03/21/19

Stink bugs haven’t always been a problem in the United States. In fact, before 1996 there was no trace of them here. Unfortunately, however, this invasive species has settled down here as well, and they’re here to stay.

The brown marmorated stink bug is the most common stink bug species we see here in the midwest. Though they are most active in the spring, summer, and fall, they found a way to survive the winter months, too: by overwintering indoors. What’s worse is that they tend to travel in groups, so where there is one, there are often many. But don’t panic! Here are a few ways you can keep stink bugs away from your property, indoors and outdoors.

Seal cracks and gaps that lead indoors

Stink bugs are able to sneak into even the smallest spaces to find warmth indoors. The first step you could take to keep stink bugs out is seal off potential entry points with caulk or sealant.

Give your property a thorough inspection. Pay close attention to windows, doors, siding, and chimneys. Stink bugs can fit into slits that are just over 3 millimeters wide. Close off anything larger than that if you don’t want a new, unappealing home fragrance.

Minimize lighting

Like many other bugs, stink bugs are attracted to light. Stink bugs tend to flock toward light especially frequently in the winter and early spring, because they see it as a sign of warmth. Much like humans, these insects need warmth and shelter when it is cold outside. Your home looks like an warm and inviting winter retreat when it’s all lit up.

A simple solution to keep stink bugs from flocking toward your home is to minimize porch and landscape lighting whenever possible. Shut your curtains or blinds when you have interior lights on. The more light stink bugs see, the more likely they are to try to make your home theirs, too.

Cut off food sources

Like all living creatures, stink bugs need food in order to survive. They especially like snacking on fruits and vegetables. If you have food accessible, you’re increasing their ability to survive and thrive in or near your home. There are some easy ways to ensure you aren’t attracting any smelly unwanted guests into your home with your food.

Make sure your garbage bags are sealed tight and stored far away from your home. It’s also a good idea to empty your garbage bins regularly. The longer you wait, the more time you give stink bugs to realize that they hit the food jackpot at your home. Keep all your pantry food in airtight containers and bags. This will greatly decrease the chances of stink bugs being attracted to the odor and getting into the food. Lastly, keep your gardens away from your house.  Gardens are a popular place for stink bugs because they provide a feast of all their favorite foods - especially tomato plants.

Minimize moisture  

Stink bugs, like many other insects, are attracted to moisture. A good way to keep them away is to make sure you don’t have moisture buildup around your house.

Make sure all drains are unclogged, especially the garage drain, or you may find some smelly visitors around it. Leaking pipes and faucets are another point of attraction for these insects. Lastly, consider adding a dehumidifier to your basement or any other room in your home that has excess moisture.

 

There is a lot to learn about stink bugs, but if you know just one thing, remember is that they give off their smell when crushed or scared. You’ll want to avoid that. Trust us.

If these smelly pests have already invaded your property, the best thing to do is turn to the professionals. Do-it-yourself pest control, especially when it comes to stink bugs, has proven to be more of a short-term solution if anything. The experts at Plunkett’s can rid your property of these stinkers for good.



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