Stink bugs don't come by their name lightly. These odorous insects are known for the foul smell that they emit when threatened or killed. They often seek refuge from the cold by hiding inside homes. They won't pose a health threat or cause damage to your home, but they can certainly cause a foul odor. They can be difficult to eliminate once they are in your house and often require the services of a pest control professional. You can reduce your risk of this by taking a few simple steps to protect your home against infestation.
Block Them Out
The first line of defense against a stink bug infestation is to block their path into the house. Walk around the outside of the house and look at the basement walls, the siding, the utility pipes, and any wood fascia or siding sections. Even tiny cracks can be enough for stink bugs to slide their small, flat bodies through. If you find any cracks like these, silicone caulking is an effective sealant. Apply a bead of caulking large enough to fill the crack, then let it dry.
You'll also want to look at all of the screens and doors closely. Any holes in the screens should be patched with a screen repair kit. You'll also want to add weather stripping to any doors that have gaps around them.
Keep Them In The Dark
Like many other insects, stink bugs are drawn to light. If you have exterior lighting, leave it turned off unless it's absolutely necessary. In addition, keep all of your curtains or blinds pulled closed in the evenings so that the light from inside the house doesn't shine outside and draw them in.
Keep Air Moving
Make sure that your attic, crawl spaces, basement, and other areas are all well-ventilated at all times. In addition, add a dehumidifier to the area to help keep the humidity down. This will make those areas less attractive to stink bugs, who are often found in damp, stagnant areas.
Don't Provide Food Or Water
Stink bugs will be attracted to your home as a water source if you have any leaking pipes, clogged drains, or poor drainage areas. Make sure you address any of these issues right away so that they don't seek water by your house.
In addition, any access to food will also encourage them to come in. Make sure that your garbage receptacles are always well sealed, and keep all food items in your house stored in airtight packaging. Wipe your counters down and keep your floors swept daily as well. This will keep food residue from drawing them in.
Inspect Things Before Bringing Them In
Whether you're taking boxes out of storage or you're bringing bags in from the car, check them carefully before you bring them in. Stink bugs are small and flat, so they can hide in small spaces. Once inside, they will settle in your house.
Don't Squash Them
Although your first instinct when you find a bug in your house is to squash it, that's not the best course of action with a stink bug. When you squash a stink bug, it releases its foul odor. Since that odor can linger for some time, it's best to avoid this. Instead, to get rid of a stink bug, your best bet is to use a vacuum cleaner. Suck it up in the vacuum and then dispose of the bag right away. The odor will permeate the bag otherwise, so don't leave it sitting around.
If you struggle with an infestation of stink bugs or you just want professional help to keep them out, talk with a pest control company like Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management. They can help you with both prevention and elimination.
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