Last year I wrote an article about the Chinese stink bug invasion of my house, it was a bug I was not familiar with at them time. I wasn’t sure where they came from or why they chose my house to settle in. Since then I have gotten lots of requests for more information so the purpose of this article is to answer your questions.
Turns out it wasn’t just my house which was invaded and these stink beetles came from China. It seems that they hitched a ride on either a cargo ship or some sort of international import container and they first made themselves at home in Pennsylvania. It appears that Pennsylvania is now over-run with these stinky monsters.
Although my last article took a more entertaining look at these critters the truth is that they are no laughing matter.
I’ve got good news and bad news for you and in this case even the good news isn’t all that good.
The good news is that these bugs are not coming into your house for the purposes of eating your food or to breed; they are coming into your home to hibernate.
Now for the bad news and it’s not terrible news but it is something you need to know.
If you allow these bugs to accumulate en mas in your home and something disturbs them or they perceive something as a threat they will use their built in defensive weapon. They will release a horrible odor that smells like a mix of lemon and decaying flesh.
There is more bad news, these bugs also put down a scent that lets other Stink-Bugs know that a great place to hibernate has been found.
The bugs are not dangerous, Per Se, but like with most other creepy crawlies that invade our homes, they may well be having a negative affect on asthma sufferers and possibly young children and the elderly. There is no concrete information available anywhere so this info I pieced together from several sources and people and opinions are as varied as they come.
My article from last year suggested that Febreze would save you as you did battle with the Sink-Bugs. I was mistaken, I was not a hardened veteran of the stink-Bug wars and was relying on my initial findings.
It is true that if you only have one or two or even three bugs to deal with then Febreze will work just fine.
The sad truth is that if you have found two or three bugs in your home then you most likely have a whole hibernating colony that you haven’t discovered yet.
Now you’re not going to find a plan of attack to defend yourself from the Stink-Bug invasion anywhere On-line, at least not one that is at all comprehensive or useful. Lucky for you this is my second seasonal war against these smelly invaders and I have a somewhat effective method to rid your home of these things. At least until next year.
You’re going to need some supplies such as the ones I used but you’re welcome to experiment on your own. I’m just telling you what worked for me.
Pet odor remover. (The stuff that you buy in pet stores that kills naturally occurring odors such as urine.)
I use “Hot Shot” Home Insect Clear Formula for individual Stink-Bugs you don’t have to use “Hot Shot” but you will need some sort of strong indoor spray poison.
You will need one of those pump-up outdoor sprayers into which you will want to place a mixture of outdoor spray poison along with a small amount of bleach.
You WILL NEED bug bomb fumigators. I recommend actual foggers that are activated by tap-water. These are great because they don’t spray poison but rather release a “fog” of poison that hangs in the air and gets into all those cracks and crevices.
Now, if you’re spraying these bugs in your home, and you have found a large colony, then the stench that they will release together will be overwhelming. Once you spray them with poison you need to just leave them along for at least half an hour. Just make sure you sprayed them thoroughly and then leave them alone. This will minimize the amount of stink the bugs will release.
You need to know that these are very tough bugs, I have been emailed by people who told me they sprayed a bug with automotive engine cleaner and that all it did was paralyze the bug for half an hour or so. I have personally witnessed similar things with these bugs, they are simply very hard to kill.
In any case, leave that colony of sprayed bugs alone and when you return an hour later most of them should be either dead or very sick which will give you a chance to vacuum them up. Vacuuming them up will cause more stink and you will have to wash out your Vacuum-cleaner once you’re done.
There will be a very strong and horrid stench left behind which is where the pet odor spray comes in. Since the stench these bugs produce is biological that means that the pet odor spray (which destroys naturally occurring smells) will work far better than Febreze. Be sure to buy the big bottle of this stuff, you’re going to need it and spray beyond the areas where grouping of bugs previously was as their stench carries well beyond their immediate vicinity.
The pet odor removers are truly a godsend as they very quickly manage to deal with one of the worst odors I have ever had the displeasure to experience. If it wasn’t for the pet odor spray from Petsmart I don’t know what I would have done because my bedroom alone smelled like the bowels of hell.
Next you need to take your outdoor sprayer with the poison and bleach mixture and spray the outside of your house. Personally I find half a cup of bleack to half a gallon of poison to be an effective enough mixture to really drive these bugs away from your house. It’s been my experience that they also really hate the smell of bleach so they tend to stay away.
You need to spray daily for at least a few days making sure that you are hitting all the cracks and crevices where the bugs might be hiding. The reason you are spraying them with a poison and bleach mixture is because these bugs are hard to kill and the poison may not kill them immediately, if at all, which is where the bleach comes in as it will cause physical pain to the bugs forcing them to fly away or fall to the ground.
You do not HAVE to use bleach and I have heard that some people use large amounts of rubbing alcohol instead of bleach but bleach is what I chose to use. Personally I have found that the half cup of bleach mixed with the poison not only kills the bugs but also seems to rid the areas where they congregated of their scent trail which would otherwise lead more bugs to your house.
Nevertheless, my home is covered with white siding and my siding has never looked brighter and whiter than it does after spraying for bugs.
Finally, you need to take those poison foggers and place one or two of them in your attic, you may need to use more or less foggers depending on the size of your attic but it is a sure bet that there are tons of Stink-Bugs hiding or hibernating in your attic.
So set the foggers, close off the attic and let the magic happen. Now you need to know that you will suddenly see an increase of numbers of these bugs suddenly appearing in your living areas. That’s because the survivors of the attic spraying has forced them out of the attic and into your home. You’ll need to deal with these bugs using the spray poison you already have. You’ll then have to deal with using the pet odor spray to deal with the stench.
I don’t like using foggers in my living areas of my home but if you have no problem with this then by all means feel free to fog your home with poison. I can’t promise that this will kill all the bugs, which is why I prefer the hand sprayed poison method, but it very well may.
Be sure to hide all food and pet food that might otherwise end up being covered in poison from the fogger. You want to kill the bugs and not your pets or family.
Safety first! Make sure that you store all poisons and harsh chemicals in a safe way. If you have a tool shed then you may want to store them there. At the very least store all chemicals where young children can’t get to them and certainly make sure that all the lids and caps are properly secured.
Once again, I am not telling you that this is the right or only method to really deal with these Stink-Bugs but it is the one way that I have found that truly works.
READ THESE DISCLAIMERS:
Disclaimer: Bleach is a very harsh and corrosive thing, not to mention that it can cause extreme harm if you get it in your eyes or even inhale the vapors that bleach naturally produces. It should also be noted that I don’t know whether you have siding or bricks or wood as the building material of your home and so I can not be held responsible for any discoloration or damage that the bleach may do to your home, you have to use your best judgment. Also any responsibility for damage or discoloration or even injury is yours alone so take all precautions. Be aware that back-spray may get on you so it is a good idea to wear goggles and at least a basic paper filter mask over your mouth and nose. Remember to be, and I can’t stress this enough, extremely careful when using any type of chemicals. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
Second Disclaimer: Use caution when using or handling poisons and harsh chemicals. Neither I nor this website are responsible for any harm or damage that you cause to yourself, your family or your home and property. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all the chemicals discussed in this article and take every safety precaution to keep you, your family and your pets safe. This article is simply an account of how I personally have managed to deal with these bugs and this article is in no way an endorsement for my method.
by: Rob Korczak