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10 Ways to Fend Off Stink Bugs

Find out how to trap them, drown them and generally make your home unfriendly for the critters.

You've probably seen them crawling on your screens or fluttering around your house. You can't crush them, because they expel a musty scent when frightened, a defensive technique that has earned them their name: stink bugs.

Stink bugs, which have a brown, shield-like body, were first discovered in Allentown, PA, in 2001, according to a report from the University of Maryland. They feed on fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables and legumes, and are common throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the fall. 

Although stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans, according to researchers, they are a major nuisance.

Here are ten ways to get rid of them:

1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs. (University of Maryland)

2. Cut the top of a half-gallon or gallon jug, fill it with soapy water and use a piece of cardboard or a napkin to whisk the bugs into the water, which will drown them. (University of Maryland)

3. Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. (University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center)

4. Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these. (University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center)

5. Plant or move fruit trees and vegetable gardens, especially tomato plants, away from your home to prevent stink bugs from landing on the exterior of your home. (University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center)

6. Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee. (Bayer Advanced Insect Control)

7. Hang a stink bug trap outside your house to catch them. (University of Maryland Bug Guy Mike Raupp via YouTube)

8. Hang a damp towel outside your home overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel, and you can use a vacuum or knock them into a jug of soapy water to kill them. (Bayer Advanced)

9. Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label. Insecticides are never to be used indoors. (University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center)

10. Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stinkbugs often enter through attics. (University of Maryland Bug Guy Mike Raupp via YouTube)

Steve September 28, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Why fight them when you can make pate out of them....... http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/special/creepy/bugpate.html#axzz27nXOfU5m
Mr. Drew September 29, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Put an Osage Orange in Every room.
Elle September 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM
What is an Osage Orange?
Brandie Jefferson April 11, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Steve, I just saw this! Tell me you've made this??
marylandmojo June 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM
Well, it wasn't my post, but an Osage Orange is the "fruit" (and I use the word loosely) of a heirloom tree of the same name. The fruit is a light green, warty, gnarly-looking thing about the size of a softball, that falls from the tree in late summer to early fall, and is best just left alone. Why? When it begins to deteriorate and rot, it stinks to the high heavens. In Colonial times, I'm told, the tree was planted for its extremely hard and dense wood, which was used for fence posts. I've also heard the trees--which contain thorns--were planted close together to form a "living" fence, as deer, cattle, etc., would not attempt to brave the thorns to try and penetrate the barrier. For those who walk the path around Centennial Lake, I have seen Osage Oranges lying on the ground near the path, so there are some Osage Orange trees that I'm aware of here in Howard County. But they're becoming rare, these days, locally. The seeds are contained within the stinky fruit, and can be removed as they rot and become soft. Otherwise, the Osage Oranges are quite hard and difficult to cut or penetrate--unless you use an ax. I believe also that medicinal qualities have been attributed to Osage Oranges. Maybe the poster above--Mr. Drew--was serious about the insecticidal qualities of Osage Orange, or maybe it was tongue-in-cheek, as Osage Oranges might deter the BMSB's by outstinking the Stink Bugs.

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