Illinois Stink Bugs Are Back, Here’s How To Keep Them Out
Over the last week or so, every time I hear my wife say "There's another one! Get it!" I try to pretend that she's discussing slices of pizza or bottles of fine bourbon. She's not, though. She's talking about stink bugs. Like the one pictured above.
It may seem like we've always had to deal with these guys when the weather starts to get cooler and they're looking for a warm place to spend the fall and winter, but we've only had stink bugs around since about 1998. The theory is that they hitched a ride to the United States from Asia, and they seem to like it here just fine.
The First Reported Sightings In America Were In Allentown, Pennsylvania--Now They're Everywhere
Since their discovery in 1998, stink bug populations have just exploded. Stink bugs can be found in almost every U.S. state and several Canadian provinces. Like I said, they really seem to like it here. Why wouldn't they? Stink bugs, according to Tero.com don't really worry about being eaten by much of anything:
While stink bug eggs and nymphs may be vulnerable to parasitic wasps, adult stink bugs have very few predators to worry about. Some birds, insects and reptiles are known to eat stink bugs, but they do not consume them in great enough numbers to decrease stink bug populations. In addition, the odor produced by stink bugs also has a bad taste, which leads to them being spit out by many of the fish and other animals that otherwise prey on insects.
Here's What You Can Do To Keep Them Out Of Your House
Short of burning your house to the ground, which I'm told is frowned upon in your classier municipalities, there are a few things to try, courtesy of the experts at HGTV.com:
- Caulk all cracks and crevices where bugs can enter. Place fine mesh over air vents to keep bugs from trying that sneaky alternative entryway
- Dryer sheet odor offends stink bugs, so rubbing dryer sheets on window screens or at home entry points can be a great way to keep bugs at bay
- Look over weather stripping and sweeps on doors, including the rubber seal on garage doors. Replace as needed
- Some homeowners report that if they squish a few stink bugs where they start to gather, it seems to repel other ones. Some folks even whip up a stink bug spray (stink bugs and water in a blender, strain out any solids) that, when sprayed on a home, seems to help deter the bugs