Appalachia

Stink Bugs – How do You Get Rid of Them?

Stink bug invasion

A few weeks ago Perri Morrison Smith left the following comment:

“Hi! I was wondering if you had ever run across a repellent for stink bugs that can be applied to the bright side of my house where they congregate near my door and windows? They are so very sneaky! They can get indoors through the tiniest crack, and are nigh near impossible to catch before they’ve hidden somewhere. If you have any ideas about these stinky critters, please share them with us. I noticed a couple today when it was warm, and I started dreading their return. Thank you!”

Unfortunately I don’t have any tips for Perri. I rarely see a stink bug, but I have heard from other folks like Perri who are inundated with the pesky bugs. Here’s some information I found on the NC State NC Cooperative Extension website:

“The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive pest that was accidentally introduced from Asia into Pennsylvania in the 1990s. Its first detection in North Carolina was in Forsyth County in 2009, and it has since spread rapidly throughout the piedmont and mountain regions of the state. The coastal plain has had fewer occurrences during this period, although the insect has appeared in isolated locations. As of February 2016, it had been confirmed in 69 of NC’s 100 counties.

Although BMSB can be a destructive pest to a wide variety of crops, it usually establishes itself first in urban landscapes, roadside vegetation, and structures that provide attractive overwintering sites. This has been the case in North Carolina, with most early reports coming from property owners in urban areas between Raleigh and Asheville (the I-40 corridor) who have experienced BMSB “invasions” in late summer. Sightings in home gardens and on commercial farms have increased from extremely isolated reports in 2010 to widespread occurrences in 2015. In general, the pest has not yet caused the extensive agricultural problems experienced in the mid-Atlantic states, but it is on track to reach similar levels as local populations become further established.”

The NC site doesn’t really offer any information for homeowners who’d like to get rid of stink bugs around their place. I did find this page that offers 10 ways to get rid of stink bugs. I haven’t a clue if any of the tips would work or not.

Stink bugs remind me of hot summer days when us kids would try to trick one of the others into squishing a stink bug by sitting on it or some other method we dreamed up.

I’m hoping some of you have some advice for Perri. After reading the piece on the NC Cooperative Extension site I believe more of us may be facing a problem with stink bugs in the future. (*The very day after I wrote this post, Chitter found a stink bug in her room!)

Tipper

 

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Janice Stout
    April 25, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    If we could just convince the stink bugs to eat Kudzu and not other green things.

  • Reply
    Perri Morrison Smith
    April 18, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Thank you for all of the info on the current variety of stinkbugs we have here! I’ve tried the dishsoap and water in the piepan trick but didn’t catch many that way. I’m going to spray the Sevin on the sunny side of my house, and try to nip ’em in the bud this spring before they get worse. I’ve already found 10 or more, as we’ve had some warmer afternoons lately. I’ve also found that doing some good pruning of the bushes and pines on that side of the yard keeps the population down. I’ve sealed off the entry points they used to get into the house last summer, but as Mr. Ammons said, they will come in the door when it’s open! As I experiment with different eradication methods, I will let y’all know what works on these ‘spotted volkswagon’ looking creatures.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    April 12, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Sanford-thank you for the comment! Youre right-there are native stink bugs and then there are those invasive ones that were accidentally introduced-those are the ones taking over peoples houses. I loved your blackberry memory-now that I think about it thats where I most often see the bugs too! Have a great evening : )

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney, Jr
    April 12, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    “The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive pest that was accidentally introduced from Asia into Pennsylvania in the 1990s
    Now wait a moment. I was growing up in the ’50s and we had stink bugs back then. They might
    have been a different species, but they were around. The thing I remember most about them was when out picking blackberries, if you saw a big juicy berry that you just knew had to be eaten right
    at that moment, and a stink bug had been on it, the taste was horrible. I’m sure there are folks out there my age that will verify my remembrance of the stink bug which was around before the ’90s?

  • Reply
    James Smithson
    April 10, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    These bugs vex me and I truly hate them. My dog will eat them poor thing.

