Stink bugs tend to arrive in the fall. Their modus operandi is to seek shelter by entering homes during the cooler months. The house is ideal for these shield-shaped bugs because they are looking for a warm place to stay for the winter. This is true of ants and termites as well. The good news is that stink bugs are not a health hazard or risk. The bad news should be obvious, to your nose anyway.
The Best Way to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
The best defense against stink bugs is to have professional pest controllers pretreat your house in late summer. Professionals will pest-proof the home inside and out. They will look for and seal cracks around doors and windows, utility pipes, siding, underneath the wood fascia, behind chimneys, and other openings. If the stink bugs have already settled in, the professionals will more than likely have to fumigate as well as seal. Have the exterminators come in sooner rather than later to avoid large numbers of adult stink bugs entering your home.
There are of course measures you can take yourself. However, that is if it’s not too late in the season and if you have the time to do them.
Seal entry points
Check the outside of the house for easy access points. Inspect the areas around the utility pipes, under the fascia boards, sidings, behind the chimney, and any other openings you can think of. Use a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk to seal any holes and cracks. Be extra attentive to foundation cracks.
Repair and replace
Check for loose mortar and damaged window and door screens. A good idea would be to install door sweeps. Also, check for torn weather-stripping. Repairing and replacing these things should be part of regular home maintenance. Spending money on these items also helps you protect your investment’s resale value.
Reduce moisture build-up in and around the house. Repair or replace clogged drains, leaking toilets, pipes, and taps. Be sure to inspect the area around boiler overflow pipes.
The following areas need to be ventilated on a regular basis: crawl spaces, basements, garages, lofts, storerooms, store cupboards, and attics. This is to reduce the number of places stink bug havens. Consider using a humidifier in those areas. In addition, fix screens over attic and chimney vents.
Check storage and storage bins
Armed with a flashlight, inspect the boxes and bags in storage areas. This includes luggage, boxes of mementos, Christmas and holiday decorations. Give the built-in barbeque and disused fireplaces a once-over as well. Be sure to carefully inspect the pantry and food cupboards. Also, check the crockery cupboards and cutlery drawers.
Around the garden
Make sure that tree and shrub branches aren’t touching the house. Keep them well-trimmed. As for firewood, keep it at least 20ft away from the main building and raise it off the ground by at least 5 inches. If possible, stack the firewood with some gaps so that it can be ventilated too.
Be a sucker
A vacuum cleaner is the best weapon against the bugs inside your home. Get rid of the vacuum bag or empty the bin immediately after vacuuming because dead bugs stink and the smell does permeate. Furthermore, the bugs will leave a residue in the bag that will also stink you out of the house. Try not to squash the stink bugs under your feet because that will also release their foul odor.
Switch off the lights
Lights attract stink bugs, therefore, keep outside lighting to a minimum. At night keep internal lights from shining outside by closing the blinds or the drapes, and switch off the porch light.
Seal food sources
Make food difficult for stink bugs to reach. Keep foodstuffs in airtight containers and keep the garbage in sealed receptacles. Have the trash emptied on a regular basis. Bugs enjoy crumbs so keep counters and floors clean.
Weekend maintenance warriors
It’s clearly a big and ongoing job to stink bug and pest-proof your home. Therefore, if you have a history of housing stink bugs for the winter, at least consider getting advice and a quote from pest professionals.
Additional Reading: Four Things to Know about Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
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