Should I Kill Stink Bugs?

I run into all kinds of people in Pennsylvania, from Amish to every other culture. It seems no matter what one’s background is, they all have something in shared–they hate Stink Bugs! So what is one to do? Either make the adjustment and live with them, or find a spray, home-cure, or try to exclude them in some manner.

Now some folks prefer to leave character alone. But when it comes to dozens and dozens of these little brown marmorated bugs, already these people leave behind their convictions. I have had people confide in me that these critters are hurting their marriage. I hear things like, “Sir, these guys don’t bother me, but my wife can’t sleep knowing they are in the house.” Now, I never thought of pest control as marriage enrichment, but it does take me back to the biblical rule in Genesis, “Take dominion over everything (including Stink Bugs) that creeps.” If we just sit back and think that “character will take care of itself”, I think we will be in trouble with these stinkers.

I have read many bloggers blasting folks for whining about having a stinking infestation, but I never heard them say, “We got them and we don’t care.”, probably because you just never really get used to them. Just some observations here: First, Stink Bugs make the sound of a small helicopter when they go past your head. If you have ever had it happen, you are right with me here. Secondly, I have customers that can smell them in the house, and if you have never smelled an infestation in your walls (yes, in your walls!), it has the fragrance of a two-month-old bowl of smashed cherries in 90 degree heat. I know that those of you out there who are regretfully chuckling know what I average. Or better in addition, it smells like a perfume that just did not come out right in the lab; like a men’s rugby team was responsible for QC.

So I think it is safe to answer the question and say, yes, it is okay to kill Stink Bugs. To tell people that they have to live with them, is beyond my ability to be cruel. I know that everyone wants to be green and not hurt anything, but my experience with this is, when it comes to invaders in the bedroom or kid’s room, it doesn’t matter what it is, especially when it’s by the dozens. Let us move on and talk about what can be done (if you are a skeptic, who thinks you can nevertheless live them, you may continue to read; you might change your mind and need the information later).

Usually by the time someone calls me, they have tried everything under the kitchen sink, every home cure on the internet, and their neighbor’s advice. But nevertheless, they call. And so proud of the war they have been fighting, but now, admitting defeat and calling for reinforcements. I, like a good Sargent, say “Well done soldier, at ease”. They did their best, and deserve a medal, because they did not give up. But then there are those who spent a lot of money on exclusion tactics, caulking everything they can find where a Stink Bug might appear from. This is typically a good practice in pest control, but the brown marmorated stink beast is different. What folks do not know without tackling them professionally is, that unlike any other pest we deal with, they have an unbelievable way of finding heat supplies, causing them to press in anywhere you never dreamed they could. As an example, what do you do when these bugs appear from the fireplace? But mind you, you never knew that this is where they came from until the pest control guy told you (if you have one that is willing to take on Stink Bugs!). Yeh, now you have a problem. They are following the heat down the chimney and going into the living room or at all event room the fireplace is in. And what about the window-mounted air conditioner that you stored in the closet? You probably didn’t realize you just gave yourself a good case of Stink-itis. “How in the world did they get into the air conditioner?”, you ask. The better question is, “How do you get them out?”!

If we can move on beyond the question as to whether it is okay kill them (or agree for the sake of moving on), let’s talk about control. Now most of you have learned the hard lesson that over-the-counter products do not seem to work too well. Or work for a little at the least. This is due to the design of these products to break down, already though they boast they last for months. Frankly, I have not seen anything that is not specialized strength work on Stink Bugs. But more specifically, I have not seen anything that is not micro-encapsulated work on stopping them from entering a structure. What that method is that the active ingredient in the product has a microscopic bubble surrounding it, protecting it from the elements. Professionally, I have tried many products, and it seems that the “Micro-cap” category works best. However, if you already have them in the walls, this is a different story. You will need a “dust” or pesticide powder, if you prefer. Dusts have a long active period, some up to eight months. When used correctly, they leave a residue within your walls that kills Stink Bugs before they appear into the living areas. If you decide to tackle themselves, I highly recommend these two categories of pest control products. Otherwise, you might just have to live with them.

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