Stink Bug Prevention: 10 Tips to Keep This Smelly Pest at BayMissy Henriksen
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
We know that
fall has arrived when the leaves begin to change, the air becomes
crisp and the smell of pumpkin pie fills the house. But, another
not-so-favorable sign that the cooler months are upon us is the
arrival of stink bugs.
Notorious for their "smelly" reputation, stink bugs
frequently enter homes during the cooler months in search of a warm
place to overwinter. While stink bugs do not pose a health or
property risk to homeowners, this pest can quickly become an
odoriferous nuisance around the home.
Like other pests, including ants and termites, stink bugs often enter structures in
larger numbers, making them a difficult pest to control once
inside. As a result, homeowners are often looking for simple ways
to ward off these invaders before an infestation develops.
As the temperatures continue to drop and people begin preparing
for the winter months, consider pest proofing the home, both inside
and out, to prevent stink bugs and other pests from becoming
unwelcome houseguests this fall. Here are 10 simple steps that
homeowners can take right now to keep this smelly pest at bay:
1. Seal off entry points: Spend some time
inspecting the outside of your home for easy access points. Pay
close attention to areas including around siding and utility pipes,
behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia or other openings.
Seal any cracks and holes that are found using a good quality
silicone or silicone-latex caulk.
2. Replace and repair: Stink bugs can enter the
home through the smallest openings, so it’s important to repair or
replace damaged screens on windows or doors. Don’t forget to check
for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar. You can also install
door sweeps if necessary.
3. Turn off the lights: Stink bugs are
attracted to lights, so it’s recommended to keep outdoor lighting
to a minimum. During the evenings, turn off porch lights and pull
down window blinds to prevent light from spilling outside.
4. Reduce moisture sites: Eliminating all
moisture build up around your home can go a long way to help
prevent many pest infestations. Check for leaking pipes and clogged
5. Eliminate food sources: Store food in
airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in
sealed receptacles. Also, make sure you wipe down counters and
sweep floors to eliminate crumbs and residue from spills.
6. Ventilate: Properly ventilate basements,
attics, garages and crawl spaces to eliminate harborage points.
Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. Also, make sure to
install screens over your chimney and attic vents.
7. Check your belongings: Inspect items such as
boxes containing holiday decorations and grocery bags before
bringing them indoors. Stink bugs can travel on these items and
make themselves cozy once inside the home.
8. Properly landscape: Keep branches and
shrubbery well trimmed. In addition, make sure to store firewood at
least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the
9. Think before squishing: When many people
find a stink bug, their first instinct is to squish them. However,
when disturbed or crushed, stink bugs have a tendency to release a
bad-smelling, bad-tasting odor from pores on the sides of their
bodies. This is how the pest earned its name.
10. Use a vacuum: If stink bugs have already
entered a home, use a vacuum cleaner for their removal. Dispose of
the vacuum bag immediately to prevent odor from permeating the
area, as dead stink bugs leave a residue inside the bag that can
stink up your home.
Remember that homes can be pre-treated for stink bugs before
they become a problem. But, if you suspect an infestation has
already developed, contact a licensed pest professional to evaluate
and assess the severity problem. For more information on stink bugs
and other invasive species, or to find a pest professional
in your area, visit www.PestWorld.org.