NATURAL STINK BUG CONTROL

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. 

STINK BUG INVASION: Where do they come from and do they bite?

In recent years, you may have noticed disturbing news about stink bug infestation in the United States.  You might be wondering why these are occurring rapidly and severely when this problem did not even exist decades ago.  Your family and friends are also curious about these pesky creatures, and they are asking if stink bugs bite humans.  By reading this article, we hope that you will gain more knowledge about stink bug facts and learn how to control their invasiveness.

What are stink bugs and what are the other common names for these insects?  Stink bugs or stink beetles, as you call them, are six-legged insects belonging to the family of Pentatomoidea under the Heteroptera suborder.  The scientific names of these bugs describe their distinct characteristics.

How do you describe stink bugs?  These insects have plant-piercing mouthparts called proboscis, which they use to feed, by sucking plant fluids on stems and leaves.  They also have wings that are toughened at the base.  Another distinguishable physical feature of stink bugs is that their five-segmented bodies are protected with a hard covering, protecting them from predators.  So why are they called “stink bugs?”  It is because they release a stinky smelling liquid from glands in their thorax when they are threatened or attacked by predators.

Where do stink bugs come from?  Stink bugs are found in all places in the world, with the exception of extremely hot areas, as well as cold places such as the Arctic and Antarctica.  In North America alone, particularly in the United States, there are 250 species of stink bugs.  The stink bugs that are native to America do not actually cause harm to people and plants.  The truth is that most invasive species of stink bugs in the United States are from Asia.  Pest experts believe that these alien pests were accidentally brought into the US in the 1990s, through crates of imported fruits from Asian countries such as Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan.  Furthermore, it is assumed that these crates may have contained eggs of these foreign stink bugs.  In their new environment, these bugs have no natural predators to control their populations, unlike in their indigenous places of origin.  Thus, alien stink bugs multiply rapidly and infest homes, gardens, and fields in their new places.

What are the most invasive species of stink bugs in the United States?  There are two types of these pests.  The first is the brown marmorated stink bug with the scientific name Halyomorpha halys.  It is originally from Japan and China, and has a distinctive brown-colored body.  This bug is considered an agricultural pest because it breeds in large colonies and feeds on plant juices.  It alights on plants and uses its proboscis (mouthparts) to suck plant fluids, particularly on leaves and fruits.  Vegetable crops often are favorite sources of food for this insect.  The second most invasive bug is the green stink bug, which is also from Asian countries such as Japan, China, and Taiwan.  They particularly infest fruit-bearing tree crops such as orange, cherry, and apple trees.  They also invade gardens, and infestation is often discovered late because they are not usually noticed due to their green camouflage color.

What are the most identifiable characteristics and habits of these bugs?  Brown marmorated stink bugs are known for their habit of hibernating or hiding in houses and man-made structures during winter.  In springtime, they go out and infest plants to feed, to mate, and to lay eggs.  Green stink bugs hibernate inside tree trunks, branches, and other parts of plants during winter.  They go out from their hiding places in spring and feed on plant juices.  Like brown marmorated stink bugs, the green species also breed during springtime.

Do stink bugs bite?  Yes.  Stink bugs bite humans if they are handled with bare hands.  Their bite may not as painful as that of a bee or wasp, but it is quite painful and uncomfortable.  They use their sucking mouthparts called proboscis to bite people.   Thus, it is important to wear protective thick gloves when handling stink bugs, such as when you dispose these live insects from your traps.

What are the most effective ways to prevent stink bug invasions?  Sealing homes and gardens, using multiple methods of bug elimination, and researching in-depth information regarding these stink bugs are the best ways to win the fight against these pesky insects.  It is also essential to take note of the proper use of chemical pesticides to avoid accidental poisoning of humans and pets, as well as to avoid pest resistance or immunity to these chemicals.

Living With Stink Bugs In The House

Have you ever had problems with stink bugs at any time of the year?  Does it seem that your house has become a place where these insects live?  Have you experienced being bitten by one of these creatures?  If your answer is yes to one or all of these questions, you are just one of the millions of people here on earth who is a victim of stink bug infestation.  This article can give you advice on how to cope and prevent these insects from getting out of hand.

One of the stink bug facts is that these insects have distinct nesting seasons in a year.  There are hundreds of species of stink bugs in the world, and each of them has a certain time of the year when they will mate and lay eggs.  Armed with this crucial stink bug information, you can plan ways on eradicating these pesky insects per season.  Try to observe the specific months when infestation is severe.  Ask yourself these questions:  On what months do these insects seem to disappear?  What time of the year do you find them gathering outside your house?  When are the months that you find them hiding inside your home?  You will be glad to find out that with this information, you can set up specific plans per season of the year to eliminate stink bugs.

