What are stink bugs?
It is commonly known that stink bugs are flying insects, or shield bugs because of their distinct trapezoidal shapes. The hardened shell of their broad bodies acts as a protective armour in shielding them from the threat of the predators. There is an enormous range of species of stink bugs, which together make up a family called Pentatomidae. The most common one is, however, the brown marmorated stink bug indigenous to Asia.
Stink bugs are considered being a huge pest to agriculture because of the global losses they cause in agricultural production every single year. They eat plenty of types of plants, including valuable crops such as apples, peaches, and soybeans. Not only do they cause damages to commercial farmers, but they also gain entrance into our premises when the cold weather rolls in. When they are inside a home, they do not have the tendency to sting or bite people but might offend our noses because of their putrid odours. Other than unpleasing our noses, shield bugs are fairly harmless to humans.
What attracts stink bugs most?
There is a great link between the development of insects and the change in temperature and stink bugs are not an exception. To a certain point, stink bugs develop faster under warm temperatures. They are known to be attracted by warmth and light, so shield bugs have the tendency to snuggle into premises to stay warm and protected during winter times. When the temperature drops and gets cooler, particularly in late summer and early autumn, it is the ideal time for the brown marmorated stink bugs to search for their shelters in our business or home properties. Once they get accessed to those premises, a wide infestation is likely to spread throughout the properties quickly.
Why stink bugs stink?
Have you ever made a mistake of squashing a stink bug? If yes, you would exactly know how they earned that name. According to an entomologist called Matt Bertone at NC State University, stink bugs usually release a horrible smell when they are attacked or squashed, which is a powerful defence mechanism to shield them from the predators and other elements. This easily recognisable smell is known to come from a waxy liquid in specialised scent glands on the bottom side of the bug’s thorax. As it is too highly concentrated, even a small drop can cause the stench to disperse rapidly. Besides, it is not surprising that these stink bugs don’t seem to have many natural predators as no enemies want to eat something which smells stinky. That’s why this ideal odour comes in handy for these bugs when it comes to warding off predators.
How to control stink bugs in our premises?
As stink bugs are incredible nuisance pests, almost all homeowners have to deal with many of them getting into their home properties seeking an overwintering place to hibernate until spring comes. That’s why early stink bugs prevention is highly recommended by pest control experts. Although stink bugs are harmless to humans and do not cause any structural damage to home premises, it is not pleasant to let them stay in our home spaces. Whenever you see any stink bugs flying in your house, try to repel them by adopting some organic stink bug treatments below.
Several treatments can get rid of those brown marmorated stink bugs out from our properties. The best time to apply these remedies is late summer and early autumn, when stink bugs look for overwintering spots.
Mint essence seems to have a positive effect on keeping stink bugs away. Here is the quick recipe to help to deal with stink bugs invading our homes.
Use 0.5 litre of freshwater and 0.5 ml of mint oil.
Have a good old mix and pour it into a sprayer pump. Stink bugs usually enter our homes through windows, chimneys, door sweeps, and other entrances. Make sure that you cover these entrances with mint spray properly, as the powerful smell of mint oil can prevent those bugs from getting into our premises.
Diatomaceous Earth powder is known as a sedimentary powder containing a mixture of crushed fossilised algae (diatoms). As stink bugs are insects having exoskeletons, they are extremely sensitive to Diatomaceous Earth powder. The power can break the exoskeletons of the bugs down, which results in their dehydration and death. This product, therefore, is known to have a long-lasting effect on exoskeleton insects like stink bugs as it is not chemical-based. Shield bugs no longer build up a tolerance or put up resistance like they do with chemical-based products.
Stink bugs often have the tendency to search for comfy spots to overwinter when the weather starts to get cooler. Once they find a cosy location, they are likely to stimulate pheromones to encourage others to join in. If you want to prevent those shield bugs from snuggling into your home, always remember to keep your windows and doors sealed tight. Regular house inspections, moreover, should be carried out twice a year to check any entry points that can allow stink bugs to get into your homes such as chimneys or pipes.
How to eliminate stink bugs on plants?
The threat stink bugs pose to the agriculture industry is huge. Every single year, they are hurting agricultural plants, damaging plenty of crops and causing widespread infestations across the country. Reducing the population of stink bugs on plants seems to be a tough task as there are many effective methods customised to get rid of stink bugs permanently. Some below methods, however, can play a key part in controlling the number of those shield bugs.
- Organic enemies: stink bugs are known to be native to Asia. When they were first introduced or brought into other continents such as America or mainland Australia, no predators were appearing to regulate their population. Despite the lack of predators present to keep the number of stink bugs down, there are still some beneficial insects such as praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs, birds and toads that can help eliminate some stink bugs.
- Stink bug traps: If you have the interest in getting rid of stink bugs on plants without using pesticides or chemical products, stink bugs trap or magnet is the optimal option for your garden plants. This stink bug trap is a magnet releasing pheromones which is a substance any stink bugs discharge to attract others to join in. By doing this, the trap can lure stink bugs from a long distance and catch them. With this trap, you can either place on the ground in your garden or hang them from a tree.
If you’re struggling to control a pest infestation, feel free to consult our pest exterminators. Send us a message and we’ll get back to you ASAP.