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Stink Bug Control

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:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs.
  2. 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.
  3. Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping.
  4. Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these.
  5. 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.
  6. Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee.
  7. Hang a stink bug trap outside your house to catch them.
  8. 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.
  9. Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label.
  10. Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stinkbugs often enter through attics.

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