Once again stink bugs have reared their ugly heads...and they are ugly.
For me, it's a relief the pests have reappeared this late in the season. Last year my garden was devastated.
They will be feeding on what they can find, but the bugs are mostly looking for a place to spend the winter.
You don't want that place to be your house.
I've been hearing from people whose homes have been completely covered in stink bugs looking for a way in.
It's important to to seal the house to prevent the insects from entering. Make sure screens are tight, if not, keep the windows closed when possible. Spend some time walking the perimeter with a caulking gun looking for cracks to plug.
One of the most common places for the bugs to get in is through attic vents. Use window screen to cover them from the inside.
If the stink bugs are already inside, kill or trap them.
I like the organic Stink Bug Killer from St. Gabriel Organics. It's a powerful concentration of wintergreen oil. It kills the bugs, is safe for us and smells like mint. I've found it to be very effective, but it can't be used on plants. The formulation will burn the leaves.
The Rescue trap can still be used outside to lure the pests using pheromones. If the bugs are already on the house, they have stopped mating and just want to come inside a sleep, they won't react to the pheromones.
The Strube always uses a light combined with other things to attract the bugs, the Rescue trap has a light which can be attached. The best bet to catch them is when they have broken dormancy in January. Keep the lighted trap going from then until March. I have been catching stink bugs with a lighted trap, but it might just be by accident.
The trap must be the main source of light to get the bugs. It won't be as effective if it has to compete with another light source.
They do really well hung in the attic or some other dark place.
It's important to catch what's inside. Every stink bug in the trap is one less that will mate in the spring.