If you maintain a garden, you’ve probably had to deal with any number of pests. When you get pests in your garden, you should attend to the issue as soon as possible. Not only can pests destroy your fruit and vegetable plants, they can also smell. Case in point, the stink bug. Stink bugs are a type of insect that move very slow. They look like flat beetles and are either brown, green, or rusty red. Stink bugs have a defensive mechanism against predators in which they emit a gas that is bitter and foul smelling. The smell has a tendency to linger well after it’s been sprayed. These bugs like to live in humid and damp conditions and don’t do well in the winter months. These are one of those bugs you want to get rid of fast, before they smell up your garden, or even worse, your home if they manage to get inside.
What Do Stink Bugs Feed On?
Stink bugs like a variety of plants. They find these plants and suck the sap out of them, making the plant weak and disfiguring the fruit or buds of the plant. A few of these plants include the following.
Organic Pest Control To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs
You want to get rid of these bugs, but you don’t necessarily want to use insecticides because they contain harmful chemicals. So what do you do? There are organic pest control options to deal with stink bugs.
Control Weeds In Your Garden
One of the main things you need to do, is to remove any weeds. Stink bugs like to use weeds as cover. When you keep your weeds clear, the bugs will have a harder time getting to the fruit. This won’t deter them totally, it will just make them slower and unable to hide.
One of the organic pest control option you can use is called kaolin clay. Kaolinite is a clay mineral that can be made into either a clay or a spray solution that you can scatter or spray around your garden safely. Stink bugs are unable to feed on any plants or lay their eggs on plants that have been protected with kaolin clay. This clay is harmless to plants and can easily be wiped off of the vegetables and fruit.
Let Natural Predators Kill Stink Bugs
There are certain predators and parasites that hunt and kill stink bugs. The predators themselves are not pests to your garden normally. These natural predators include the following.
- Parasitic wasps
- Praying mantids
- Assassin bugs
- Garden spiders
You can buy some of these natural predators at a garden store and place them in your garden to let them do their work.
Defending Your House Against Stink Bugs
- Seal any cracks you have in your house with caulk. Use weather stripping to tightly seal your windows and doors.
- Don’t plant anything too close to the house. If you have plants that are placed further away from the house, the stink bugs will have a longer distance to travel, making them vulnerable to predators.
- Stink bugs are attracted to light. It’s a good idea to keep curtains closed as this will deter them from trying to get inside.
Ridding Stink Bugs That Get Inside
If a stink bug does get inside, it’s important to not squish it. If you squish a stink bug, the insect will release its foul odor, and the smell can linger in you house for a while. There’s some debate as to whether you can vacuum them up or not. On one hand, if you vacuum the bug up and it doesn’t get squished by any debris, you can empty the vacuum bag right away. If the bug does get squished, you’ve got to deal with the unpleasant smell.
A good option is to use sticky traps. The insect will crawl onto these traps and will get stuck. You’ll have to guess as to where to put the traps and hope they crawl into it. It’s important to understand that stink bugs don’t carry any diseases, so if they do get into your home, they won’t make you sick. They probably won’t last long inside as it is.
Photo by Anita363