How can you tell if you have found an isolated stink bug or if you have a real infestation?
First, if it’s late summer or autumn, you might see a large number of stink bugs gathering on crops and other plants. Check all the walls of your house and other structures, such as barns. Stink bugs search for the warmest walls, especially those that get a lot of sunlight. They’ll rest there to get warmer.
You might also notice new damage to your fruits or vegetables. There will be small patches of dead skin with pierced areas in their center. That’s where the stink bugs have pushed their proboscis into the plant.
Dead Stink Bugs
You may also see dead stink bugs under your plants or around your property. This may seem like a good sign because the stink bugs have died. But unfortunately, dead stink bugs simply tell you that many more live stink bugs may still be in the area.
How to Get Rid of a Stink Bug Infestation
It is sometimes possible for homeowners to get rid of stink bugs through their own efforts. Here are some ways to stem the tide of stink bugs.
Keep stink bugs out of your home or business. They can get inside through cracks and openings as small as 1/8 of an inch wide. Here are some methods for prevention:
- Seal: Put caulk into cracks and openings in siding, near pipes and chimneys, and under fascia. Install new screens over vents.
- Repair: Fix holes and rips in your door screens and window screens. Repair damaged mortar and weather-stripping.
- Darken: Turn off outside lights at night, which attract stink bugs. You can also keep window blinds shut.
- Dry out: Stop any leaks or other sources of standing water near your home.
- Clean up: Trim branches and bushes around your property. Stack your firewood off the ground about 20 feet away from your home. Check trees for dead bark that may harbor stink bugs.
Don’t let stink bugs release their foul odor on you. That means you shouldn’t grab them or smash them. Instead, suck them up with a vacuum cleaner. Then, immediately empty the vacuum cleaner outside, or they will make your vacuum smell terrible—and the odor can waft out of the machine.
Call the Professionals
All these do-it-yourself methods might still leave you with an infestation. But a pest control expert may find additional openings where stink bugs are getting inside. Your technician can apply proven methods to deter or kill them wherever the bugs are hiding.