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Stink Bugs In the House

Stink bugs in the house! The nightmare that just won't go away. One minute you're enjoying a quite, peaceful evening. The next, you are being swarmed by large bugs that seem to be coming out of every crack. Such invasions have pushed homeowners to the edge. Some people have put their homes on the market. Some have considered moving to get away from the assault.

Certainly, the application of a pesticide on the south and west-facing sides of the house when stink bug migration is at its peak will help. Best pesticide products to date are the reasonably priced Talstar Pro which comes in pints and quart sizes, and the more expensive, but newer product called Temprid SC. The newest and longest lasting control for exterior treatments is Suspend Polyzone. This product will last up to 90 days outdoors. All of these products can reduce the bug populations greatly, but even this first line of defense is not perfect.

When these insects land on the sides of our homes they crawl upwards looking for a crack or crevice to hide. Sometimes that crack is under the siding of the house. Other times the stinkers will get under the boards that secure the gutters. In many cases they can find their way into the security of the attic where they will over-winter. When warmer temperatures return they become active again and look for ways to get back outside to mate and lay eggs. Unfortunately, they forget how they got inside in the first place and in their haste to return to the great outdoors they take routes that lead them into our living spaces.

So, how do we control the stink bugs that have managed to get inside our attics? You can certainly use the Talstar or Temprid and treat the crevices where the bugs are hiding. That is, if your attic is accessible and not filled with insulation. If spray treatments are not possible, but you do have an access panel to the attic, you can install a few Nuvan ProStrips. These little plastic devices give off a slow-release fume that will kill hiding bugs. Remember, the fumes just float upwards, so it works best if you can position the ProStrips directly under where the bugs are hiding.

Want to get the stink bugs into a trap? The best way to do this is by installing an insect light trap in the attics. The light traps have black light bulbs that give off ultra-violet (UV) rays that attract insects. The UV light spectrum is much brighter than daylight and the bugs can't wait to get to it. The traps come in two varieties. One type is has an electrical grid. When the bug crawls inside it comes in contact with the grid and it gets zapped. The other type of light trap employs glue boards. The insect is attracted to the lights, but encounters a sticky surface and becomes stuck as it enters the light fixture. Either type works and it will greatly reduce stink bug populations hiding in the dark attic spaces.

So, there you have it. Several fairly simple methods to keep your sanity during the height of the stink bug incursion.

Stink bug image: Ton Rulkens, Mozambique

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