You've probably seen them crawling on your screens or fluttering around your house. You can't crush them, because they expel a musty scent when frightened, a defensive technique that has earned them their name—stink bugs.
The little, brown stinkbugs are only about the size of pumpkin seeds, but they cause a big stink when crushed. Thank Asia for that. They are an invasive species and arrived from there on our shores in the mid 1990s.
The bugs feed on fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables and legumes, and are common throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the fall, according to the bulletin.
In addition, the these unpleasant bugs are making a comeback in New Jersey and most other parts of the country.
Although stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans, according to UMD, they are a major nuisance.
Here are ten ways to get rid of them:
1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs - UMD Bulletin.
2. Cut the top of a half gallon or gallon jug, fill it with soapy water and use a piece of cardboard or a napkin to whisk the bugs into the water, which will drown them - UMD Bulletin.
3. Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. - UMD Home and Garden Information Center.
4. Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these. - UMD HGIC.
5. Plant or move fruit trees and vegetable gardens, especially tomato plants, away from your home to prevent stink bugs from landing on the exterior of your home. - UMD HGIC.
6. Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee. - Bayer Advanced insect control.
8. Hang a damp towel outside your home overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel, and you can use a vacuum or knock them into a jug of soapy water to kill them. -Bayer Advanced
9. Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label. Insecticides are never to be used indoors - UMD HGIC
10. Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stinkbugs often enter through attics - Mike Raupp, UMD Bug Guy, YouTube.