Ad Blocker Detected
Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.
These peculiar insects, adorned with a protective shield on their backs, can be quite overwhelming. This is true both in terms of their sheer population and their unwavering determination to seek shelter indoors for the winter.
As the cooler temperatures of fall set in, stink bugs emerge en masse. To be more precise, it’s not just thousands, but often hundreds of thousands of them. Each one shares the same two objectives – finding mates and securing a warm haven to endure the biting cold of winter.
How To Keep Stink Bugs Out – Winning The Battle
Regrettably, stink bugs have very few natural predators or enemies. They also pose a challenge for control, whether through synthetic or natural insecticides and repellents. While a few sprays have entered the market in recent years, their effectiveness in managing or eradicating stink bugs has been limited.
So, how can you prevent them from infiltrating your indoor spaces? To put it plainly, it all boils down to proactive measures, and ensuring you deal with any stink bugs inside before they have a chance to summon more of their kind.
Dealing with a few stink bugs finding their way indoors is frustrating enough. What exacerbates the situation is that when they do gain entry, they release a scent that attracts other stink bugs to join them. We experienced this firsthand last fall at the farm with a stink bug invasion into our camper.
While we resided in a small camper during the construction of our house on the farm, we kept the doors sealed and all screens in place. Despite these precautions, the stink bugs just kept coming! It wasn’t until we realized they had discovered a route underneath the floors through the bump-out openings that we understood how they were gaining access.
Once one or two managed to find their way indoors through that passage, it was game over. They effectively communicated to others to continue streaming in. When we lifted the floor, we were met with the sight of hundreds more, poised to follow the same path. It wasn’t until we sealed it off that we were able to put an end to the invasion.
How Stink Bugs Get In
Stink bugs possess the remarkable ability to infiltrate a home through even the tiniest of openings. Once inside, they exhibit impressive skill in locating small hiding spots within nooks, cracks, and crevices, where they will settle in for the winter. The most crucial step in keeping them out is to eliminate these potential entry points.
Equally important is minimizing hiding spots indoors. If they can’t find a place to conceal themselves, you can easily remove them. With this in mind, here are some top-notch tips for effectively sealing off and fortifying your home against a stink bug invasion.
Before we delve into prevention, it’s worth noting a common misconception: the belief that killing a stink bug and triggering its odor will attract more. Let it be known that this is merely a myth and not based on truth. It is, however, true that stink bugs emit a scent to alert others when they’ve found a suitable location to settle — and that’s precisely why promptly removing any you encounter is of utmost importance!
Preventing Stink Bug Entry – How To Stop Stink Bugs
Using Barrier Sprays
While there haven’t been many highly effective insecticides against stink bugs, preventative sprays have shown promising results. While barrier sprays may not directly eliminate stink bugs (finding something that does can be challenging!), they serve as a deterrent, discouraging them from scouting your exterior for potential entry points.
By applying these sprays to cover foundations, eaves, doors, windows, and all potential entry points, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of a stink bug invasion.
Two scents that stink bugs strongly dislike are mint and garlic. By blending the oils from these natural products with water to create a spray, you can safely establish a barrier around your house.
The crucial factor for success with both methods is to begin spraying early in the fall and maintain a regular schedule. Keep in mind that residue can be washed off by heavy rain or dew, so reapplication is necessary. By consistently spraying areas around potential entry points, you can significantly diminish the number of stink bugs attempting to gain access.
Using Natural Repellent Sprays
Creating your own natural sprays from essential oils and water is a straightforward process. Additionally, there are a variety of pre-made sprays readily available. These products offer the added benefit of deterring other common fall pests, such as spiders, from entering your home as well!
- Garlic Barrier 2002 AG+ Liquid Spray, 1 Gallon – Product Affiliate Link
- Minty Insect & Pest Control, Powerful & Natural 5% Peppermint Oil Spray – Product Affiliate Link
In addition to using natural repellents, the next crucial step is to seal off all potential entry points. To do this, take a thorough walk around your house to identify and then address any areas that may provide easy access for stink bugs. Moreover, during the fall season, it’s imperative to be mindful of not leaving garage doors and entry doors wide open for extended periods of time. This proactive measure can greatly reduce the likelihood of a stink bug invasion.
#1 Watch What You Bring Indoors
Above all, exercise caution in the fall when bringing items from outdoors into your home. Stink bugs have a penchant for hitching rides on blankets, firewood, clothing, and various other belongings. This extends to clothes left out on a clothesline as well.
Many of us venture outdoors in autumn, armed with a bag full of blankets, sweatshirts, and sweaters. Yet, stink bugs have an uncanny knack for sneaking in and cozying up as well. They also have a fondness for hitching a ride indoors with hose reels, patio furniture, and other items that many people bring inside to shield from winter’s grasp.
It’s wise to make it a habit to shake out clothes and blankets before bringing them indoors. Take the time to thoroughly inspect anything and everything you bring in. You’ll be surprised at how many stink bugs might be hiding, eagerly awaiting the chance to join you inside!
This practice is not only effective for deterring stink bugs but also for preventing other critters, like mice, from finding a home indoors.
Check Those Screens!
Next, meticulously examine all the window screens in your home. Ensuring that screens are in good repair and replacing any that are damaged is your initial and most effective line of defense.
Inspect for any holes or slits, and verify that the rubber gaskets holding them securely in place are intact. These weak spots serve as easy entry points not just for stink bugs, but for all sorts of insects. Additionally, confirm that screens close snugly and properly within their tracks.
Indeed, over time, screens can warp and contort, leaving wide openings that stink bugs can readily navigate through. If you’re not inclined to invest time and money in extensive repairs, an alternative solution is to patch up screen holes with screen repair tape. This cost-effective method offers a quick and efficient way to mend unsightly openings, effectively keeping stink bugs at bay this fall! Product Link: Screen Repair Tape
Caulk Windows And Doors
Cracks around your doors and windows are prime entry points for stink bugs. Take a stroll around your home and garage, examining all trim areas surrounding doors and windows.
If you come across any noticeable holes or cracks, it’s important to address them promptly. Sealing these areas with a fresh application of caulk will significantly deter stink bugs from gaining access. Plus, it can lead to substantial savings on your winter heating bills by keeping the cold air out.
Opting for silicone caulking is a wise choice, as it’s flexible and ensures a secure, weatherproof seal. The process of caulking and sealing requires only a few minutes, but the benefits it offers can be substantial! Product Link: GE Advanced Silicone Window & Door Caulk