They're Back - Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Fall 2012

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Stink bugs rarely seen this summer after their record numbers last summer and fall, are being seen again as they look for winter quarters in our homes this fall.

We came from here
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1157265/
and here
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1158044/

Ruby has mentioned on several threads that in the passed two weeks she has seen many of them gathering on her screened porch. This may be a case of the theory that BMSB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs) have moved their concentrations further south in our region from their first invasion in PA. They have now been seen in over 38 states, with attendant crop damage and concern nationwide for effective controls.

Happy has given us an excellent link to a site called Stop the BMSB here
http://www.stopbmsb.org/

Last week I saw my first BMSB on a ripening tomato (my third tomato of this terrible tomato season) and Sat and Sun afternoon I had to breakout and reassemble my wet/dry vac to suck 30 -40 off the southwest side of my house as they landed about 3-4 foot high and began their ascent towards the peak. They began to fly in between 2 and 5 pm. These bugs seemed bigger than those I vac ed last year and I wonder if they are the adults from those that emerged when we had that early spring warm up? And may be there will be a second or third wave of those who emerged later in spring?

And where were they all season? And, do the ones trying to gain entry to our homes as the days shorten and cool go in and out of their shelter to feed? Or are they in for the season? Or have they found better shelter nextdoor or in a dead standing oak tree?

How are the rest of you fairing? Remember that they are attracted to yellow and lights on. Pic is of egg clusters

Thumbnail by coleup
central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I found 1 yesterday on my screen door

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Here is a link to avideo of how to keep them out of our homes from UMD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wp8cd_VQBA&noredirect=1

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

I have had a few (more than I want) on my screens and a few have made it into my house. I made a bug catcher and have caught them, sprayed bug killer in bottom of catcher, that takes care of them. Hate those things but they do amuse the cats.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

If I had posted early today I would have said that we have had very few this fall. This afternoon is making up for the previous dearth of these vermin. I have found that an electric fly swatter (see photo) is effective in dispatching the critters and rather fun besides. Guess it brings out my sadistic side as I find gratification each time I knock one onto it and hear the loud "SNAP!". 2750 volts disrupts biological functions, incinerates appendages and often gives them a "bad wing day" with their wings all frizzed out. Works well for mosquitos too. At the local Walmart garden center they are selling out the last ones for $5.

Thumbnail by greenthumb99
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from flowAjen :
I found 1 yesterday on my screen door

---every fifteen minutes!
I could collect several about every time I enter or exit there. I have a death jar on the porch now- Better collect one now than two next year or whatever.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Good goin greenthumb!

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

That would be fun entertainment for the kids too, I'll have to get 1 or 2 of those swatters

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes, David, being in the predator role to an invasive species with no natural enemies to limit explosive growth lends itself to a bit of sadistic high jinx at times. I suppose your swatter could be mounted on a pole to zap those out of reach ones, much like I have attached my vac hose to a 20 foot pole. Hopefully they get zapped before they can emit their stink!

Today must have been a mass movement day in our area, and I agree Sally, with the every 15 mins.

I went to pick up my papers for delivery about 2 pm, parked in the loading area and went inside to get my bundles. When I came back out my vehicle was crawling with about 50 BMSB s and more were landing! Shewed them all away being careful not to smash any on my car so as to not leave a scent trail. By the time I was ready to leave, I had to clear off again, Geez.

But, here's the really telling thing, none of the other carriers or their vehicles were being landed on, just mine! Why? Could be that mine was the only red one there and stink bugs are attracted to red? It sure felt like I was in some sort of stink bug fly way. They do seem to like to hunker down around the doors of cars....

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Quote from flowAjen :
That would be fun entertainment for the kids too, I'll have to get 1 or 2 of those swatters


Jen, not sure how safe these swatters are for kids to use. David, what warnings or precautions did yours come with?

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Hmmm... Color conscious. That is interesting they would be attracted to one color. I only saw one yesterday on a window screen. That means there are a bunch more already hiding.

Love the term " sadistic high jinx ". I feel that way when I put insects into spider webs to watch even though spiders creep me out.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I remember looking over the instructions that came with but I can't recall any warnings. The outer grids are small enough that one cannot easily get even a finger tip to contact both the inner and outer grids, so it is difficult to get a shock from it even if you try. Also the amperage is low. The current only flows through the body part connecting between the two grids, so the area affected is minor (to us). The voltage is lower than a routine static "zap" experienced in dry winter months.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I have a swatter like that, works pretty well for dispatching houseflies, but I was afraid to try it on stink bugs, figuring they'd get in one last blast of that vile odor (not unlike the awful stench that results when one bumbles into the halogen lamp and catches on fire).

My WalMart swatter seems pretty safe (I touched it with my finger out of morbid curiosity and felt nothing, YMMV), but I saw one last night at Kohls that just had closely-spaced parallel wires running across the "racket", and it had all sorts of warnings about delivering a pretty nasty shock when touched. It also had a more complex 2 button safety mechanism for putting it into aciton.

Mount Pleasant, PA(Zone 6a)

I found 1 tonight on. my. bed! The cats better get their acts back together or they're fired. On a more serious note I've only seen 3 so far. They all took a water ride to the grave.

