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Ask The Entomologist Question About Stink Bugs

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Question:

How do you get rid of stink bugs?

Answer:

Stink bugs overwinter as adults in protected areas.  Many times these protected areas are our houses.   They enter structures, usually through openings around the roofline, in the Fall.  When the temperature rises in the Spring, they try and find their way back outside.  They don’t always remember how they got into the structure and begin migrating to the lighted, warmer areas of the house which is the living area.  Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do until all of the stink bugs have emerged except to remove them with a vacuum as they come out.  They don’t all come out at once, but gradually over a couple of weeks.  So you pretty much have to tolerate them for a little while.  If you treated your attic and wall voids (where many of them are hiding out) with pesticides to kill them, this will cause more problems.  All of the dead stink bugs will attract other insects, and being true to their name, will smell really bad.  In a couple of weeks they will have all emerged and then you won’t have to deal with them until they try to come back inside late in the Fall.  In the meantime, you may want to make it harder for them to return by repairing any damaged areas around the roof, seal cracks and holes, make sure eave and gable vents are properly secure and not damaged, and have your attic treated with an insecticidal dust.  This last item should be done by your pest professional.  Inform your service person that you have trouble with stink bugs and to make sure a preventative service is performed in the Fall.