They’re big. They’re brown. They smell awful. We’re talking about Ohio stink bugs. This invasive species is not only annoying to humans; it decimates fruits, berries, and other crops. Learning some facts about this pest will help you identify them and control them.
1. Where Do Stink Bugs Come From?
While there are some native species of stink bugs, the ones you’re familiar with – and may have had the misfortune to smell – are a species called the “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug” or BMSB. Inadvertently arriving from Asia in the 1990s, their population has steadily increased every year. Unfortunately, they have few natural predators, so their population has exploded exponentially over the last two decades.
2. What Do Stink Bugs Eat?
Nearly anything they get their hands on. Soybeans, fruit, vegetables, leaves, flowers – everything’s on the menu when it comes to stink bugs. As you can imagine, this creates major headaches for farmers and backyard gardeners alike. But wait, there’s more! When the cold season sets in, stink bugs love to spend the winter months in the warmth of your home. You may have noticed them congregating near the windows and doors of your home or at your place of work as the weather starts to get cold.
3. What Attracts Stink Bugs?
Initially, stink bugs will come to your yard to munch on your greenery. They stay for the warmth your home provides during winter. Therefore, anything you can do to seal up cracks, gaps, openings, or other tiny areas where stink bugs can get in is a plus.
4. Why Do Stink Bugs Stink?
Mainly to avoid predators, though stink bugs do produce chemicals to attract mates. Interestingly, the composition of the chemical they produce that gives them their namesake is also found in cilantro.
5. How Do You Get Rid of Stink Bugs?
The good news: stink bugs don’t cause structural damage to homes, and they will not bite or sting humans or pets. They will, however, release a horrendous odor when they feel threatened or when squished. When you spot a creepy crawly in your home, your first instinct may be to smoosh it. In this situation, you’ll need to fight this impulse, or you’re in for a bad time. As mentioned above, the first thing to do is look for gaps around windows, doors, and basement foundations where stink bugs can find their way in. This will prevent more unwelcomed visitors. Secondly, when you spot one, trap it with a glass or see-through plastic container, tap it into the toilet, and flush.
If you’ve got quite a few in your home, you can create an extremely simple homemade trap. You’ll need a desk lamp – the kind that looks like the Pixar logo, some dish soap, and an aluminum tray like you might use for lasagna. You can find these at any big box store in the baking aisle. Place the tray on a counter top where it won’t be disturbed. Turn the lamp on and aim it at the water. Mix in dish soap with the water and wait. The stink bugs will be attracted to the reflections in the water, but when they get a closer look, the dish soap breaks the surface tension so they can’t float and thus drown. It’s a simple yet highly effective way to get rid of stink bugs in your home.
Of course, this solution is good, but the ideal solution is to order professional pest control. Using specialized chemicals, a pest control technician will set up a perimeter around your home that prevents not only stink bugs, but earwigs, spiders, centipedes, ants, and other gross bugs you’d rather never encounter.
Knock Out Stink Bugs – Call Turf Pro Plus Lawn Care
Stink bugs may be invasive to Ohio, but they don’t have to be invasive to your home. The experts at Turf Pro Plus use tried-and-true pest control methods to defend your home and property from stink bugs and other undesirable crawling insects. Call 513-545-6295 or contact us online here to schedule an appointment. For more lawn care and pest control tips, be sure to check out our monthly blog and follow us on Facebook for the latest deals and offers.