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    April 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Other than the scent, they really aren’t that much of a problem. We had quite an invasion one of our vining ground covers. Bro Tom cut it back, burned the clippings and they were gone.
    I guess if they ever got into the house in large numbers, I’d call Orkin.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 9, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Imagine kudzu with legs! That gives you some idea of what these little creatures can do!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 9, 2016 at 1:40 am

    It appears that that this non-native variety of stinkbug hasn’t reached most of your readers yet. I have been through an invasion of them. It’s kinda like the invasion of rats it “Dorie”. One year they are almost unbearable. The next they are a nuisance but no worse than the normal insect population. Year before last they ruined my corn, but last year they couldn’t compete with the regular corn eating critters.
    I adapted to the smell they emit and started squishing them with my hands. The smell isn’t all that bad if you keep your annihilator hand away from your face.
    If all else fails, get you some guineas. They make an awful paaar-traaac sound but it might be pleasant sounding to you. They are really just a chicken brought up different. Their eggs have a bit different color but taste the same. My parents raised chickens for a living so they had to be careful what kind of birds might be nearby. Our closest neighbors had guineas and I sometimes ate with them. The eggs and the meat is the same as a chicken.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I forgot to mention. I have a dedicated little portable vacuum just for stink bugs that get in the house. I don’t turn it on unless I have to because the air drawn through it will stink up the room in a flash. I don’t empty it often and always do so outside. I give those nasty critters time to die in there. The dead ones don’t stink.
    Those little devils seem to be attracted to light. They are also incredibly stupid. They fly into my light fixtures but can’t find their way out. Every time I replace a light bulb, I have to deal with a dozen or so stinkbugs. The fluorescent light fixtures at the post office are full of them. I mean hundreds. I even saw one that had crawled behind the glass on the display of a gas pump. He got stuck in there and died. I have seen him every time I get gas there for the past couple of years.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    There are stink bugs and there are stink bugs. This newly introduced variety (the brown marmorated) are not the same stink bugs I knew as a child. They look like alien creatures you might see in a movie. They are armor plated so anything you spray or dust on them seems to have no effect. Their undersides are more vulnerable but they don’t seem to want to roll over for you.
    I had a bunch of them on my carport one day and decided to experiment. I sprayed one with WD40. He just kept crawling. I sprayed another one with starting fluid. Same result. I put some gasoline on two of them. One I flipped over with a stick first. The upright one started crawling off. The upside down one flipped over and crawled off too. “So”, I said to myself “If gasoline won’t kill them, maybe fire will!” I lit a lighter and set them ablaze. They kept crawling until their legs burned off. At that point I squished them, for two reasons, to stop their suffering and so I didn’t set the house on fire.
    You can read about my 2014 stink bug problem here http://www.needmorenc.com/swat/
    I read somewhere that guinea fowls love these new stink bugs. I don’t know which would be worse though, the bugs or having to listen to the birds.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Tipper,
    I ain’t never been bothered with stinkbugs. I know what they are, just ain’t seen many around. In late summer, up at my house, right before the sun goes down, sometimes there’s swarms of those little speckled volkswagens. Guess that’s what you get when you live in the woods.
    Right before she goes off the air, Donna Lynn is playing another favorite, “the Wilson Brothers” singing “Kneel at the Cross.” But if you like to hear crisp, clear singing, you can’t beat Paul and Pap singing “New Birth.” I Love that one…Ken

  • Reply
    Richard moore
    April 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    It was only about five of six years ago that stinkbugs descended in force on my home area in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley above Roanoke. Now they are such a pest in force that it is a common subject of discussion and cursing. I’ve yet to hear a good remedy.
    They love to congregate clinging near our backdoor and then take flight and enter as the backdoor opens. This is especially true as fall nears and they are looking for warm places to survive the winter.
    They love to get in drapes or in any crack in the wood, especially around windows. In a warm spell in winter, just when you think you’re free of them, they suddenly appear clinging to walls or flying into someone’s hair. They stink, especially when you pop them with a fly swatter or crush them underfoot. It’s a sickening, sweet stink.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    April 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

    “Introduced in the 1990’s”? We had some type of stink bugs when I was a kid. That was the 1940’s and 1950’s.
    A popular joke then was to offer a guaranteed way to get rid of any kind of bug for one dollar. When the victim paid their dollar you handed them two blocks of wood, told them to place the bug between the blocks and stand on them.

