The brown marmorated stink bug

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, Pests, Plagues, and Varmints

Brown marmorated stink bugOne thing about an old house, there are lots of nooks and crannies for creatures to find their way in. It’s a fact of life. Call it sharing habitat. While we try to minimize it, there is no way we can keep everything out, especially since our house is on a stacked stone foundation and rises and falls with the freezing and thawing of the earth.

This is the first year I’ve seen stinkbugs in the house. At first I thought there was just one, and assumed it rode in on a summering houseplant. There came a point where my youngest made me aware there were more than one, with a show of semi-hysterics.

According to this site,

They are the typical shieldย shape of other stink bugs, almost as wide as they are long. To distinguish them from other stink bugs, look for lighter bands on the antennae and darker bands on the membranous, overlapping part at the rear of the front pair of wings. They have patches of coppery or bluish-metallic colored puntures (small rounded depressions) on the head and pronotum.

I confess I haven’t looked at them close enough to figure out if they are the new invasive stink bug or just the kind we’ve had all along. But then, we’ve never had them in the house before, so they are probably the new kind, which was first discovered in Pennsylvania, which is pretty close to here.

If you step on them, they do stink, but not any worse than one of those Asian lady beetles. Which we also have. And also some kind of wasp. They all make their presence known on sunny winter days, when the south side of the house warms up. But not in any great numbers, just one here and there. My attitude is live and let live.

Rodents, that’s another story.

But, anyway, I was wondering if anyone else had stinkbugs in their house this winter?

Update: if you wish to be notified of new comments, please subscribe to the comment feed for this post. Put into your feed reader (Google reader, Bloglines or similar).

There is now a new post on this site about the brown marmorated stink bug and the pesticides often recommended to deal with this bug. Also, JC has compiled the most helpful information from the comments into a series of articles on stink bugs. Read through all that information; it will save you asking questions that have already been answered and sharing tips that have already been shared.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kathy Purdy November 28, 2013, 11:18 pm

Wanted: Dead or Alive–No, Just Dead: NYT article on stink bug predators for your reading pleasure.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV November 30, 2013, 12:03 pm

Kathy – thank you so much for keeping an eye out and posting this for all of us!! And of course, for hosting our “BMSB Fighters Club!” This is indeed very good news.

I saw far more praying mantis’ in my yard this past fall – kept a close and steady eye out for any who strayed near the house which was sadly sprayed w/ pesticides. I did save 2 or 3 by removing them immediately to a bush or tree, and didn’t find any dead ones on the porch or deck, which hopefully hope means that none perished?

Before we spray w/ the pesticides, we hose down the house to shoo away all the spiders, toads, and beautiful insects we adore. If we find a spider web w/ mom and babies; husband lovingly carries them off to a safe place in the crook of a tree or a far away fence post. We also keep all the lights off at night (even 4 watt night lights) in the house beginning early August to discourage spiders/toads from hanging out close to the house. And we keep the light on the shed and a little decorative lighthouse (over the well) in hopes they’ll migrate toward those — areas that are never sprayed.

These wonderful insects (and all of our angel birds) are the reason we just can’t bring ourselves to spray our trees in the Spring – or ever, for that matter. Not to mention that we have hundreds of cedars, sycamores, dogwoods, oaks, etc. and most are at least 60-80 feet tall!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all – so much to be thankful for! I hope the upcoming holiday season is filled with joy and love for all my dear friends here! XXXOOO ~Denise

Stacey-Delaware County Pa. October 5, 2013, 9:43 pm

Hello everyone. Just checking in with an update. In the past week our area has been inundated with swarms. At any one point I have dozens on my house. I have to chuckle while reading the other posts here- a bit cruel, I know, but I’m chuckling because I too am terrified of these damned bugs. I have 3 dogs that I walk several times a day and it’s torture to even go outside now. I run to and from my car, and when i do have to stand outside i must look like a lunatic to passersby as I literally turn in circles making sure one doesn’t land on me. Then, of course, they land on my door just waiting for me to go back inside so they can make a break for the inside. I have a broom by my door I use to sweep them away so I can open it- and we all know what happens then- they fly right at me. My neighbor called the other day and told me she heard me scream and knew exactly what happened- and her house is a football field length away from mine.
I’m so discouraged this year- I had high hopes they were declining, but that’s obviously not the case !

