Stink bugs are looking for a warm place to spend the winter — perhaps inside your house.
You've probably seen them crawling on your screens or fluttering around your house. If you crush them, they expel a musty scent, a defensive technique that has earned them their name—stink bugs.
Stink bugs, which have a brown, shield-like body, were first discovered in Allentown PA in 2001, according to a University of Maryland entomology bulletin. They feed on fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables and legumes, and are common throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the fall, according to the bulletin.
Although stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans, according to UMD, they are a major nuisance.
Here are 10 ways to get rid of them:
- Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs.
- Cut the top of a half gallon or gallon jug, fill it with soapy water and use a piece of cardboard or a napkin to whisk the bugs into the water, which will drown them.
- Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping.
- Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these.
- Plant or move fruit trees and vegetable gardens, especially tomato plants, away from your home to prevent stink bugs from landing on the exterior of your home.
- Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee.
- Hang a stink bug trap outside your house to catch them.
- Hang a damp towel outside your home overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel, and you can use a vacuum or knock them into a jug of soapy water to kill them.
- Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label.
- Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stinkbugs often enter through attics.