Stink Bug

(Question)

We have stink bugs around & eating the leaves of our mature Birch tree. What can we do to eliminate these? Are there things we can do now in the fall or spring? We lost 5 trees to the ash borer thus our desire to save this birch.Thank you. Ross & Rita Moodie, Guildwood Village Toronto.

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Although stink bugs live throughout the cooler parts of the United States and lower Canada, they thrive in temperatures of 21º C or above. Stink bugs are active during spring and summer, and migrate into homes and buildings around September and October to overwinter. The insects often seek shelter in tree bark, weeds, and similar outdoor environments during the warmer months.

When it comes to getting rid of stink bugs, it is advisable not to crush or molest adult bugs for they emit an appalling smell at such threats and attract more bugs. You can trace female bugs laying eggs in your garden to destroy their eggs; this will help you a great deal, because destroying eggs means prevention of four generations of stink bugs.

The best way to contain them in gardens is to attract parasitic wasps to kill them, as this method is very realistic and well approved for their reduction. On the other hand, the use of chemical may reduce stink bugs but at the cost of damaging beneficial parasites that are essential for better growth of plants. So far, no perfect method has been introduced to control them in gardens; however, there are certain effective and successful methods to get rid of stink bugs in the house.

Here are the most effective ways to control stink bugs and prevent them from coming back. The most effective method to prevent gardens from stink bugs is to grow herbs like mint, basil, borage coriander, and nasturtium because these plants have the potential to attract other predatory insects which make stink bug their prey. Unfortunately, the use of chemicals in the gardens and farms has not been proved effective and useful. On one hand, organic chemicals, though do not harm beneficial predators, cannot affect stink bugs as these have strong armor which can endure such chemicals. On the other hand, synthetic chemicals can effectively eradicate stink bugs but at the same time these chemicals kill the useful pests as well.

Besides being an agricultural pest, the brown marmorated stink bug is often a pest in homes. In late summer, the adult bugs gather on homes. The bugs are seeking sheltered places to spend the winter. Generally, they take advantage of cracks around windows and door trims, under or behind baseboards, and around exhaust fans or lights in the ceilings.

For more information you may consult these websites:

Good luck