Let’s face it: some pest control problems really stink. That’s right—we’re talking about stink bugs, unwelcome guests that will make a literal stink if you rub them the wrong way. These shield-shaped insects are an invasive species originally brought to the U.S. from East Asia. While they can be a nuisance any time of year, those of us in the Mid-Atlantic region face the particular problem of stink bugs welcoming themselves indoors when the weather gets chilly.
Below, we’ll explain what causes stink bug problems to increase during colder months and what you can do about these insects in your home.
Why Stink Bugs “Overwinter” In Human Homes
As cold weather approaches, stink bugs are busy “fattening up” on crops and other plant material so that their bodies can store fat for the winter. This will help them survive months where there is little to eat. If necessary, stink bugs can slow their metabolism dramatically and enter a state called diapause (similar to hibernation).
The ideal wintertime scenario for a stink bug is to find a dry, secluded place to hide where they will be protected from chilly temperatures and can wait for spring undisturbed. After all, even in a dormant state, these insects are not immune to freezing temperatures and can eventually die from the cold. For this reason, stink bugs will choose to “overwinter” in the warmth of human homes.
What To Do About Stink Bugs In Your Home
Here’s what to do if stink bugs tend to become a nuisance in your home during the cold months of the year.
- Prevention is key. If you already know stink bugs are a problem in your area, make sure your windows and doors are sealed with fresh caulk and weatherstripping. Don’t forget to check the sweeps on your garage and external doors.
- Make some homemade “stink-bug-icide.” Simply combine water and dish soap in a spray bottle in a one-to-one ratio. Dish soap is toxic to stink bugs, so spraying them with this concoction puts an end to them pretty quickly. You may want to keep a few bottles handy near your windows and doors.
- In a pinch, vacuum them. Keep in mind that you only want to suck up stink bugs if your vacuum cleaner has disposable bags. Otherwise, you may be stuck with a bagless vacuum full of terrible odors.
- Do NOT squish them. This is the one thing you shouldn’t do unless you really want to be stuck with an awful smell in your home for the foreseeable future.
If the stink bug situation in your home has gotten out of hand, you can trust our New Jersey pest professionals at Horizon Pest Control to take care of the problem and help you avoid future issues. Contact us online or give us a call at (201) 365-9886.