If you've noticed an influx of stink bugs invading your living space over the last several weeks, you definitely aren't alone. The foul and highly invasive species, which has been identified in 44 U.S. states, is most commonly found inside in overwhelming numbers during the colder months, so until springtime comes, be prepared to host an abundance of stinky tenants in your home.
That being said, if you're seeking out an effective solution to the invasive pests, here's how to get rid of stink bugs properly. Until you fix the problem, however, refrain from crushing them — not only do they release an odor that smells upon impact, but it also attracts other live bugs.
A key aspect of keeping out stink bugs is prevention.
One major way to keep stink bugs out is by preparing accordingly. According to Prevention, stink bugs generally enter your home by slipping through gaps and cracks in the foundation and roof of your home. They can also come in through windows, door frames, and broken screens, so it's recommended to seal up any cracks in vents, windows, doorframes, and baseboards with caulk or sealant, replace screens if need be, and close the flue in your fire place when it isn't in use.
If you generally experience massive amounts of stink bugs in the fall and winter months, you can also hire an exterminator to pre-treat for stink bugs at the end of summer, or in the beginning of autumn, before stink bugs tend to congregate inside. You can also pretreat for stink bugs yourself with a number of products, including D-Fense SC , Cyzmic CS, Bifen IT, Cyper WP, and Demon WP, according to Do Your Own Pest Control. Just do it at night when the temperature drops below 60 degrees.
Stink bugs are also attracted to light and warmth, so Pest World recommends changing any white or especially bright outdoor lights to something darker, and yellow-y, making it less attractive to vermin. That way, they aren't quite as inclined to come inside.
After stink bugs have already entered your home, you only have a few options.
Pre-treatment is key, but sometimes, it doesn't eliminate the problem entirely. To get rid of stink bugs quickly and efficiently after they've entered your home, start by vacuuming them, and immediately emptying the bag afterwards, to eliminate their scent, according to Prevention. You can also invert the top of a plastic water bottle, fill it with soapy water, and drown them.
If your home is the apparent victim of a stink bug "infestation," however, you'll see massive amounts of alive or dead stink bugs crawling throughout sunny areas in your home, and in this case, you'll want to call an exterminator. The exterminator, however, will most likely treat your home with various chemicals, so you'll want to approach the problem before it's too late.
Prevention is key in terms of stink bugs, so for a weekend project, we strongly suggest sealing up your home now, before it's too late.