As seasons change and you prepare for sweater weather, don’t let stinkbugs put a damper on your enjoyment. Stink bugs are one of the smelliest nuisances that try to enter your home for warmth when temperatures drop. Stink bugs not only give off an unpleasant odor, but they can also cause damage to your plants. Find out why stink bugs enter your home and how to prevent them from taking up residence with you.
Finding a Way into Your Home
When the days get shorter and colder temperatures start to leave frost on the ground, stink bugs take it as a clue to try and find a stable habitat to survive the winter. When stink bugs go dormant in the winter months due to the lack of resources, it's called diapause. However, if they make their way into your house before going into this state, they won't go into ‘hibernation’ as your residence will provide all the necessities.
Besides the shelter and food, stink bugs are attracted to lights. Leaving exterior lights on, along with keeping your window blinds open and your indoor lights on at night, can attract these insects to your home. Herbivores, these bugs also love to eat gardens and greens. They can cause severe damage to flowers and other crops, especially because they lay their eggs on any plant they can find. Carrying pathogens, these bugs can spread plant diseases throughout your garden or orchard. If your home is in a more rural or green area, this might cause more bugs to try and get indoors.
Stink bugs also have a pheromone that they release when they find a spot to survive. The pheromone will attract other stink bugs, turning a small stink bug problem into a swarm of stink bugs.
Because one stink bug can attract even more, preventing the problem before it starts is the first step. At the end of summer, check the outside of your house to make sure cracks are sealed. Any opening can allow critters or insects to enter.
If you have faced problems in the past, changing the bulbs of your lights can help. Yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lights are known to be less appealing to these bugs.
Inspecting your window screens for holes, gaps, or tears can also help you keep stink bugs out. Since they are attracted to moisture, it may be a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier for your basement or other rooms that often feel damp.
If stink bugs are already inside of your home, resist the urge of immediately squishing them, which will release a potent smell. It’s easier to vacuum them up and then dispose of the vacuum bag. Try to avoid touching these bugs, as their smell can get on you and take a while to wash off.
Eliminate stink bugs on the spot with TERRO® Stink Bug Killer. Eliminating the insect on contact, this spray provides residual killing power up for 6 weeks. Cover all the cracks and crevices of your house to ensure that they aren’t making their way into your home. Applicable indoors and out, this spray is versatile and can be used on other insects like boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles, carpenter ants, and other insects. TERRO® also offers a variety of other solutions that work on stink bugs as well as other pest insects.
Ridding Stinkbugs for the Season
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