  • Reply
    Dee Parks
    April 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

    I had never heard of Stink Bugs in my life until about 10 years ago in central south PA, we started seeing them on the sunny side of our house in the summer. Some how they crawled in under the siding and wintered and the next summer was awful with them inside the house and outside. We hired a professional pest control to spray and that worked. He sprayed the next year too and that ended our infestation. The invasive BMSB can really multiply fast.

  • Reply
    Zelma
    April 8, 2016 at 9:44 am

    We have loads of stink bugs here in southwest Virginia. Yes, they DO stink if you disturb them or step on them. The smell reminds me of rotting cilantro. I read a good article a year or so ago about setting out pans of water containing dish soap in a sunny place. They are attracted to the sunlight on the water, and supposedly fall in and drown. The dish soap helps immobilize them. I just try to kill them when I see them–even if they stink when smashed. One good thing is that they do not reproduce indoors–they have to go outside in the spring to mate.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    April 8, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I read the NC article on stink bugs and it said one of the natural predators was praying mantis. My daughter’s children picked a funny looking bump on a weed last fall. It was put in a plastic bag and forgotten about until last week. She was cleaning and picked the bag up and inside were hundreds of praying mantises. She carried the bag out and let them crawl out into the world.
    A quick search on the internet shows the egg case and they are readily available on the internet.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    April 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

    My friend lives about twenty miles from here and is having a war with stink bugs. Only a few have found their way to my house. The ladybugs have been my problem for a few years while my sister who lives a quarter mile away never has any of the pest. Talk about stinking! I don’t like using chemicals, but finally had no choice. When I spayed it on the sunporch and outside the windows, I almost needed a shovel to scoop the bugs up. The chemical is called Tempo Ultra. I bought a small pack to try for $15. My cousin told me about it and said his $75 pack had lasted three years. He said he hadn’t seen a ladybug in years. It would be worth trying on stink bugs.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 8, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Tipper,
    We had an invasion of these Brown/Grey (Asian) Marmorated Stinkbugs a couple of years ago. We had a screen that summer on a small window that wasn’t fitting well. They must have come in there. At night one or two would fly around an land on the lamp shade. We managed to catch them but sometimes with them giving off their stink…When I found them in groups on the back of my curtains in front of the one window we knew where they were getting in. I got the vacuum and we went to work. We also put some of that Borax sucked into the shop vacuum as well. The helped curtail their stink and kill them too…The better half did spray with Sevin around the outside of the house.
    We didn’t see but a couple last year…We did catch one this year…but we think we knocked down our Asian stinkbugs around here. Our local TV station said they were introduced accidently in 2008 and begin mostly in Pennsylvania…
    The birds don’t seem to like to eat them either just like that nasty tent caterpillar…I am seeing nests of those this year in the wild cherry trees so I guess we are in for an invasion of those devils this year. They are real bad to get in my flowering Crab apples but I haven’t seen a nest so far. Roy usually wraps a rag on a pole, soaks it in gas and burns the nest out that way. Have to do it before they get too big…ewwwwww!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Nip those Asian brown marmorated stink bugs in the bud quick with some Sevin!

  • Reply
    Jack
    April 8, 2016 at 8:52 am

    As you pointed out, there were stink bugs around when I was a child. There are numerous species that are native to the USA. Most commonly the brown and green varieties. I have never seen the invasive BMSB. Seems like they tend to swarm more than are local bugs.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 8, 2016 at 8:07 am

    No advice, but they were around here every Spring and Summer for the entire time I was growing up. They seem to be mostly gone now probably due to the various sprays people put on their yards.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 8, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Do stink bugs really stink? I’ve seen several of them around my house but I don’t notice a stink associated with them. I usually just help them to the door and out but if they plan to become destructive to crops then perhaps I need to do something a little more aggressive.

  • Reply
    Carol Reid
    April 8, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Yep…stink bugs have found Brasstown. Very interesting article. Must be hearty little fellows.

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