Stink Bugs Causing Major Headaches, Despite Posing No Harm: 'They'll Annoy You To The Utmost'
PITTSBURGH (KDKA-TV) - They're back and in a big, creepy way. Stink bugs are causing the phones of exterminators to ring off the hook around the nation,
While stink bugs might be harmless to humans and pets, that's small consolation if one flies into you, lands on you, or lands on your kitchen counter. "They will annoy you, to the utmost," says Doug Moninger of D-Bug Pest Control. "The name stink bug comes because if you crush them, the smell is quite hard to get rid of, even off your hands."
Moninger's crews have been scrambling around Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania and beyond responding to stink bug calls. He says if you see one and want to get rid of it without the resulting smell, "pick it up with a piece of paper towel, and you dispose of it and get out again. Sometimes you just throw it down the toilet."
Moninger says that the key is to keep them out of your home in the first place and sealing all the cracks they can slip through is tough. "We do a treatment that not only hits the base of the house but around all the windows and the eaves of the home," he says. "This puts a preventative barrier that's about 85 to 90%, protective, from those guys getting into the home."
There is no question a run of warm days and cool nights is the perfect recipe for infiltration. "As the temperatures fall in the evenings, we're right around 50 or below stinkbugs, ladybugs, houseflies, all of those pests are trying to get into your home to go dormant for the fall and winter," Moninger says.
While stink bug traps will work, Moninger warns you not to put them too close to your home or the trap might become an invitation to bring them even closer to your home. You may catch some, but others will just fly by and into your cracks.
WATCH: Keeping Stink Bugs Out Of Your Home
Also seeking out those cracks these days are mice.
Moninger says one spot you might check is where tubes and power cords for your air conditioner come through the wall.
"Look inside your garage from the inside with a light out, and if you see the light of day coming through the corners of your garage doors that obviously means the mouse can fit through that area too," he explains.
Check under your sink where the pipes come up out of the floor. "If there's a big opening there, or even again a small as a nickel, that mouse can work its way up and follow that water line into the kitchen," Moninger says.
So those holes need to be plugged.
"Position, stainless steel wool that has slivers of stainless steel in them," Moninger recommends. "Remember rodents going off of the whiskers. So when they feel that thing it's still that little sliver that will make them turn from that area."
As for repellants, "over the years, I've had everything from peppermint the cinnamon to lavender dryer sheets. I've heard it all. Sometimes, you just have to do it and do it right."
Meaning: seal the cracks and watch for evidence. If you see mouse droppings, set traps until you are not catching anything.
While Moninger says sticky boards and snap traps work, if you have children or pets he suggests you use an enclosed trap.
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