Stink bugs have always been around, but it has only been in the past couple of years that Americans have started to see so many of them, especially inside. Residents of the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. have experienced exponential growth in the stink bug population recently and this coming spring and summer is forecasted to be even worse than last year’s. Everyone is looking for the best way to get rid of them, and stink bug trap methods seem to be the best way.
What is Going On with Stink Bugs?
The pests we have been seeing in the past few years aren’t native bugs: they’re invaders from Asia known as the brown marmorated stink bug. These bugs are fast breeders under the right conditions and have almost no natural predators in North America. Aided by recent temperature changes stink bugs have experienced population spikes in the millions. In 2010 homeowners and farmers saw thousands of bugs invading their homes and crops. Since stink bugs produce such a potent smell when upset the best way to deal with them, according to entomologists, is stink bug trap tactics.
Prevention of Shield Bugs is Key
Stink bugs come inside seeking shelter from the cold and because they love the light. They find places indoors to breed and hibernate, or “over winter,” in places like crawlspaces, attics and basements. They don’t do damage to homes, bite or carry diseases, but they do stink and can be overwhelming in their numbers. Try to keep them out by sealing off any opening from outside which is bigger in diameter than a pencil with screens, mesh or sealant compounds. After that employing a combination of indoor stink bug trap methods and outdoor insecticides is the best way to deal with them.
Persistent Little Bugs
Stink bugs are notoriously persistent and inventive about getting inside when they want to. They have been known to get in by wriggling under baseboards, through small gaps in plumbing, cracks in foundations, and badly-fit outdoor siding and roof shingles. When you have sealed and closed up every place you can find and still are having problems you should employ stink bug trap methods in areas you think are suspect. If you only find them, for example, in traps set in a certain room, you know you are getting closer to finding their entry spot.
Types of Stink Bug Traps
A stink bug trap is very similar to a strip of flypaper or a sticky rodent trap. It is a simple tray is fitted with a very sticky paper which the bugs will land on or step onto and become trapped. Some sticky traps are purported to draw the stink bugs with scents like fruit and vegetables. Sticky traps are usually flat, but a new type of trap looks more like a tiki-torch. Supposedly it is more effective because it heats the sticky substance and offers better chances for flying stink bugs to land on it. Traps are effective because they don’t traumatize the bugs into releasing its scent.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and based on a quick search online you will find thousands of homespun inventors offering their own methods of making stink bug traps and other methods of getting rid of stink bugs. Some people advocate simple cup traps filled with soapy water (stink bugs apparently don’t respond well to being sprayed or dunked in it), rubbing alcohol, or even homemade nicotine-water poison. Since stink bugs are slow and easy to catch on land they can be plucked up and even flushed down the toilet, but that does waste a lot of water.
How Do I Get Them and How Much Do They Cost?
A stink bug trap can cost as little as a few dollars for a common sticky trap to around $50 for the newer, fancier models. They can be purchased in hardware stores, from pest control companies and even online from specialty sites. Most come with the main trap and several refill trays. Since the sticky substance doesn’t spoil it can be used for as long as there is space on the surface, but since they’re not pretty to look at you might consider laying in a supply if you live in an area hard-hit by stink bug infestations. Considering the cost of professional exterminators it’s a bit more cost effective.
Investing in a stink bug trap or maybe even a dozen isn’t a bad idea if you live in any of the areas afflicted by the odorous pests. Aside from bug-proofing your home and spraying your yard and garden periodically with a stink bug-specific insecticide a simple stink bug trap represents the best and easiest way to help rid yourself of these invaders.