The familiar smell of stinkbugs is said to smell like anything ranging from cilantro to the scent of a skunk. Usually, these stinky invaders start heading into homes when temperatures begin to dip in fall. If you find yourself with these bugs choosing your home for their hibernation, here's what to do:
Limit Their Access Points
Stink bugs gain entry to your home through small cracks and openings. Before the weather dips, you should take a close look around your home to identify any access points. These points are found around pipes, window screens, and door frames - basically any point of your home that has external access.
Seal any openings you discover. This may mean resealing areas where silicone has pulled away with more silicone, replacing torn screens, or replacing weather stripping. Once you limit a stink bug's entry options, you greatly reduce your home's risk for infestation.
Reduce Their Access to Food
Many stink bugs head for your home during the cooler months to find a place to hibernate. During this hibernation, they aren't actively eating. However, a food source can still bring them to your door before that hibernation begins.
Stink bugs primarily eat plant matter or other insects by sucking the juices from their meal. They don't bite or prey on humans. To reduce their access to food, keep fruits, vegetables, and house plants secure. Fruits and vegetables can be secured by placing them in storage containers or in your refrigerator.
House plants can be secured by placing them outside if the weather is tolerable. Another option is to lightly spray your plants with a mixture of soap and water as a repellent to the bugs.
Avoid Unnecessary Lighting
Stink bugs are attracted to light, so you should minimize your light usage where possible. This is especially true for outdoor lights in the immediate area around your home. Porch lights and garden lighting should only be used as necessary in early fall as it can point stink bugs toward your home.
While light attracts stink bugs to your home, it can also be used to control them. A light pointed away from your home will lead the bugs to that area instead. Lights can also be pointed toward traps to control the bug population.
Contact a Pest Professional
Sometimes, even taking the best preventative measures doesn't prevent an infestation from occurring. If stink bugs have chosen your home for their hibernation, reach out to a pest professional. A pest control professional will create a treatment plan for your home and address any areas of concern you may have missed.