Dealing With Stink Bugs
By Adam Winfield
Small brown insects have migrated north to Long Island. They are named Maromated stink bugs because when they are alarmed or disturbed or threatened, they let off a foul odor. These bugs eat plants such as fruits and vegetables and they have been destroying agricultural crops. Stink bugs are also looking for a place to live and this can cause problems as they enter into student’s households.
Students were asked what they thought of these smelly brown invaders. “I have never heard of Maromated stink bugs said Claire Poitvien a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman campus. Even more surprising was that these stink bugs were coming in large numbers. “I didn’t know there was an invasion of these bugs, that’s crazy.” said Peter Carroll a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman campus. A prominent question asked is if they are dangerous. No they are not. This biochemical reaction is not as it is designed to keep predators away. The smell permeates through a large area causing one to want to leave the room.
How can one keep out stink bugs from their household? To keep them out you should seal up every possible opening. The same things that you would do to weatherize your house will keep stink bugs out. Yes, this is a time-consuming, difficult, and expensive process. But physically sealing out stink bugs is the most effective way to keep them out, especially once they’ve discovered your house.
The worst mistake a person can make is squashing a stink bug. They will release their odor when provoked and you will not be a happy camper. The best way to kill individual stink bugs is cheap and easy. Get a jar and fill it about halfway with water, and mix some dish soap into it, like Dawn. Flick the stink bugs into your jar with a sheet of paper or a paper towel. Stink bugs don’t like water, and the dish soap helps penetrate their armor. The soapy water is a surfactant which reduces the surface tension of their membranes so the water can penetrate their bodies. You’ll see them die after a few minutes of struggling, and they won’t leave their lingering stink. You can put the soapy water in the bottom of the vacuum bucket. When you suck them in, they’ll plummet into the water and die.
How can the stench be removed from the surfaces that the stink bug was in contact with? In order to get rid of the stench Orange juice or lemon juice should be used. The citric acid helps to remove the smell from the surface, leaving the surface smelling as it did before the incident.
It is very easy to get rid of stink bugs by using a vacuum cleaner. Dead stink bugs leave a residue inside your vacuum cleaner, which can stink up your home. Once you suck them up, their smell clings to engine parts, and any vacuum attachments you used. A small, handheld vacuum might be best, and empty the bag as soon as possible once you’re done. Put the vacuum bag in a thick plastic bag and tie it tightly before throwing it out as far as possible from your house. Then spray some air freshener or deodorizer into the vacuum while it’s running.
Even though it would be better to keep your windows closed, if you have them open and see stink bugs outside on the screen, put the soapy water solution into a spray bottle and spray the underside of their bellies. It won’t be enough to kill them, but it’ll send them flying off of your screen. If stink bugs gather on the side of your house, you can hose them off with water, or attach a hose sprayer full of the soapy water solution. Spraying them will send them flying and drop a lot of them to the ground, but this method is only effective if you plan to scoop up the fallen bugs into your soap bucket, or vacuum them up with a wet-dry shop vac.
While stink bugs can be a hassle, one should not worry about them. Simply following these steps and accepting that nature sometimes stinks will make for an easier time when dealing with tis invasion. If one does have a very large amount of these bugs one should contact their local exterminator. “I will certainly be more aware of stink bugs” said Bryan J. Magnam a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman Campus.