Arm your house during “off season”, when you find no stink bugs.  Typically, summer is the best time to do this because stink bugs usually do not breed due to the scorching heat of the sun.  Search your home outside for any cracks that these bugs can enter.  First, seal up all outdoor cracks.  Use cement to plug any cracks in concrete walls.  Cover any weep holes using wire mesh, and strengthen these fortifications with tough glue.  Put wire mesh screens on attic vents and windows; glue them or nail them for strength.  Use wood glue to cover up cracks on wooden walls.  Check your basement for any point of entry for stink bugs and seal them up.  At rooftops, seal any holes you can find in rain gutters.  By the way, a good idea is to install screen doors at your doorway to prevent stink bugs from entering your house when you open your doors.

Indoor protection is the next best defense against stink bug invasion.  Search the inside of your house for cracks and any opening where these bugs may enter.  Seal up cracks in overlooked areas such as windows and window sills.  Check electrical wire junction boxes, telephone wire junctions, cable TV, and internet wire entry points, and seal any penetrable areas with electrical tape, tough glues, or silicon sealants.  It is also important to check the ceiling and its fixtures, and cover holes if you can find them.  It is possible that through these holes, some stink bugs can gain access inside your home.  It is also a good idea to focus on ceiling-wall junction corners and moldings since these are areas are typically frequented by stink bugs.

If you have a garden in your home, you can protect your precious plants by constructing wooden frames and gluing, and nailing wire mesh or plastic-mesh screens on these contraptions.  Make sure that these structures cover your plants completely, reach the ground level, and seal them thoroughly.  Another way to defend your potted plants from these pesky critters is to keep them inside your home during a severe stink bug infestation.  If you have many plants in your garden, it is a good idea to plan a greenhouse or screen-house.  You can close this structure during stink bug season, and you do not have to worry about your plants being attacked by stink bugs.

Stink bug traps are good strategies to further strengthen your home against these pests.  Light traps are devices that use light to attract stink bugs and entrap them in reservoirs while conventional traps are simply constructed from transparent plastic containers with bug bait inside.  Both of these traps are very safe to use and economical.  Light traps are best used inside the house while conventional ones are placed outdoors, but be sure to shelter stink bug traps from rain and direct sunlight.

Chemical pesticides also help control and eliminate colonies of stink bugs.  Before the breeding season of these pests begins, apply stink bug pesticide powder inside your attic or basement.  You can also place sticky trap paper on areas where you suspect possible routes of these insects.  Use a liquid spray chemical to kill crawling stink bugs if ever they enter you house.

Stink bug infestation is controllable if you plan well and use defensive measures to protect your family, home, and garden from these stinky creatures.

The Best Stink Bug Removal Products

Are you having problems caused by stink bug infestation?  Do they damage your precious plants in your garden?  During winter, do you find swarms of these stink bugs or stink beetles hiding inside your attic?  On springtime, does it seem that you are overwhelmed with stink bug invasion?  Have you ever been bitten by a marmorated stink bug or a green stink bug?  If you say yes to one or more of these questions, worry no more.  You can finally get rid of these insects that are causing nuisance to you and your family.

Light traps for stink bugs are best for you if you have children or pets in the house.  They are generally safer compared to pesticides due to the fact that the latter can cause accidental poisoning.  One of the stink bug facts is that these insects are attracted to light, such as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs inside one of these light traps.  When stink bugs alight on the bulb or on its casing, they fall into a collecting reservoir at the bottom, trapping them helplessly.  An example of this gadget is the Strube Professional Indoor Stink Bug Trap.  It has a cylindrical, perforated housing with an internal lamp and reservoir at the base.  This device is very effective in trapping stink bugs because it emits a soft, yellow light, has a sticky catch glue-coated casing, and has a heat-released natural scent that attract the bugs.  Just hang this light trap in any area indoors, near windows, but not in direct sunlight, and plug its cord to an AC electrical outlet.  Priced at $69.95, this gadget is an important weapon in stink bug control.

Ultraviolet light trap zappers are also safe devices to get rid of stink bugs.  These are very similar in construction to a conventional light trap.  However, the main difference for UV light stink bug traps is that they instantly kill bugs once they alight on its bulb, zapping them with electrical current.  A good example of this device is the Stinger UVB45 40 Watt 1-Acre Ultra Bug Zapper.  A special feature of this product is its scent-emission capability, emitting a smell indiscernible to humans but irresistible to stink bugs in houses.

Stink bug sprayers are more effective than light traps when infestation is severe.  Nevertheless, you should be very careful to follow instructions printed on its labels.  There is also risk of pesticide resistance by stink bugs if these chemicals are used indiscriminately.  A good example of this product is the P.F. Harris Home Pest Control for Stink Bugs.  These are available as stink bug sprays in product codes Stink-32, which is a 30 oz. container with a trigger for easy application, and Stink-128, which is in a 1-gallon plastic container.

