If there was specific class with the name “unpleasant announcer of spring”, the stink bugs would be the very first name on the name. Along with its other insect buddies like roaches, gnats, or fruit flies, stink bugs will fly around your home or garden at some point.
The most commonly spotted stink bugs is the BMSB, short for brown marmorated stink bug. They came into North America from its original homeland, Asia in the mid-1990s. Although harmless to humans, stink bugs can become quite the nuisance if just left to roam around freely around rooms.
Now, before you take out the bug repellent and zapping stick, here are some thing you should know about these insects. At the end, we’ll recommend how to get rid of stink bugs too.
Things Stink Bugs Are Attracted To
It may seem like pests land at your house for absolutely no reason, or because you’re having a bad day, but there are a few attributes that can be helpful in attracting these things.
Stink bugs love fruits, especially ripe ones. So, if you like setting up a classic countertop bowl of fruits, your bunch of ripe bananas, mangoes, or apples could be driving these bugs to your place.
Unfortunately for the gardening enthusiasts, there is a wide variety of local plants that stink bugs tend to like, including ornamental plants to stray weed or vines.
Stink bugs feed on any and every part of the plant – buds, blooms, veggies or fruits, and also nuts. Thus, there’s a high chance that the flora of your beautiful garden is an invitation to them.
If that wasn’t enough, stink bugs are big fans of sunlight and warmth. Cold winter typically means “hibernation” season for them, so they can be found hiding between the cracks of the walls, or unoccupied spaces like basements and attics.
When the cool blanket of winter starts to lift off from the surface of the earth and the peaking rays of the sun bring messages of spring, the bugs “wake” up and are ready to interrupt your otherwise pleasant-smelling garden or house.
Stink bugs can fit into tiny spaces, but they find issues in escaping. This is why it’s super easy for an entire community to inhabit your house out of the blue.
What Do Stink Bugs Smell Like?
Stink bugs belong to the insect family that wields its smell like a weapon – it’s their defense mechanism. When squashed or threatened, these bugs release a powerfully scented substance from an abdominal gland. Ew!
Unfortunately for humans, the smell is reminiscent of spices or herbs, like cilantro, laced with chemicals. In short, it doesn’t smell nice. Since the smell is that unbearable and stays for a long time, it’s recommended that you don’t squash them.
If there’s a stink bug on your path, try slowly transferring it outside. Or, use an insect-trapping vacuum to get rid of it without smashing or threatening it.
Do I Have to be Careful About Stink Bugs Biting Me?
No, stink bugs don’t sting or bite. However, they do have this nasty tendency of sneaking up and landing on you (the hair or clothes).
These bugs remain happy with their plants and other natural food sources. You can rest assured they pose no harm to humans (except the horrible smell!)
When is Stink Bug Season?
Sadly, all year round is stink bug season, but there’s an expected and equally worrying increase during the months of summer and spring, when the temperature is on the rise.
This is the time when the stink bugs seeking shelter within the warmth of your house or garden spread their wings to venture back out into the great outdoors.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
1. Inspect Entry Points
Begin by checking every possible entry points and looking into the openings or obvious cracks. Inspect window frames, especially the ones that bring in plenty of sunlight, exterior wood siding, door frames, as well as light fixtures and electrical outlets.
If there’s any area that you think might be a haven for the stink bugs, cover it up using caulk (for glass, a silicone-based formula is ideal).
Or, you could do required repairs to fix the bigger opening alongside the potential entry points.
2. Consider a Change of Exterior Lights
As stink bugs are attracted to light like a deer to headlights, consider changing the exterior light bulbs to something yellow-based or sodium-vapor lights.
Both of them are known to be less of a magnet for insects. Additionally, sodium-vapor lights are used to control light pollution in large towns and cities, or in beaches teeming with sea turtle preparing for nesting.
3. Chemicals are Useful
Once all the entry points have been sealed the best they could and the light situation has been assessed properly, chemicals will come in handy if the stink bus are resilient.
Common chemical sprays with a pesticide known as deltamethrin is known to annihilate stink bugs.
You could use these around windows, near common entry points, or any other spot that could be a favorable hiding spot of the bugs.
4. How About a Home Remedy?
If chemicals aren’t you thing, don’t worry! We have a home remedy too. A simple concoction of hot water, white vinegar, and dish soap can effectively be used a “trap” for these pesky bugs.
According to Farm & Dairy, mix two cups of hot water, a cup of white vinegar, and half a cup of dish soap and fill a spray bottle. Spray directly on the bugs.
You’ve learned how to get rid of stink bugs, so don’t worry!
You are definitely prepared to take on the warmer seasons and every other annoying guest it brings with it.
In general, stay hygienic and aware to be on the safer side.