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Shield Bugs

Summary: With shield bugs invading, everyone is looking for ways to control these pests. Here are some suggested shield bug remedies I have received recently.

To date, the most effective method of controlling shield bugs is to exclude them. Seal up windows and doors. Put screens over chimneys. Close the tiny cracks and crevices found in siding. All great ideas. None of them perfect. The shield bugs still seem to gain entry at will.

But, when there's an issue leave it up to homeowners to come up with novel ideas to fight these insidious pests. Here are some of the best suggestions I've received to date for keeping shield bugs on the other side of the wall.

DG: I have found if I keep home made soaps with a strong odor like mint or citrus scents it seems to detract them at least in our closets. They also do not seem to like when I burn incense.

HB: We put a super fine metal screen inside the soffits and on vent pipes in an effort to stop them from coming in and we have noticed less in the house.

FH: I have tried something that seems to be working. I had purchased an amazing amount of garlic and since I didn't want it to go bad I pureed it with oil and kept it in a jar in the refrigerator. Since these pests seem to dislike garlic, I decided to give it a try. I placed a small Tupperware container of the pureed garlic in the top of the bottom sash of our double hung window. It works! I was seeing 30 to 50 bugs a day on this window and now we are down to less than 5. Granted, the room smells like garlic, but I don't care. I change the container every 4 to 5 days so it remains potent. The oil keeps it from drying out so it keeps the strong garlic odor for a longer period of time.

JB: For two years I have used a solution of cypermetherin in a garden feeder and blast them out of the window screens and shutters in the fall. I think they follow their scent because they congregate around the same areas every year. I also used concentrated bleach in the garden feeder and that seemed to work just as well.

PP: Radish plants are supposed to deter them, as well as camphor.

TW: I found that toilet bowl cleaner from the dollar store (20% Hydrogen Chloride) works quickly. I used it on the ones I found in the bathroom. I am not recommending that anyone use the toilet bowl cleaner everywhere, but I am trying to find the least concentrated solution which maintains its efficacy.

BR: When I see a shield bug I slide it onto a piece of paper and put it a jar of Dawn detergent. The bug immediately dies. I have also used mineral oil.

RS: Someone suggested a mixture of apple juice and dish soap. They're supposed to drink it and die.

LM: We have devised a simple "catcher n terminator" device consisting of 1 plastic cup and 1 empty yogurt cup. In the yogurt cup I sprayed some WD 40. I will use the plastic cup to catch the shield bugs then pour them into the yogurt cup. When not in use, I just cover the yogurt cup with the plastic cup. When the yogurt cup is full, I throw it away and just use a new one.

ET: I like to put them in a plastic bag and microwave them. Twenty seconds does the trick and no stink.

JC: This is going to sound weird, but I nail polish them. When one is walking on the counter top I quickly drip a drop of fast drying nail polish near it's rear-end.

Thanks to everyone for all your fine suggestions.

photo credit: <a href="USGS'>">USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

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