Here’s the bad news: stink bug season is upon us. But here’s the good news: the numbers are down.
Megan Cloherty with WTOP reports the cooler weather sends stink bugs looking for winter shelter, which is normally under the bark of dead trees, but stink bugs can’t tell the difference between bark and loose shutters or siding. At least one bug expert expects fewer this season.
“We don’t really know whether it was the polar vortex or whether some of the indigenous natural enemies have put the beat down on these guys,” says University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp.
Megan reports that sealing all entry points to the house — doors, walks outs, utility entrances, window screens behind ventilation — will help keep the bugs out.
And traps work, but not too close to gardens.
“We call it trap spillover — we see the same thing with Japanese beetle traps. If you put these near the crops you’re trying to protect, some of these bugs, while they’re milling around waiting to jump in the trap and die, will snack on your tomatoes, and you really don’t want that,” Raupp says.
Read Megan’s entire story at WTOP.com
On a side note: Virginia Tech researchers have found that homemade stink bug traps squash store-bought models.
(Virginia Tech News) – Researchers from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that the best way to get rid of the little buggers is to fill a foil roasting pan with water and dish soap and put a light over the pan to attract the bugs in a dark room.
The trap eliminated 14 times more stink bugs than store-bought traps that cost up to $50, the study found. The only price of the homemade model is the cost of a roasting pan, dish soap, and a light — all which homeowners may already own.