Crozet, VA

Oh gosh.....one of my favorite topics being discussed again. NOT!!! I have been battling the suckers all week long. I have a feeling that they will win, but the battle is a bit rewarding as David says. Over the past two years, I have spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a spray which will kill them, but I decided a week or so ago that I have spent my last penny on killing stink bugs. I have resorted to my hands or a butterfly net and a bottle of soapy water. I now have a least a gallon jug full of them. Even yesterday when we had some really low temperatures, and I didn't figure I would find any outdoors, I still found about forty or of them mostly dead ones.

Two years ago I hired my cleaning lady to come in for two extra days to help rid the inside of our house of them. Those things were behind picture frames and can hide in the strangest places. Thankfully, they haven't been coming inside as much this year as in years past, but I am still finding them regularly. The windows to the bedrooms need to be emptied a few times a day of any where between two and six or more of them. I had been flushing the ones found indoors, until seeing the video from a link above. I suppose I will now have to capture them in a tissue or napkin and take outdoors to one of the soapy water bottles for their demise.

Anyway.....let's hope they will soon be but a memory and not an active pest for us.

Ruby

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

The warm days last week gave us some waves of them around the back door and windows. I trapped a few dozen in a jar but didn' t have time to do it any more often.

Ruby they sure have gone after your area! Sorry you have to contend with that!

We usually find one in the house every day. Thinking about naming them like they do hurricanes to see how far we get.

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

I kept my almost 3 year old grandson Saturday night . I was talking on the phone to my sister while Noah was getting ready for bed. All of a sudden he yelled "Grammy there's a stink bug on MY bed!" My sister thought it was funny that he knew what a stink bug was. I got it up with a piece of paper and flushed it. WRONG! Then he didn't want to use the toilet. Luckily he got over that.
Picture is him and his Mom.

Thumbnail by Catbird423
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh how cute!
Hey tell Sis the little tykes can learn a whole lot of bug names, flowers, and lots more, if they just get shown by their awesome grandma!

Crozet, VA

He is a doll Robin. So funny that he didn't want to use the potty after flushing the bug down. I can see his point though because I often wonder if there is one hiding under the rim of the pot that will come up and bite me on the hiney when I sit down. I understand where he is coming from. I think most folks on the east coast, mid atlantic wise anyway.....despite their ages know of this critter by now. Thanks for sharing this cute story with us.

Ruby

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Ruby---Stink bugs do not bite people.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Stink bugs do not bite people.
Maybe they WOULD if tempted by a nice enough target !!! I see why Ruby is worried LOL

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Heehee. Very nice target.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

lol, No comment on the appeal of certain targets!

Ever play the game of "Cootie"? Well, one of the Cootie parts is the 'probiscis' and that is what a stink bug has and uses to pierce the skin of tomatoes, apples, corn and soy beans, etc. If a sb can pierce those skins, then they could pierce people skin, too,

So, when I say I have been 'bitten' by a stink bug you all will know thwhat I mean. Also, to those who are sensitive, a shot of of their odiferous warning can really sting and irritate the skin. Just the smell irritates me as in allergic like reaction to same.

I told some one the other day that I thought they smelled like rotten cilantro and they told me that liking or disliking cilantro was genetic!

Someone has even written a song about stink bugs
http://www.stinkbugwars.com/2011/06/14/stinkbug-song-hit/

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I don't think they deserve to be memorialized in song.

It's certainly not as bad here as it's been in the past, and we rarely saw them over the summer, but there were enough to mess up our apples. Ptooey!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Ruby, et al, Just found this on the site "stinkbugwars" about the scent trail they leave so that others will follow and find winter quarters in our homes.

I thought these scent trails were essentially 'invisible' to us, but check out the two pics that show brown drops! http://www.stinkbugwars.com/2011/06/03/stinkbug-trail-of-destruction/

So now we have visual clues as to those areas that draw stink bugs. It is important to clean and remove as much of these scent trails as possible. I'm going to wash down my back screen door and frame and kitchen window and frame as these are major gathering spots on my house. Am also going to go over all of the doors and moldings of my vehicles with Murphys' Oil .

Soapy water isn't just for drowning them any more!

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Critterologist and Aspenhill,
You may find this article on where beside our homes and man made structures stink bugs overwinter. In natural or woodsy areas, they take shelter in dead standing trees!

http://www.stopbmsb.org/stink-bug-bulletin/researchers-discover-the-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-winter-hideout/

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Hm. Mark bought some pretty obnoxious "natural" pet safe bug spray last year. Its a strong peppermint smell. I might shoot some around my door and hope it covers the scent trail.

Crozet, VA

I know that my nose is so sensitive to these terrors that I can smell one if they are in the room. After waging daily battle with these things I can't wait to hit a hot shower and wash the stink off. Thankfully the cooler temperatures have cut back on the number that I encounter during the days, but I am like the author of stink bug articles and believe the only good stink bug is a flat one.

