Bed bugs are so last year after reports of bed bugs invading homes toned down. This time America is plagued with a different and certainly smellier kind of bug. The Stink Bug named because of their smell are shield shaped bugs that can emit very strong unpleasant odors when threatened or killed. Stink bugs belong to the Pentatomoidea or bugs that look like having five segments instead of the usual 3 segments like ants.
Stink bugs come from East Asian countries and they are not native to United States. The bugs come from Laos, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. The invasion of the smelly bugs started in the late 1990′s and has grown exponentially preferring areas mid-Atlantic northeastern states.
The bugs have glands in the thorax and in the first and second pair of legs. The glands are capable of storing enough foul smelling liquid that can be smelled 3-5 feet away from just 1 bug. These bugs are like sensitive grenades that emit the smell at the slightest threat and agitation. Though the smell is described the same as those of a skunk, the characteristic odor comes from aldehydes which is volatile though not poisonous enough if in minor amounts. The immediate danger is suffocation and allergic reaction for senstive individuals. In fact stink bugs themselves are not poisonous as the bugs are considered a delicacy in Laos, typically prepared by pounding raw stink bugs with spices, seasonings into “cheo” and served with glutinous rice.
Agitate a bug and it will expel odorous substances. Even in death the bugs will still release an awful smell. Dealing with a hundred of them may be a difficult task. Here is how to remove the bugs and the stink.
1. Buy insecticides with fragrance
2. Spray them quickly and once they drop to the ground you have two options
3A. Use an old vacuum cleaner suck up those dead insects though you won’t be able to use the vacuum for a while or
3B. Use regular broom and dust pan and sweep the lot into a trash bag with activated charcoal or regular charcoal.
4. Dispose properly the dead insects and don’t burn or else you be burned with the aldehyde in the smoke.
1. Grounded activated charcoal or regular charcoal, apply on affected areas.
2. Charcoal paste made with grounded charcoal and a bit of water can be applied on hard to reach places and scraped away
3. Remove stink bug smell from carpets and fabrics with ot water, vinegar and your scented oil of choice.
4. Commercial cleanser with scent such as Lysol is also effected but you need to spray a lot for it to work
5. Having trouble finding charcoal? Burned food works just as well though don’t burn food just to get charcoal.
How to keep stink bugs from entering your home?
An ounce of prevention is better than cure. Keeping those bugs away from your home is better than having to clean them out once you find a colony of them in your home.
1. Place screens over windows and doors
2. Seal cracks in walls and windows with sealants
3. Always shake your laundry before taking them into your home
4. Regularly fumigate your home twice a year to kill eggs and nymphs
5. Clean your home or garage always. Bugs like to crawl into quiet places and any stuff that hasn’t been moved for a long time will be home for bugs.
What’s your stink bug story?