on the first floor and one will dive bomb my reading light next to my chair. Scares the heck out of me but it doesn't survive long. Gross but what can we do. I'm not big on chemicals with pets.
Lola b
10 Mar 2014, 08:12
Yuck. I'm in Fairfield County, CT and I've found dozens of these this winter.
I have a big garden with over 150 Japanese Maples. I hope these stinkers stick to fruit plants and skip the ornamentals. These things are gross. And I had no idea that they bite but now I understand why my 3 yr old has a big big bite on his thigh.
robert
24 Mar 2014, 11:25
Talstar P absolutely works. I start spraying late august and continue thru october, spraying the attic and outside perimeter about once per month. While we sweep them up dead by the dozens in the attic, we no longer find any alive in the house... not one.
PonyLady
12 May 2014, 21:43
I am having a breakdown because of stink bugs! I can't stand them anymore.......I HATE STINK BUGS ALSO.
Chris
17 May 2014, 08:47
I have found the method of setting a lamp over a pan of soapy water moderately successful. The configuration is set up in the attic. For stink bugs found around the house, I just grab them with my hand and either wash them down the drain or (outside) throw them at a hard surface. At least half emit an odor, but I'm so accustomed to them now and so driven to kill any I see that I don't mind all that much anymore. To comment on a statement in the article, I have never been bitten by a stink bug and have handled by hand some number that is now certainly in the thousands.
Kleenex squisher
24 May 2014, 18:35
Hey, have a problem with some kind of bugs. Look like stink bugs, are in the attic like stink bugs, but don't smell. Are they stinkbugs? Live in CT. and haven't ever had this problem.
HOWARD
01 Sep 2014, 22:54
Cover air conditioner vents with a screen(s) also bathroom exhaust fans - use removable masking tape where needed . Everywhere .
robrob
02 Sep 2014, 08:23
@ Kleenex Squisher... The stink bugs we have do not have an odor either, even when killed... I'm in Danbury Ct.
DawntheSBkiller
03 Sep 2014, 10:49
so far this season I haven't seen any stink bugs - until today. It like they have all decided to let their presence be felt today. They seem also, to be rather large. The numbers have been so low, even non existant I debated last week whether or not to spray. So glad I did. I knew it was too good to be true.
robrob
03 Sep 2014, 11:52
@dawnthesbkiller... they started late for us too...
*Name:
Email:
Notify me about new comments on this page
Hide my email
The box below is for visitor comments! Questions posted in this box may not be answered by Ask the Exterminator. For quickest response click on the "Ask the Exterminator a Question" link at top of this page.
*Text:
Security Image:

Visual CAPTCHA


 

More Articles Like This

  • Stink Bugs In the House
  • Stink Bugs Control
  • Shield Bugs
  • Stink Bug
  • Stink Bug Control
  • Stinkbug
  • Brown Stink Bugs
  • Stink Bugs





  • Categories: