Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stopping stinkbugs without poisons

Every now and then, a bug will come along that is so annoying, that you are tempted to turn to toxins, no matter how eco-friendly you are trying to be. If stinkbugs have made it into your home, you may be ready to pick up the poison and let them have it.

But before you start filling your home with a bunch of unhealthy chemicals, here are some tips from the local extension services about how to handle stink bugs in a more environmentally friendly way.

I emailed the Home and Garden Information Center of the University of Maryland Extension and this was their reply:

You are so ahead of the game in looking for eco-friendly ways to deal with stink bugs and we are happy to help. Getting the word out on the environmentally friendly ways of control is important, as we are hearing from homeowners who are indiscriminately spraying all kinds of pesticides, and even herbicides, ignoring labels. 

As background, the stink bugs that you are bothered by are not native, but an invasive species which has arrived here from Asia. They are congregating in large numbers to try and find a warm place to overwinter, and our homes look pretty good to them for this purpose. Now would be the time to make sure that doors and windows are tightly fitted with good screens and sweeps. Look closely for gaps in your home, and fill any with caulk.

If they do get inside, using a vacuum to collect them (and then throwing away the bag) works, as well as fitting the hose end w/a rubber-banded piece of pantyhose to collect them. A shop vac with some soapy water in the bottom works well too. The shop vac is great outside as well. They tend to drop straight down when disturbed, so sweeping them from around doors with a bucket of soapy water underneath works. We have seen people fashion a 'catcher' with a rectangular container with an inch or two of soapy water in the bottom attached to a broom handle to pole. It should be mentioned that these bugs do not bite, and are not reproducing or feeding inside our homes, just resting.

Here is more information from our website: hgic.umd.edu/content/timelytips.cfm

The reply I received from the Virginia Cooperative Extension was very similar, but did contain this extra tidbit of advice:

Do not use any indoor house foggers. They will kill them but then you have just created food for all of the predators that are feeding on insect such as carpet beetles.

More about the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug can be found on the Invasive Species page from the University of Maryland Extension.

As always, I highly recommend contacting your local Extension System office for answers to your gardening question. Be sure and let them know if you are looking for an environmentally friendly option!

Where to find answers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Website by Water Words That Work LLC