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2013, 5:23 pm

How weird…hasn’t it been hot up there too? It’s been between 86 and 90 here for the past 5 days; and like I’ve said, they’ve all but disappeared? I’m not fooling myself…I know they’re coming. Probably tomorrow afternoon when the cold front moves in. But why? Why have they continued to seek shelter up your way, and not out here during this hot spell? We’re not that far apart, are we?

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2013, 5:33 pm

Forgot to tell you that you are most certainly not alone in the lunatic category! IF I go anywhere between noon and 7 p.m., I circle my car 3 times before I get in, jump in like a nut case, and slam the door. Every time I have to stop at a light or stop sign, I maneuver my side mirrors up and down to see if any jumped on while I was stopped. When I get out of the car, I fly out the door to be sure one doesn’t drop on me. I scan doorways to the grocery store or wherever before I step in, and literally run in. I watch every step I take to be sure I don’t step on one and bring their stink into the car with me. I know people think I’m insane; and actually, I do too. But I really can’t help it! Deep breathing, calm logic, reason and reality…gone for me this time of year. Ridiculous; but I’m honestly too scared to be embarrassed. Though I know I should be ๐Ÿ™

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 2, 2013, 10:53 pm

Stinkbugs have been clinging to the outside of the screens today. Not too many, maybe a half a dozen all day. I had the Ivory/Eucalyptus at the ready, so no big deal…except that they seemed almost impervious to the “tried and true” spray, unless I was able to saturate them!

Had to go out around 5PM today to run errands. One of those errands was getting gasoline. Holy, Moley! The local gas station, one mile from my house was inundated. I found that out quickly, by being dive bombed on my leg and my head….couldn’t get out of there fast enough! Ha! And, I had thought, oh, I’ll clean the windshield, etc. No! I didn’t even get all the gas I wanted to get…I hightailed it out of there, after checking the car, my hair, my clothes, and my purse. Disgusting! I think SBs really like the smell of gas!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 1, 2013, 5:15 pm

Well, I’ve kept my mouth shut almost a month… Every now and then reading notes from all you PA/NJ folks talking about how light it is and maybe they’re gone. I can assure you that they are FAR from gone in Martinsburg. This is 2010 6 times over, just like Tracey Leskey from USDA said it would be. We are suffocating in them. They started about 10 days ago; each warm day ramping up the numbers. At first, not too-too bad; reading all your posts gave me hope. Last week, I began crying again. Yesterday and today, numbers are in the tens of thousands – maybe more.

This morning I picked up 278 (yes I counted every one) off my 15′ x 10′ deck just from yesterday’s swarm. Likely 100+ were ones I shot down from the screens. Though maybe I didn’t really need to since this year we actually removed all the screens as suggested, sprayed them and put them back. So nice at first, being able to see out my windows in the fall for a change. They are now covered in soap, and poison – inside and out. I know, I don’t have to pick them up…I can just sweep or blow them off the deck. NO I CAN’T! I have to flick every single one into a plastic container with a special little kabob stick and cover them in dish detergent before I believe they are dead. And whether our expert pest specialists tell me they “will die” or not, I know at least 1/2 of them try their darndest to climb out of that dish – and not slowly either! I can only do this before 9:00a.m. because after that, I can’t take the risk that one might land on me (deck faces southeast so the sun heats it up very quickly).

Last year, we had maybe 10 on the front porch all season. I just looked out there 1/2 hour ago and there were at least 50 crawling on/flying into the shaded front porch. At around noon, I went out bravely in the front to shoot down the few who might have taken shelter yesterday evening. Sure enough, 1 flew onto the back of my neck (Aggghhhh!) and another hit me in the leg. I screamed until I lost my voice running into the house, poured wintergreen alcohol all over the back of my neck and hair, and ran to the shower crying.

Only 2 flocks of birds have come since Sept 7 – one yesterday and one today; under 100 in each flock. They can’t even make a dent. A new neighbor is building on the lot just across from ours…though we are 4 or 5 acres apart, I think all the commotion over there is keeping the birds at bay. I’ve seen them fly over, but even praying on my knees hasn’t helped. How sad that I don’t even know these people, but I honestly hate them right now!

I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know where I’m moving, but I’ve got to find some place where this does not terrorize me every year. And oh, there are at least 3 and maybe 4 generations in this group – at least here in Martinsburg. Some are late stage nymphs, others are fully formed BMSB’s but only about 1/8″ large??? Others (most) are between 3/4 and 1 inch…I’ve NEVER seen them this large or this small – mutants? I’ve been researching when to spray the trees in the Spring, but don’t want to hurt any nesting birds, praying mantids, spiders, or anything else that belongs here. Plus, as you’ve all heard me tell before, the most offensive trees (4) are around/over our koi pond and one drop of any of these pesticides will kill them and all my lovely frogs and toads.

