Stink bugs are common agricultural pests. They attack garden plants to feed themselves. These plant eaters are mostly found in vegetation like tomatoes, beans and melons. Their brown or green body color blend with the plants so well that it becomes difficult for you to identify that the plants have been infested by them. It multiplies in numbers at such a rapid pace that they can set up a colony of their own in no time. Then they badly destroy the crop. Stink bugs remain active in the garden from spring to late fall and in winters they go into hibernation. It is during the winter season they leave your garden and start entering your house.
How to Prevent Stink Bugs from Entering Your House
Once the bugs get in the house, they will safely hide themselves in various cracks and dark crevices of the house and spend the entire winter season inside the house. They are not harmful to humans and do not spread any disease or destroy clothes or food. The actual problem with stink bugs is that they emit a foul odor which refuses to go and its effects last for several months. Some people are even allergic to this odor. To save yourself from this offensive smell, you have to stop them from coming inside the house.
The following steps can help you in this regard:
- Keep all the major entry points through which stink bugs can enter your house closed. They include the door, window, garage, vents, chimneys, utility pipes, etc.
- If any part of the doors or windows are in damaged or broken condition, then it has to be repaired as soon as possible.
- The size of a stink bug is almost one inch and it can enter your house though any gap which is larger than this. Identify all such large cracks in the windows, doors, siding of the house and then seal them up with a good quality sealant. If you do not have caulk with you, then you can fill up these gaps with paper towels.
- A simple homemade solution of dishwashing liquid and water can serve as an excellent repellent for stink bugs. Put this solution in a spray bottle and spread it all around the house daily.
- The outdoor lights of your house are a major attraction for the bugs. You must have noticed them hovering around these lights at nighttime. So, keep these lights switched off in the evening in order to keep the stink bugs away. If you turn on the lights, these bugs will come near your house and will enter it as soon as they get a small opening.
- When the bugs form a large colony in your garden, they start entering your house. Therefore, it is important to prevent stink bugs from entering the garden. Introduce some parasitoid wasps (Apocrita) to control stink bugs in the garden. These insects are predators and will not allow to grow them in numbers in the garden.
- Make sure that no foliage of garden plants are near the exterior walls of the house. You should not even keep any potted flowering plants in the area adjacent to the house. If you find any leafy branches of a garden plant growing up to the house walls, cut them back. All these steps are taken to remove the food sources of the stink bugs.
- Make sure there are no tomato plants in the garden during the winters as it increases the chances of stink bug infestation in the house manifold.
Hope you got some idea on how to prevent stink bugs. You have to take all these preventive measures before the onset of the winter season. Once they enter your house, you cannot do much about them. In case your garden is already heavily infested with stink bugs in the growing season, you must consult an entomologist or bug expert to find out the ways to get rid of them.