Stink bugs present a growing problem to both homeowners and gardeners all over America. Although they are harmless to humans and animals, they are smelly and annoying, and they breed rapidly. In spring and summer, they feed on and damage plants. During late fall and winter, they congregate inside of your home. They’re also responsible for widespread crop damage to soybeans, fruit trees and vegetables. Unfortunately, they are resistant to most common pesticides, making stink bug control difficult. Fortunately, there are other methods of control that are both safe, effective and inexpensive.
Diatomaceous earth is made from deposits of microscopic fossilized algae-like water plants. When used for stink bug control, is works as a desiccant, dehydrating the offending bugs to death. It is perfectly safe, and is ideal for use in attics, basements, garages and sheds.
Perhaps the best method of stink bug control is the use of predatory insects. The Trissolcus wasp, measuring a measly 2 millimeters, is a natural predator of the stink bug. They seek out the eggs and parasitize them by laying their own egg inside. Though the adults feed on plant nectar, their sole host is the eggs of the stink bug.
Spraying repellants for stink bug control, like hot pepper oil and neem oil, makes plants unpalatable for them. Neem oil has the added benefit of killing stink bugs eggs, preventing future generations from hatching.
As with most things, avoiding a problem before it starts is the best policy for stink bug control. To keep them out of your home, check for any places they might be using to get inside. Seal these entries with caulk or foam insulation. If you see them on the outside of your house, take a vacuum cleaner and suck them up. For prevention in the garden, do some regular weeding, since stink bugs like to use them for cover. If you have the time, go around to your plants and pluck stink bugs off and toss them into a container of water to drown them.