I do know that I have spent way up in the hundreds of dollars trying to eradicate them and have made up my mind to no longer spend another cent. My fingers and the soapy water are doing just as well as the sprays have done. How interesting about the smell trail. Just yesterday I saw some streaks of something dripping down the wall behind a mirror and couldn't figure where it came from. I believe Judy had my answer for me today. Yuck!!!

Anyway.....it does give me some solace to know that I am not in this battle alone, but that there are others with the same issue also. Can't wait for the day when they are no longer a topic of conversation.

Ruby

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

We have a newer sliding door in our dining and they try to get in there but the weather stripping is still really tight so they can't get in (hee hee) they squeeze themselves in this crack at the top of the screen but can't get in all the way, so now there are a bunch of dead stink bugs blocking the way for any live ones trying to get in, LOL

Crozet, VA

Those suckers show up in the strangest places for sure. Thankfully the cooler temps are keeping them hidden away. Still finding a hand full from time to time, but at least not the hundreds that seem to be around on really warm days. Happy killing all.

Ruby

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

'Tink bug! was one of Joyanna's first hundred words. She could spot one from way across the room and loved to point them out to her daddy.

When you bring potted plants inside, be sure to rummage around in the top inch of potting mix... I think I brought a lot of stink bugs into the house with my plants last fall.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

tink bug, love it

Not a bad idea to rummage in all potted plant top soil.

Crozet, VA

I can identify with Jill's story. My two grand children are very familiar with stinks bugs if nothing else. I used to scream and run when seeing them. Years later now, I am at the point that I can handle them and make sure they are dead in one way or another. For a couple of weeks now, bug hunting has been a daily routine here. My grand son has become quite adept at spying them too and it is a game for him to spot them and bring them to me to put in my bottle of sudsy water.

Jill, I did check the top parts of all of my plants, and found quite a few to dispose of before bringing indoors, but didn't think to actually dig under the top layer of dirt. Hmmm....very interesting and I might have to now incorporate that practice in the future. I do know that the one dollar butterfly net that I have a few of have come in really handy in my daily battle. I am able to reach up with it and am usually able to knock the offender in to the net and then put in bottle of sudsy water. I have a whole arsenal of bug destroying weapons on each porch or deck.

As Sally stated when here on Monday, finding them and destroying them becomes really addictive. I am going to probably miss doing it when they are all safely tucked in to my attic for the winter....yuck!!! I am sure there will be strays who come out in to the day light from time to time though, so there won't be too much time to miss them.

I did hear a tidbit that I cannot vouch for in validity, but I was told that Purell hand sanitizer will take the stink out of a person's hand. Can't say yea or nay to that or whether other sanitizers work, but was told about Purell being able to do a really nice job in getting rid of the odor they leave on your hands if you are so inclined as to actually put your hands on them.

Happy hunting all.

Ruby

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Keep a cut lemon in the fridge, and when you get that smell on your hands, rub the lemon. The citric acid reacts with the smell-causing amine (an organic base) and instantly neutralizes it. Rinse your hand and its done.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Ruby and David thanks for the tips on removing the stink from our hands/ Any suggestions for removing stink from clothes?

Lol seems there is money to be made by clever ways that work to deal with stink bugs that are now reported in 48 states plus Canada.

Here is one of the latest products available called the Bugzooka
http://www.bugzooka.com/about.html
http://www.bugzooka.com/video.html

Looks like a fun way to get those invaders...for kids of all ages and those of us who are vertically challenged (no visiting Sallys on hand) and requires no batteries!

Thumbnail by coleup
Crozet, VA

Thanks David and Cole. Both very interesting tidbits.

Ruby

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I thought that was a cool idea -- it is entirely mechanical! But they are charging $29 for that, including shipping! Plus $4 for a wall mount. That raised my eyebrows! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bug-Catcher-Vacuum-BugZooka-Humane-Bug-Catcher-/281002644852?pt=US_Vacuum&hash=item416d101574

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Hmmmm................brain working...brrrrrrrruuummmm.....click!----chrn!-----caping!

What if you adapted a toilet plunger to do the same? The kind that has the "accordion" end. Not the push and plunge...
Just a bit of ingenuity needed to attach a collecting tube.

Or--How about a baster? For close-up bugs. Squeeze the bulb--and suck up the bug.....
May need a longer tube for the sucking.....tubing of all diameters can be had by the foot...

OK! OK! i am going away--enough silly stuff---on to the next "watched" thread........;o{

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

It's an ingenious device, elegant in its simplicity. Yes, it works on the same principle as an accordion plunger or baster, but I think by the time I spent a weekend trying to adapt something to work like that, I'd be wishing I'd invested the $30! Keep your eye out, though, sometimes the "as seen on TV" stuff appears on regular store shelves a few months later (think: Christmas gifts) at significantly reduced prices.

I got my dad one of those bug zappers that looks like a badminton racket... it makes a very satisfying crack! and sizzle when it connects with an especially annoying fly. He asked me yesterday if I thought it would work well on stinkbugs. I told him it would kill them, sure, but he might want to think twice... occasionally a stinkbug finds its way into the halogen lamp, and let me tell you the smell of *burnt* stinkbug is really awful! He said he thought he'd save his zapper for flies and yellow jackets.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Aw, Jill----I was just being silly....need to do that now and then....

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