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How To Keep Stink Bugs Out! The Simple Secrets To Stink Bug Control

When it comes to finding a way to keep stink bugs out of your home, garage or anywhere for that matter, it can often seem like a battle you just can’t win.

Autumn is here, and that means it’s time to enjoy apples, pumpkins and the beauty of falling leaves. Unfortunately, Autumn also comes along with the constant worry of trying to keep stink bugs from finding a way inside.

One thing is sure, as soon as fall arrives, so do stink bugs! In fact, in the last week, we went from seeing a few stink bugs on our screens and windows, to witnessing hundreds if not thousands all around the exterior of our house in just a few days.

how to stop stinkbugs
Stink bugs seemingly come out of nowhere in the fall. And their sole purpose is to mate and find a safe place to overwinter. Unfortunately, that is usually inside your home!

The strange looking insects with the protective shield on their back can be overwhelming. Both in the sheer number of their population, and their relentless pursuit to find a place to overwinter indoors.

When the cooler temperatures of fall settle in, stink bugs come out by the thousands. Or better put, by the hundreds of thousands. And all of them are looking for the same two things – mates, and a warm place to ride out the frigid temperatures of winter.

How To Keep Stink Bugs Out – Winning The Battle

Unfortunately, stink bugs have very few natural enemies or predators. They are also very hard to control with either man-made or natural insecticides and repellents. In the last few years, a few sprays have come on the market, but they have not proven very effective at all in controlling or eliminating stink bugs.

So how do you stop them from coming indoors? Quite honestly, it all comes down to prevention, and making sure you eliminate the ones indoors before they can signal to their friends to join them!

It’s bad enough that a few stink bugs find a path inside. But what makes it worse is when they do, they emit a scent for other stink bugs to follow to join them. We witnessed this first hand last fall at the farm with a stink bug invasion into our camper.

While we worked on building our house at the farm, we lived in a small camper. We kept the doors closed and all screens were in place – but the stink bugs just kept coming! It wasn’t until we discovered they had found a path under the floors using the bump-out openings that we figured out why.

how to stop stink bugs
Stink bugs will search and search for a way indoors. Ripped or torn screens are always an open invitation to the pesky insects.

Once one or two found their way indoors through the passage, it was all over. They signaled to the others to keep on coming. We lifted up the floor to see hundreds more ready to walk the path to join them. It took sealing it off to finally stop the invasion.

How Stink Bugs Get In – How To Stop Stink Bugs

Stink bugs can enter a home through the tiniest of holes. And once they do, they are amazingly adept at finding small nooks, cracks and crevices to hang out all winter long. The biggest key of all to keeping them out is to eliminate their entry points.

It is also vital to keep hiding spots indoors to a minimum. After all, if they can’t hide – at least you can evict them easily. With that in mind, here are some top tips for success for sealing off and protecting your home against a stink bug invasion.

One final note before we cover prevention – there is an oft-repeated myth that killing a stink bug and having it emit its odor will bring more. Rest assured, that is just a myth and not true. It is true, however, that they emit a scent to others when they find a suitable location to stay – and that is exactly why removing any you find right away is extremely important!

Preventing Stink Bug Entry – How To Stop Stink Bugs

#1 Watch What You Bring Indoors

First and foremost, in the fall, always be careful what you bring inside from the outside. Stink bugs love to hitch a ride in on blankets, firewood, clothes and more. That includes clothes hanging out on a clothesline.

stink bugs on a blanket
Stink bugs will find anyway inside they can. They will hide in blankets, clothes on a clothesline or anything they can crawl into for protection.

 

Many of us head outdoors to enjoy autumn’s beauty with a bag full of blankets, sweatshirts and sweaters, and stink bugs have an uncanny ability to crawl in and cuddle up too. They also love to sneak indoors inside of hose reels, patio furniture and other items that many folks bring inside for winter protection.

Make it a practice to shake clothes and blankets out before taking inside. Check anything and everything you bring in first. You will be amazed at how many stink bugs might be hiding, just waiting for the chance to come join you inside!

This is also a great practice for not allowing other critters (like mice) to find a home indoors too! See: How To Keep Mice Out Of Your Shed, Garage Or Barn This Fall & Winter!

Check Those Screens!

Next, check all of the window screens in your home. Repairing and or replacing faulty screens is your best first line of defense.

Look for holes or slits, and make sure the rubber gaskets holding them in place are secure. These are easy entry points for stink bugs, and for all insects for that matter. In addition, make sure screens close properly and tightly in their tracks.

holes in screens - how to keep stink bugs out
Repairing holes in screens is one of the best ways to keep stink bugs – and other bugs out of your home.

Over time screens can bend and twist, creating wide open gaps that stink bugs can easily crawl through. If you are not in the mood to spend time and money on repairs, you can patch screen holes with screen repair tape. It is an inexpensive way to fix unsightly holes – and keep stink bugs out this fall!  Product Link : Screen Repair Tape

Caulk Windows And Doors

Cracks in your doors and windows are also a favorite entry point for stink bugs. Walk around your home and garage and inspect all trim areas around doors and windows.

If you spot any gaping holes or cracks, fill them up fast! Sealing these off with a fresh layer of caulk will go a long way in keeping stink bugs from entering. It also can save big on your wintertime heating bills, keeping air out as well.

Silicone caulking is a great choice, it is pliable and will keep the areas sealed and weatherproofed. Caulking and sealing takes only minutes, but the benefits can be immense! Product Link : GE Advanced Silicone Window & Door Caulk

Door Seals and Jams

While on the topic of windows and doors, don’t forget door seals and door jams. They are easy marks for stink bugs to get inside as well. Stink bugs love to crawl in through the edges and bottoms. If your doors already have seals, check to make sure they are intact and sealing off the exterior properly.

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If none are present, this is a great time to install them. Much like with caulking trim, you not only eliminate an opening for stink bugs, it also will help keep the cold winter air out too.  Product Link : Door Sealing Strips

Remember, the best defense against stink bugs is to keep them outside for winter. They have great difficulty surviving when temperatures drop low, and if you can keep them outdoors, you can also help to keep their population in check!

Here is to keeping your home safe from invasion this fall and winter! Jim and Mary

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