Handheld stink bug vacuums are also one of the harmless ways to eliminate these insects without any toxic fumes or powders.  These gadgets typically are cylindrically shaped, have short nozzles at the top, with electric motor housing at the bottom.  Powered by a 9-volt battery, these devices capture bugs with their powerful suctioning feature.  The Lentek BV02 Mini Bug Vac Handheld Electronic Insect Trap, priced at $14.99, provides you a quick way to eliminate these pesky insects.  Another gadget with similar features but is less expensive at $17.96, is the Bug Buster Wand Insect Trapper.  It is effective also for spiders, flies, and wasps, in addition to stink bugs.  For severe infestations, use a larger capacity device called the BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum.  Priced at $29, this vacuum has a very powerful electric motor that sucks bugs with its large reservoir area.  Get rid of stink bugs the easy way!

Conventional stink bug traps are more economical compared to electric-powered ones, and offer less hassles in maintenance.  These traps are usually constructed with transparent glass casing on top with an opaque plastic reservoir at the bottom.  The only cost that you will incur when using these devices is regularly buying a chemical, non-toxic bait, to be applied inside the reservoir.  The only disadvantage of conventional traps is that they have no sticker material inside the casing, so there is a possibility that some trapped bugs may escape.  Nevertheless, use other stink bug control methods in conjunction with this gadget.  So far, the most popular product of this category is the Stink Bug Trap by Sterling International Rescue.  This is priced at $19.99 for the device only or $29.13 with bug attractant bait.  One trap can attract stink bugs with a coverage area of 1,000 square feet.  Based on stink bug information regarding their breeding seasons, it is best used during the spring, summer and early autumn, when bugs become a menace.  When disposing these trapped insects, be sure to wear thick gloves to avoid stink bug bites.

Use two or more products simultaneously to ensure effective stink bug control.

Getting Rid of Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are considered pests because they multiply in great numbers.  They may not be as harmful compared to locusts, which consume leaves or become vectors of disease that can be transmitted to humans, just like mosquitoes.  Nevertheless, stink bugs or stink beetles, become a nuisance especially at temperate countries during springtime, when they go out from hibernating in winter and reproduce by large numbers.  A single bug produces a very unpleasant odor when disturbed, and this can be aggravated when swarms of these insects are in your yard. 

Another problem that these insects can contribute is that they suck plant fluids with their proboscis, damaging the leaves, stems, and fruits of plants.  You may have probably become a victim of the brown marmorated stink bug, a pest from Asia that was accidentally introduced in the United States.  On the other hand, you know how colorful these insects look, particularly the green stink bug.  However, when one of these stink bug bites you, it is very uncomfortable to stay at home with these critters crawling around.  Thus, it is very important to take immediate action to avoid uncontrollable stink bug infestation.  There are various ways of getting rid of these insects such as chemical insecticides.  However, it is essential that you read and follow the instructions on the labels to avoid health hazards.

Dry chemicals are used to kill stink bugs in houses.  Using the dusting treatment, Deltamethrin powder is applied to difficult-to-reach areas such as wooden sills and attics during a stink bug infestation.  You may also need an electric duster to reach tight places such as wall cracks.  This information on stink bug control is very helpful for you.

Aerosol chemicals, particularly pyrethrum foggers, are used for killing exposed stink bugs inside your house.  Also called “stink bug bombs”, these insecticides release droplets of gaseous liquids that attaches to the insects’ exoskeleton, killing them in a few minutes.  Nevertheless, these are ineffective to get rid of stink bugs that are hiding in cracks and holes.

Liquid insecticides are the way to go in killing stink bugs outside your house.  These concentrated chemicals are usually diluted with the ratio of one ounce per one gallon of water.  Using a pump spray, these are applied in corners where these bugs typically hide, such as door frames, window sills, and roof gutters.

Spreader sticker solutions are added to liquid insecticides if the latter is not effective alone in killing stink bugs.  These are mixed with the chemical itself to form a sticky liquid that will attach to the bugs exoskeleton and making it more lethal.

Sticky glue board traps are used to catch stink bugs, in addition to or as a substitute to insecticides.  These are more appropriate to use when you have children or pets in the house in order to avoid risk of poisoning.  Attach these glue board traps in corners such as the junction between walls and floors or ceilings.  When these insects come out from their hiding places, these stink bugs are trapped and will die soon.

What attracts stink bugs?  Of course, it is light.  Therefore, light traps are also effective in eliminating stink bugs.  These gadgets contain an electric light assembly on top, a funnel in the middle, and a glass jar at the bottom.  Be sure to place the trap in potential hiding places of the bugs such as attics, basements, and enclosed areas.  Plug it into an electric AC outlet, and these devices can catch these insects.  Since stink bugs are attracted to light, you can also prevent them from entering your house by turning off unnecessary lights, thus conserving electricity, if need be.

