Although stink bugs are primarily pests of crop fields, they can be found in meadows, fields, yards, or gardens and especially those with low shrubs. They are known to infest up to 70 different ornamental plants. They are most active from spring through fall, but they usually become house invaders at the beginning of fall when temperatures start to drop.
The stink bug’s eggs are yellow, yellow-red, white, or pale green in color and can be found on the underside of leaves in clumps of 20 to 30 eggs. Eggs are only found outdoors on plants because stink bugs do not reproduce indoors. Thank goodness for small favors. Crop plants are the primary source of food for stink bugs. They typically feed on fruit crops, but they enjoy honeydew, tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, peppers, cabbage, and any type of fruit, using their beaks to pierce and suck plant juice. This activity can cause major damage to gardens. If you discover these insects on your plants you can scoop them up using a pill bottle or other small container. This is time consuming, but the containers help you avoid the smell they emit.
If you will be treating your lawn with CEDAR-AL cedar spray and using an irrigation system, mix 4 oz of our cedar oil per 1000 feet to your solution tank per month. If you will be using a pump lawn sprayer and applying it directly, dilute the cedar oil, 3 oz to 1 Gallon water.
Since stink bugs come into homes from outdoors, a spray barrier of CEDAR-AL cedar oil spray should be applied around all of the doors and windows. The spray barrier should also be applied on the foundation. Because rain and weather will affect the spray barrier, it will need to be re-applied from time to time. You can use cedar oil full strength to treat the base of the outside of the walls and perimeter of your property and the foundation underneath your home and out buildings. If you have any untreated wooden walls or floors, you can “paint” the cedar oil on these areas. Remember to ventilate when using inside your home.
They sometimes hibernate on the outside of some south-facing buildings for warmth, but usually over winter in protected areas under dead weeds, stones, in the bark of trees or in your house. The stink bugs invade homes in the fall when the weather starts to turn cool. They cluster on the outside of the home for warmth. When they find holes or cracks, they move inside the home. They find hiding places in attics, crawl spaces, and inside of wall voids.
The bugs stay hidden through the winter. When springtime comes, the bugs start to move around. They seek a way out, but they often come out inside the living space of the home. When stink bugs get into your home they often hide in dark attic spaces. Placing an insect light trap in these spaces will attract and capture some of the bugs. It won’t eliminate them totally, but anything that helps in the fight needs to be mentioned.
If your home becomes infested, be wary before sucking the bugs into the vacuum cleaner. Squashing them or vacuuming them will usually make the smell worse. Wear gloves if you need to handle stink bugs because their unique beaks are fully capable of biting humans. Although their bites are not harmful, you will feel something similar to a sharp pinprick if you are bitten. Not fun!
Once your home has been invaded, it is very likely you will see the bugs during the winter months. As outside temperatures drop, stink bugs move away from cold exterior walls and towards warmer interior walls. Often, they emerge inside your living spaces. If that happens you should consider treating the attic rafters with your CEDAR-AL cedar oil spray. You’ll need a good flashlight and an extension mirror to locate all their hiding places. Remember to ventilate when using inside your home.
Exclusion is the key to avoiding stink bug invasions. Sealing your house by closing doors and windows will help keep them out of your home. Around the home, inspect for cracks and openings that stink bugs might use as entryways. Seal cracks around doors and windows with caulking. Use screen to protect vents in attics and crawl spaces. Use weather-stripping to seal gaps under exterior doors.
If there are cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, behind chimneys, or other openings, good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk will help stop their entry. For stink bugs that have amassed on walls and ceilings you can just vacuum them up.
Replace ripped window and door screens and install screens on attic vents. Inspect entries to crawl spaces to make sure they are properly sealed.
In the late summer and fall, inspect the yard. Remove boards, boxes, and other clutter where stink bugs could hide during the winter. Move firewood away from the house and stack it on a rack. Trim weeds and grass, even around fences and drainage ditches.
Here’s the part I know you will hate hearing. You just spent a ton of money installing outdoor lighting to make your home look warm and inviting. Or, you added lighting as a security measure. Well, these little stinkers are attracted to light. So, now your house is a beacon that shouts “Come to me all ye bugs looking for a home.” They are drawn to lights coming from your windows, too. I can’t ask you to shutter your windows at night, but closing the shades will help. You may want to consider placing sticky glue board traps along window sills after the cedar oil barrier has been applied and dried. They are attracted to the light coming from windows at night. The glue traps won’t trap all, but it may help.
These steps will help ensure that stink bugs do not spend the winter inside or around the home. Treat your home all year round and the result will be fewer stink bugs and fleas next spring.
Okay! You are armed with just enough information to do battle. GET YOUR CEDAR-AL CEDAR OIL SPRAY and go out and fight a good fight!