Stink bugs. They came from Asia, hiding in a fruit crate. And now they’re calling America home.
At first they invaded only as it got colder. But I have them now. And I’m hearing that other people all over NJ and PA are invaded despite the warmer temperatures.
And they’re getting more aggressive!! They used to be known as just slow moving annoying critters that would get cozy in a laundry basket or behind a picture frame. Now they fly around like rabid, giant mosquitoes. I complied a list of killer tips (from comments on my Best Advice Ever blog. See www.cindycapitani.net.)
If you have a tip – do share. The stink bug is the new roach – except it flies, bites and attacks! One woman just commented that the bugger bit her son – and drew blood!
My first call Monday morning will be to an entomologist and plant pathologist at Rutgers. There has to be an explanation why these slow moving bugs have gotten so aggressive – and so reluctant to go back outside.
Oh, what ever you do? Don't crush them; they're called stink bugs for a reason. Don't vacuum them either; the smell emits.
Read these tips. And share yours …
- Get a bat. Bats eat stink bugs! North American bats are invaluable natural resources. As primary predators of night-flying insects, bats play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature. A single little brown bat can catch hundreds of mosquitoes in an hour. Bats that frequent bat houses eat insects that could damage crops, such as cucumber and June beetles, STINK BUGS, leafhoppers and corn worm moths. Most likely to inhabit bat houses are little brown bats, big brown bats, eastern pipistrelle and the eastern long-eared bat.
- Fill a lidded jar with alcohol, and drop them in as you catch them -- dead in 15 seconds.
- Treat the perimeter of your home with a micro-encapsulated pest control product. The micro-cap holds up well for months and dries virtually clear, with minimal odor. Two good pest control products that work well are Demand CS and Border Insecticide. Both can be purchased here.
Treat well around the doors, windows, vents, wall-mounted air conditioners, and any place with a crack or crevice leading to the inside.
- Wash the curtains, bed linens and send the drapes to the cleaners; that will deter the bugs from returning to the same spots in the house.
- Spray them with hot sauce, or fill a lidded jar with hot sauce and drop them in.
- Flush them. Still seems the easiest way to go as long as you're not knee-deep. Drives up the water bill though ...
- Fly paper. Line windowsills, door jams ... one stink bug attracts another, so the paper should fill up with bugs in the house.
- A shot gun. One reader swears it's a sure fire way to kill them... downside could be the hole in your wall, and perhaps a visit from the cops...
- Spray Axe on 'em. Of course then you have to stink your house up with Axe (though if you have a teenage boy, then it already is)
- Mint leaves. Line windowsills and leave near any crevice ... one reader swears this works.
- Regularly spray your plants, trees and grass with a soap and water solution; it will dehydrate most of the bugs.
- Seal them in a zip lock bag. It might take 2 months for them to suffocate ... but they will eventually die.
- Paralyze them with hairspray, then seal them in a jar with bleach or rubbing alcohol. (Be armed witht the stickiest hairspray you can find. I tried this using a high-end spray and the critters flew at me. I was terrified.)
- Orange Guard. It's an all-natural way to suffocate them.
- Cats. One reader -- who says she was bit on the neck by a stink bug -- now keeps her cat inside. Bugs seem to be gone.
- Spray them with a 32 oz bottle hot water and 1 3/4 cup of dawn soap; it's said to kill them fast. Since they hang out on fruit trees, a reader suggests spraying trees with 36 oz of dawn soap to 2 gallon of hot water.
- Nicotine. Shred a pack of cigarettes and let it steep in a gallon of warm water over night, strain it through several layers of cheese cloth, and add two tablespoons of dish washing detergent to the mix, and spray that on the bugs and it will kill them for sure. (Wear gloves when handling the nicotine water; you don’t want to poison yourself with too much nicotine absorbing through your skin.) The detergent will break down along with the nicotine. The detergent lessens the surface tension of the water, making it coat the bugs well, and the nicotine poisons them. Both decompose after a while.
- Birds. Although I can't seem to find out which birds like to munch on them. Blue birds have been mentioned a few times...
- Taser them. If you ever needed an excuse to use a taser ... now's your chance.