Stink bugs, also referred to as shield bugs, are a group of flying insects that belong to the Pentatomidae family of the order Hemiptera. They secrete a foul-smelling liquid from the gland located between the first and second pair of legs, hence the name. This liquid is released as a defense mechanism to protect from the predators. The habitat of these bugs includes meadows, garden, flower beds, fields, and shrubs. They are active from spring through the fall season.
Many species of stink bugs are destructive and cause serious damage to certain crop families such as mustard, cabbage, rice, and cotton. At times, they cause discoloration of fruits and vegetables. Though these bugs are harmless to humans, the obnoxious smell can cause allergic reactions and sneezing. Never crush these insects, as the smell released is quite annoying and long-lasting.
An effective method of killing stink bugs is to use nicotine water. For preparing this homemade pest control solution, you can shred half a packet of cigarettes in about half a gallon of lukewarm water. Allow the solution to stand for about 10 - 15 minutes. Then, filter the nicotine solution by using 2 - 3 layers of cheese cloth. Take the filtrate and add a teaspoon of dish washing detergent. Stir the solution well and pour into a sprayer. Spaying this solution on the stink bugs will poison and kill them. In order to prevent skin allergies, you should wear hand gloves while handling nicotine water.
If you are spraying nicotine solution or pesticides on vegetables and fruits, make sure that you wash them thoroughly before consumption. It is observed that several species of stink bugs are resistant to mild pesticides. Hence, proper identification of the bug is necessary for practicing effective control measures. In case of infestation by stink bugs, it is always advisable to consult a professional entomologist in the early stages.