As temperatures start to rise, many species of bugs begin to emerge. One of these pests is the stink bug. They spend the winter hiding in the tiny crevices of your home. When spring arrives, they become active, which leads to stink bugs crawling around your home. We’ve gathered information to help you prevent and eliminate a stink bug infestation.
What Are Stink Bugs?
There are several species of stink bugs in the United States. They can be brown, green, or gray, and they have a shield-shaped body. A common home invader is the brown marmorated stink bug. This bug has a brown speckled body and grows between about 1/2"-5/8" in length. Stink bugs are notorious for the unpleasant odor they release when crushed or disturbed. The chemical released can leave behind stains on furniture, walls, and floors. These pests won’t bite or cause structural damage. However, they do feed on plant juices, which can lead to discoloration and holes in plants.
Stink Bugs in Winter
Stink bugs overwinter in homes to escape winter weather. During fall, they begin to cluster on the sunny sides of homes. As it gets closer to winter, they sneak inside. Once they move indoors, they find a warm and safe place to hide until spring. They usually infest attics and wall voids.
Stink Bugs in Spring
When temperatures rise in spring, stink bugs become active again. They emerge from their hiding spots, which is why you’ll see them popping up in your home. One concern with stink bugs is that they can quickly spread. In one year, stink bugs can produce several generations. They also release pheromones that alert other bugs to their location. This can lead to large infestations.
How to Prevent Stink Bugs
Preventing an infestation is always better than having to eliminate one. You’ll want to take steps to keep these smelly pests out of your home in both the spring and fall. Preventing pests from entering your home in the fall will help keep your home bug-free in the spring. Check out a few ways to prevent stink bugs from sneaking inside.
Seal Cracks & Gaps
Stink bugs can fit through small cracks, which is why it’s important to check your home for any holes. You’ll want to pay close attention to areas near door frames, window frames, and electrical outlets. Caulk any cracks you find to ensure your home is sealed up tight. Repair or replace any door and window screens with tears.
Like other pests, stink bugs need moisture to survive. Eliminating any build-up of water can help deter stink bugs from staying in your home. Make sure you don’t have any leaky pipes that need repaired. Keep your gutters clean to avoid moisture build-up. You can also use a dehumidifier in areas of your home, like basements, where moisture can be present.
Properly Store Food
Stink bugs won’t hang around if they don’t have access to food. These pests typically feed on plants including fruit and vegetables. You’ll want to make sure they don’t have access to your fresh produce. Keeping these in your refrigerator can help ensure hungry pests don’t nibble on them.
Turn Down the Lights
Stink bugs are attracted to sources of light. It’s best to keep your blinds shut at night to avoid attracting these pests. You can also consider swapping out your white light bulbs for yellow bulbs in exterior lights. Yellow lights are less likely to attract stink bugs as well as other pests.
Treating the perimeter of your yard with a plant-based insecticide spray can help prevent an infestation. Our Yard Bug Spray kills on contact, but it also has repellent properties. Applying it to your yard can help create a barrier that deters pests from coming near your home.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, stink bugs will find a way into your home. If stink bugs have taken over your house this spring, there are a few things you can do to control the problem. Check out how you can get rid of these smelly home invaders.
Vacuum & Sweep
Though tempting, you don’t want to crush a stink bug. They will release an unpleasant odor and could result in staining the surface. Instead, use a vacuum or a broom to remove stink bugs. You’ll need to place them in a sealed bag before taking them outside. This will prevent them from escaping and coming back into your home.
Applying a plant-based insecticide spray to the interior of your home can help to eliminate an infestation. Our Home Bug Spray is formulated with plant essential oils, which makes it a more environmentally and family-friendly solution. It kills on contact and provides you with residual repellency to help keep pests from returning.
Stink bugs aren’t just a nuisance to you; they can also be a problem for your plants. These pests feed on the juices of plants, which can cause damage. Our 3-in-1 Garden Spray can help keep your plants free of stink bugs. It’s best to apply this spray to the leaves of plants during the morning or evening when temperatures aren’t at their highest.
No one wants to deal with pests crawling around their home, especially those that stink. Preventative measures paired with the right treatment method can help you take control of an infestation. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.