Unless you are an avid entomologist (someone who studies insects for a living), you probably harbor nothing but disdain for stink bugs. While this particular species of insect may not be harmful to humans (they do not bite, they do not sting, and they do not suck people’s blood), they are an annoying nuisance at best, and a threat to the agricultural industry at worst. For those who suffer from entomophobia (fear of insects), they bear a striking resemblance to reptilian animals. And if you have ever tried to squash a stink bug then you most probably have regretted the experience, because:
a) they release a terribly pungent odor as a self defense mechanism to repel predators and drive them away;
b) they leave disgusting marks that are hard to clean up and remove when you squash them.
So needless to say, there are right ways and there are also wrong ways how to kill them.
Here are some tips to avoid when it comes to dealing with them:
Tip #1: NEVER, EVER squash them. That is perhaps the WORST thing you can do. You might relish the initial satisfaction of knowing that in the war between man versus insect, you may have won the first round. But by squashing them, you will have inadvertently exacerbated the problem, inviting further trouble. You see, the problem is that when these bugs give off that pungent odor of theirs, not only do other insects and animals smell it, but so do other stink bugs! So if any others of the same species happen to be flying by and they detect their odor, that is an open invitation for other bugs of the same species to come on over. This is because stink bugs figure that if another one is nearby, that means there must be food and shelter there. So quite naturally, others will flock to wherever they detect the odor from the other bugs. So what is the moral of the story? If you squash one, you could end up with more of them taking its place. So the right way how to kill stink bugs should involve some other means of trapping and dispose of them that doesn’t trigger this reaction.
Tip #2: Do not nudge them or frighten them, as this can trigger the release of that foul stench as well. While obviously any attempt to come near them or entrap them can prompt them to release that odor, it is best to use methods of stealth, such as a trap to trick them into getting them stuck on or in something that you can then easily use to dispose of them later. A good example would be a hand-held vacuum. Chances are that you can sneak up on a stink bug and suck it up, before it releases the odor, and when and if it does, the odor will be confined to the area inside the vacuum.
Tip #3: Do not leave their deceased remains lying around. Aside from the fact that it is just plain disgusting to leave dead insect corpses lying around without cleaning them up, doing so is tantamount to extending an open invitation to other stink bugs to come and invade that same territory where the dead one happens to be. It is inevitable that others will follow the trail of the stink bug scent and will come to occupy the same place where its predecessors once were.
Tip #4: Do not bother with using harmful insecticides to try to kill them. While they may work, they really should only be used as a last resort, under the most extreme of circumstances. Insecticides are harmful and toxic to plant life as well as to other animals and even to humans. You might be able to get rid of this problem, but you are inevitably trading in one problem for another, when you use insecticides to deal with the problem. No matter how much a pesticide manufacturer or an extermination company claims that their products are safe, that is never 100% true. Why do you think they always warn you to keep children and pets away from insecticide treated areas for some time after they are applied? There are plenty of ways how to kill stink bugs without having to resort to this extreme.