Someone told me to flush them down the toilet, but my water bill will be higher than my electric bill if I keep that up! Why are they here, and how do I get rid of them?
A quick little google search told me that stink bugs come out of their winter hiding spots in the spring when it starts to warm up, and they are trying to head inside your homes right about now in preparation for the winter. So if you're one of those people who look for nature signs, you might add this to your list supporting a long, cold, early winter this year. We noticed we had that nice cool spell a bit ago, and as soon as it warmed up, our neighborhood was swarming with them. They're trying to find a winter home, and it's definitely not going to be in mine!
So where are they all summer then? Apparently, they live in tree canopies for most of the summer. They tend to like black locust, maple and ash trees. If you have garden variety vegetables, they particularly like vining plants like cucumbers and zucchini. They've been known to eat the skins of your tomatoes, but amazingly they won't touch garlic. As far as your crops go, you can plant dill and fennel in with your plants as those attract some of the parasitic wasps that feed on stink bugs. But no animal is a natural predator for the stink bugs. I find that fact absolutely crazy.
So how do we get rid of these things? They truly are a nuisance pest.... I can't stand having these things crawling around my home let alone inside! The google search said things that every homeowner should do anyways, like seal up cracks along openings (windows, doors, etc). Even cracks in the cement blocks part of your home - my aunt saw stink bugs going into a crack near her chimney outside. It was super small, but once she used her fireplace, guess what was in her house? You guessed it! Stink bugs!
Here's what I did. I made a 2 liter bottle trap and it works! I put a link from youtube at the bottom showing how to make one. Once you take the top off the bottle you invert it into the bottle and just tape it together. I put water and a few squirts of dish liquid inside (I had Dawn right now, but you could use any type). What happens is, when you put the bottle under the stink bug, it will let go and drop (it almost seems like that's their escape mechanism), and they fall into the nasty water! One of the gross things, which attests to how hardy these beasties are, they will actually swim underwater and not die right away! Ewwwwwww. But the best part is that you don't handle the bug, and they don't emit that nasty odor because they aren't smooshed! WIN WIN!
Anyways, after a few days, you'll notice your stink bug trap will stink.... time to throw it out and make a new death trap. We even have an old green pen (you can see it next to the bottle) that we use to just give them a gentle touch to let go and drop. My husband absolutely HATES handling/killing any type of bug. Now that he's seen how easy it is, if he sees one, he'll go get the trap and scoop the bug.
We're hoping that by grabbing the ones near our home that maybe we interrupt the cycle and maybe we won't see as many in the spring. Either way, it feels good to not have these things crawling on my home and in my garden! Not to mention, my dog likes to eat them.... again.... ewwwwww.
Do you have any ways you've caught the stink bugs near your home without breaking the bank? Were you successful? Feel free to share them by leaving a comment!