Stink bug infestation is caused by the inability to control the population of these bugs. Success in stink bug control is eliminating them to a rate where they are no longer capable of causing nuisance and harm to humans and plants. Basically, all efforts in exterminating these insects fall into any of these methods that are described in detail below. However, the scientific community has researched and concluded that the use of natural methods against stink bugs can solve the problem for a long period of time. Described below are typical methods in stink bug control, their disadvantages, and the impact of using natural methods to counteract the harmful effects of the former.
Destroying the hibernating places of harmful pests such as the brown marmorated stink bug is one of the most common ways in controlling the population of these insects. Since these pests live inside human dwellings and man-made structures during the winter season, they should be killed while they are still in their hibernating grounds to prevent them from going out and breeding at springtime. Most of us use chemical pesticides to kill them instantly. However, continued or improper use of these chemicals can lead to pest resistance. There will come a time when stink bugs will develop immunity against these treatments. It is also risky to use on households with children or pets, due to accidental poisoning.
Using light traps and conventional traps to capture stink bugs is effective only if the populations of these insects are still manageable. Unfortunately, these methods may be futile if the numbers of stink bugs reach plague proportions. There may also be high electricity costs when using light traps during long periods of time, especially during the spring season. Conventional traps can capture large numbers of stink bugs but to the point that they may be crowded inside the reservoir, and allowing some of these insects to escape.
Stink bug vacuums and other similar electrical powered devices are also effective only when infestation is still not severe. This method is also futile during stink bug invasions, and this adds only to the cost of batteries, spare parts, and repairs just in case the device breaks down.
Due to ineffectiveness in controlling or eliminating the populations of brown marmorated stink bugs and green stink bugs, scientists are now looking into natural and environmentally friendly methods to kill these pests. Many breakthroughs are proving that these methods can disrupt the life cycles of stink bugs and totally annihilate them in the long run.
Biologists are placing their hopes on a small insect that can destroy stink bugs: the tachinid fly. Based on their research, they have found out that female tachinid flies lay their eggs inside stink bug nymph bodies and their egg clusters. Once hatched, the larvae of these flies feed on their hosts, killing them. A prospective plan of some gardeners is to attract adult flies to their gardens by planting spice crops such as parsley, sweet clover, and dill. They hope that these parasitic flies will kill stink bugs right at the start of the latter’s life cycle.
A particular parasitic wasp from Asia is another prospect which is still under laboratory studies for use to control against destructive stink bug species. In an experiment based on a US Department of Agriculture research lab in Delaware, they discovered that the wasp implants its own young inside stink bug eggs. Once the egg of the parasitic wasp is implanted inside the stink bug’s egg, it hatches and consumes the contents of the stink bug’s egg. Eventually, the whole cluster of stink bugs will be made hosts of the wasp. Nevertheless, the scientists are still not finished with this experiment to make sure that the wasp will not prey on beneficial stink bug species. They are concentrating their efforts so that the parasitic wasp will only target the brown marmorated stink bug and the green stink bug species.
Since it is not yet feasible for the public to breed tachinid flies and parasitic wasps for stink bug extermination, it is wise to use organic pesticides for killing stink bugs. You can buy pyrethrin pesticides from your friendly agricultural supply dealer. These natural chemicals are extracted from flowers, namely the chrysanthemums, and these compounds kill insect pests such as stink bugs, on contact. The good news is that these pest killers spare beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and wasps.
The goal of natural methods in stink bug elimination programs is to totally replace synthetic pesticides.