If you want to save money and you are wondering how to prevent stink bugs from invading your home, you can actually make a simple trap.  Homemade improvised stink bug traps can also be used to eliminate these pesky insects.  You can make a cup trap using recyclable materials, particularly empty paper drink cup with plastic cover, tissue paper, adhesive tape.  Pour ethyl or isopropyl alcohol into the cup, half-filled, and cover the cup.  Loosely insert tissue paper into a small opening in the cup.  Leave the cup into a place that is frequently infested with stink bugs.  These insects creep into cracks and crevices, and they will go inside the opening of your trap.  They will drown inside the cup filled with alcohol.  Dispose dead bugs.

The above-described examples of stink bug control methods are effective if you use them properly.

What Are Stink Bugs?

What is a stink bug?  Stink bugs are insects that are characterized by their recognizable hardened, shell-like thorax.  They are also called shield bugs or stink beetles, and are found all over the world.  Furthermore, these insects are notorious for producing and excreting a foul smelling liquid in order to defend against potential predators. As far as stink bug information is concerned, the etymological classification of these brown stink bugbugs belong to the order of Hemiptera, which are insects that have proboscis that are capable of piercing plant tissues and sucking out fluid, under the suborder of Heteroptera, which are characterized of having forewings with membranous and hardened portions.  The infra-order of stink bugs is Pentatomomorpha, which are called “true bugs” and specifically belonging to the super-family of Pentatomoidea.  The term Pentatomoidea comes from the Greek word “pente,” meaning five and “tomos,” meaning section.  This either refers to the 5-segmented antennae or the five-sided shape of the bug’s body. If you scrutinize a stink bug, you will notice that the thorax of the insect has a hard extension on the posterior (back) of the insect that has typically two shapes: semi-elliptical or triangular.  Another distinct feature of a stink bug is that they have antennae with five segments, as previously described, which is very different from other insects.  Stink bugs also have very small heads and small eyes called ocelli.  In case you are wondering where these bugs produce a bad smelling liquid, these insects have glands in their thorax, between the first and second pair of legs.  This liquid is released if the insect is threatened.  The odor is usually so strong that it deters any predator that may attempt to capture a stink bug.  Furthermore, this scent is also released during the breeding season, in order to attract mates.  These insects have different colors, which are used as identification of the various species.  An example is the green stink bug (scientific name Acrosternum hilare); beautiful to look at, but very destructive to plants, especially vegetable crops such as tomato. The life cycle of a stink bug is composed of three life stages, which are the egg stage, the nymph stage, and the adult stage.  All stink bugs have different egg-laying seasons.  The eggs are laid in rows of clusters on the underside of leaves.  Hatching may take five days or a few weeks depending on the season, and most eggs will hatch at approximately the same period.  A stink bug hatchling is called a nymph, and will molt about four times before reaching adulthood.  Nymphs usually have black spots that will disappear and looks very different to an adult one.  However, nymphs change into their distinguishable adult color as it matures.  During adulthood, stink bugs mate for about four times a year, after which, female bugs lay their eggs at the underside of leaves. Female stink beetleRegarding stink bug information about their distribution, they are found throughout the world, in forests, meadows, and even in gardens.  There are over 4,700 species of these bugs distributed worldwide, with 250 species found in North America alone.  In temperate countries such as the United States, the stink bug hibernates underground and comes out during springtime, which is its egg-laying season.  There are five subfamilies of stink bugs:  The Asopinae, with 13 species; the Discocephalinae, with one species; the Edessinae, with two species; the Pentatominae, with 14 tribes composed of 42 species; and lastly, the Podopinae subfamily with one tribe composed of 6 species. The following are additional stink bug facts.  These insects are all plant-eaters (herbivorous), with the exception of the subfamily of Asopinae, which prey on other insects.  These bugs are considered pests due to the fact that they feed on plant juices or fluids by sucking them, using their proboscis.  Furthermore, by piercing the plant tissues, they allow pathogens such as bacteria and fungi to enter the plant via their damaged leaves or stems.  They usually colonize during the spring and summer seasons in temperate countries, leading to infestation and crop damage.  The most destructive species in the United States, which is the brown marmorated stink bug (scientific name Halyomorpha halys), is actually a native to Asian countries particularly Japan, China, and Korea.  They were accidentally introduced into the US as recently as 1998, and it started a stink bug invasion in the country.  By the way, many people are asking if these insects will bite. Do stink bugs bite?  Yes, they bite when you grab them with your hands.  They use their proboscis to bite your skin. Stink bugs are considered pests.  There are various ways in doing stink bug control.  These are by sealing any cracks in your home, using pesticides or traps, or sucking them by vacuum cleaners.