Because this is expected be a record-breaking year for the U.S. population of stink bugs, it may be best to brush up on your bug-fighting tactics. Some corners of the country are already experiencing aggressive invasions of the critters, motivating many homeowners to find the most effective ways to deal with the accurately named nuisances.
If you are in an area where large numbers of the bugs are anticipated -- or are already dealing with your first wave of stink-bug assaults -- here are 10 tips to hopefully give you the upper hand in fending off one of the most persistent pests expected to surface this year:
1. Seal Off Cracks And Openings Around Your Home
Make sure cracks around windows and doors are sealed up with caulk or weather stripping to keep the bugs out, the University of Maryland’s, or UMD’s, Home and Garden Information Center recommends.
2. Vacuum Up The Bugs
Bayer Advanced stresses you must use a vacuum cleaner with a bag for this tactic to be effective. A bagless vacuum cleaner will be left with the bugs’ smell after you empty the contents of the vacuum’s canister. Wet-dry vacuums are also recommended for those in areas heavily affected by stink bugs.
3. Check Your Attic For Gaps Or Holes
Attics provide easy entry points into our home for stink bugs, so it is best to make sure they are well sealed, the Washington Post quotes UMD entomologist Mike Raupp as saying.
4. Hang A Damp Towel Outside Your Home Overnight
The bugs will be attracted to the towel. And you can either knock any bugs captured overnight into a bucket of soapy water where they will drown or vacuum them up.
5. Capture, But Don’t Squash, Them
If you live in an area with a comparatively cold climate, you can flick the bugs into an empty water bottle, place the cap back on it and put it outside where it -- and they -- will freeze, according to UMD. You can also place captured bugs in a bucket of soapy water where they will drown. But make sure not to squish them before disposal because squishing them will lead the bugs to release their infamous scent.
6. Remove Window-Unit Air Conditioners
This will assist in your fight against the bugs because the critters are able to easily get past these units.
7. Use A Little Hairspray
A natural trick offered by WikiHow is to use hairspray! The bugs won’t be killed by the spray. But they will be unable to move, allowing you to capture them and then deposit them either outside or in a bucket of soapy water.
8. Move Edible Vegetation
Keep edible garden debris and vegetation away from the foundation of your home. This way, the bugs will not naturally climb onto your home’s siding.
9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace
If your home has a fireplace, make sure it is sealed as well. Cap or screen the chimney’s top to remove this possible entry point.
10. Build A DIY Trap
Created by inventor Jody Williams, a chemical-free, do-it-yourself trap has been in development since 2010, according to the Hunterdon County (N.J.) Democrat. And Williams insists it effectively captures stink bugs. You need the following items: wood shims from a home-improvement store; cardboard; a stapler or glue gun or hammer and small nails; Velcro; garbage bags; and two box fans.
You can watch a tutorial on the trap below: