Stink bugs and boxelder bugs everywhere?


It is not uncommon for boxelder bugs (BEB) and invasive brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) to congregate on walls, looking for warmth and shelter in the early fall. They’re attracted to sunny walls, especially western or southern exposures, and light colored surfaces. Both species are harmless to humans, and do not cause structural damage.

BMSB are known for releasing foul smelling chemicals to avoid predators. Contrary to popular belief, killing a stink bug does not attract more stink bugs; however, stink bugs do secrete chemicals that attract other stink bugs once they've found a place to seek shelter for the winter.

Here are some additional resources:

Control tips for inside the home

  • Vacuum up the bugs: Stuffing a nylon stocking inside the vacuum tube and securing the end over the outside of the vacuum tube with a rubber band is a way to collect the bugs outside of the vacuum bag. When collecting stink bugs, disposing of them in dish soap and water is a good idea to reduce the amount of chemicals that may have been secreted to attract other stink bugs.
  • Catch them in a pan of soapy water: Place a foil roasting pan in a dark room and shine a light on it. Fill the pan with water and a few drops of dish soap. The bugs will be attracted to the light but will drown in the pan.

Control tips for outside the home

  • Seal points of entry: Entry points include cracks around windows and doors, utility pipes, siding and underneath fascia boards. Quality silicone, silicone-latex caulk, foam sealant, or weather stripping can be used to close these entry points.
  • Use screens to block the bugs: Damaged screens on doors and windows should be repaired or replaced, and gaps on the edges of window air conditioner units or attic gable vents should be covered with screens.
  • Wash the insects away: Wash the bugs off of the sides of your home with a stream of water; wait until it is cool outside, so they do not fly away. The younger insects are susceptible to harm from this.
  • Remove boxelder trees: When it comes to boxelder bugs, you may want to identify if you have any boxelder trees on your property. If so, consider removing them if this is a consistent problem.

Best of luck!

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