Two days and what feels like 2000 stink bugs later, my attitude has changed completely. I am now the self-proclaimed leader of the stink bug genocide mission. Our goal: Eliminate all stink bugs.
I have been part of a couple of debates about stink bugs on Facebook, trying to debunk the myth that killing stink bugs just attracts more (my personal experience has been that I have killed many, and yet only a few have returned in their place - definitely not more.) It has been a quickly spreading rumor that killing a stink bugs causes more stink bugs to come. Some people vehemently believe this to be true, although there is little evidence to the contrary, at least from what I could find. This Wikipedia article - sent to me from my sister as evidence that stink bugs should not be killed - claims that the scent that stink bugs leave behind is what tells other stink bugs that a particular house is a good place to stay warm over the winter. Acknowledging that Wikipedia isn't necessarily the most reliable or scientific source, I was willing to give it the satisfaction of the doubt for a moment.
But the actual words from the article are this:
"They leave a powerful scent behind on everything they land on, including the buildings where they hibernate, and this odor is one of the reasons they will return year after year; it is a beacon to other stinkbugs that this location is a good hibernation nest."
So on one hand, there's not much you can do to combat these creatures. If they're already marking the outside of your house as a nice, warm nest, and you allow them to continue to exist in their current numbers, you're screwed! They're going to keep coming back, year after year regardless.
The worst part of it all is that stink bugs do not die during the cold winter months like some other insects do. In fact, they can live for many, many years as long as they can find a warm place to hibernate for the winter and one female stink bug can lay hundreds of eggs the next summer if left to survive. Furthermore, these bugs are now starting to threaten crops, destroying enormous numbers of apple and peach crops this year, and predictions for future years are even more dire if they're left to reproduce as they have been in recent years.
But on the other hand, letting them survive, regardless of the off-chance that they might attract another bug or two to the inside of your house should one be smart enough to figure out how to get in, is a horrible idea, considering how many more they could produce the next year if left to survive.
So if you haven't been killing the stink bugs in or around your house because you're afraid that their smell may attract more, or because you're like I once was and feel bad about killing them, I'm encouraging you to reconsider. The only way to keep the stink bug population at bay is to work to eliminate them, one nasty stink bug at a time.
And as evidence to the fact that I am trying to do my part, here is a video and some pictures of my work.
Warning! - Somewhat graphic (or at least disgusting) images are below.
First, here is what we are dealing with. Please excuse my shoddy videomanship. But you get the idea. We had a LOT of stink bugs on our porch.
And then, two pictures of my efforts.
After cleaning out the canister of my trusty Dyson, I took to the porch, sucking up every single stinkbug I could find, including snatching them out of midair.
|It may not look like much, but there are at least 100 stink bugs in there|
I then immediately took the canister inside and opened it over the toilet.
|Thankful for public sewer access|
Just doing my part, people.