When you think smells associated with fall, you probably think of pumpkin spice or cinnamon. But what you might not think of is the stench of stink bugs. As the leaves begin to change and the air gets crispier, these notorious critters will start appearing seemingly everywhere. As it gets cooler, they’ll start to search for warmer places to inhabit over winter, like inside your home. While stink bugs aren’t dangerous, posing no risk to health or property, many homeowners quickly become annoyed by their odorous presence within their homes. Finding stink bugs in your house? Here are a few tips to get rid of them for good!
As the weather gets colder, now’s the time to pest-proof your home to prevent unwanted guests.
- Seal off potential entry points
Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks, holes, or openings. Use a good-quality, water-proof silicone or silicone-latex caulk to seal these openings up. Be mindful of areas around siding, pipes, behind chimneys, and under wood.
- Check doors and windows
Stink bugs are small so they’re capable of entering your home through even the smallest of openings. This includes damaged screens on windows or doors, the ones you’ll likely have open during the summer-fall transition – allowing stink bugs the perfect opportunity to invade. In addition to screens, check for torn weather-stripping and loose mortar around your home. Replace and repair these items as needed.
- Keep the lights off
Stink bugs are attracted to light so in the late summer and early fall months, keep outdoor lighting set low or turned off. Turn off porch lights when not needed and pull down your window blinds to prevent interior light from attracting stink bugs.
- Reduce moisture build up & food sources
Leaking pipes and clogged drains collect moisture, which provides an adequate water source for stink bugs and other pests. Make sure to prevent moisture buildup to prevent a pest infestation. Another thing to consider is food access. Avoid keeping open food outside of airtight containers and make sure to regularly take out your garbage (doing these things will also help prevent ants and roaches, too). Wipe down your countertops often and sweep your floors at least weekly to reduce crumbs and residue from spills that can be food for stink bugs.
It’s important to maintain landscaping to prevent termites and keep other pests at bay. Keep branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from close proximity to your house. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home? Make sure to keep your woodpile at least 20 feet away from your home. Again, you should be doing this already to avoid termites. It will also help keep stink bugs and other pests away from your home.
- Vacuum don’t squish
You might want to immediately squish or swat a stink bug when you see one in your home. But when squished or disturbed, stink bugs will release a bad-smelling, bad-tasting odor from pores on the sides of their bodies. This defensive maneuver is how these stinkers got their name. Prevent things from getting stinky. Use a vacuum to remove the bugs instead of your hand or the bottom of your shoe.
Having trouble keeping bugs out of your home?
Unfortunately, like other pests, a few stink bugs can quickly turn into an unruly infestation that can be hard to handle alone. If you suspect an infestation, call a professional exterminator to safely and effectively eliminate them.