It took me 3 hours to write this because I had to run back and forth to the windows to shoot down another 200 or more. All the while I was listening to the stinkbugs on C-Span ๐Ÿ™ . After this day, I’m thinking perhaps I will move to Canada – where I can be finished with ALL the stinkbugs. God, help me!

JC October 1, 2013, 5:56 pm

Denise – I am SO sorry for your misery…..Last year we had a total of about 12 sbs. H just got home and asked if I saw the hundreds or more of dead stinkbugs laying in the recessed porch area in front of our breezeway. When he sprayed in late August he had not done the recessed porch – for some reason he said ‘they won’t come in there’…….don’t understand that logic…. I was freaking out telling him they “know’ if there is an unprotected area. This weekend he sprayed the recessed porch and touched up around the windows and doors. He was amazed to see all those dead sbs laying in the porch area. Now he believes me.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 1, 2013, 6:55 pm

Oh Denise…I feel for you right now. These things get to me as well. It sounds bad. The experts were correct. Living in Philly very close to suburbs (practically in the burbs), we’ve had them for ten years now. We were hit hardest in those first few years since the launching of these bugs supposedly began in Allentown, PA (still don’t really know how—by accident…intentional release…shipping crates—bug experiment gone wrong…a PA college which planted trees with them undetected—I’ve heard many different versions which no one can confirm, I guess). Whatever, they’re here. Back then, no one had any idea what they were, what to do/use, and just how bad they can be. I remember that time like it was yesterday. Several years ago, I remember reading somewhere online someone posted about this type of stink bug (this was on a different site, not this one). He said that he lived in Asia for a while, and these bugs were just awful…hard to deal with and get rid of. His description of the problem made me cringe. I hate the fact that these stupid bugs are causing such problems…still!

I saw some flying around today in a parking lot. They make me sick…I so hate them.

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 1, 2013, 7:29 pm

Oh, Denise, this is terrible news! I’m sending up prayers that your glorious birds come to your rescue, and quickly! As much as I was horrified to read the news of your day, you really are a gifted writer. I can picture the scene so clearly. Makes it hard to get anything else done with what you’ve been battling!

I didn’t see a single one here today in West Chester, and I’ve been looking. I did spray the St. Gabriel’s spray again this AM as a prevention.

However, I’ve had friends calling and texting me to say they’re getting inundated. And these friends only live a few miles away. I’ve done no pesticide spraying – haven’t in at least three years. My house is definitely not tightly sealed (old house, not enough $$$ to seal it up properly.) The only thing that may be working for me is living without AC units and my St. Gabriel’s. Also, I got rid of a humongous butterfly bush at the end of last season…I think that was a major attraction for the SBs.

I hope things are much better for you soon, Denise! Hang in there, you’re not alone!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 3, 2013, 2:04 pm

Thanks Jane — you guys are such a blessing to me. I feel as if we know one another better than many folks know their neighbors or even some friends! I think the emotional trauma of our topic brings out our most basic selves…often even without the normal “propriety” of conversation. I hope that sounds the way I mean it – that I love you guys!

Yesterday it was 87 degrees here. The night before was in the 50’s and last night was also in the 50’s. But oddly, there were very few SB’s yesterday, or today…I only saw about 20 here and there each day (so far today anyway). And this morning I only shot down 4 from the walls of my porch and picked up only 8 off my deck, which I assume succumbed to our cypermethrin with spreader sticker “force field of doom.” Of course they were still kicking when I flicked them into their container of death. I wonder if the unusual extraordinary heat has confused them into thinking it was summer again? I know the experts say it’s not the air temp nor the length of days that starts them hunting for shelter, but rather the ground temp. Scientists: If you are reading our forum, take note of this, as it could hold an important clue on how to control/destroy them.

Here’s a fun little piece of drama from my morning – I rarely look inside my gas grill anymore because except for 2010, they almost never go there. But I did open the lid this morning, and what did I see? A mouse! A little brown field mouse sitting right on top of the grill bars (or whatever that is we lay our food on). I’m not scared of mice, but I sure did jump and yelp as he was so unexpected! As a matter of fact, I’m not scared of anything other than these stupid bugs…skinny 2 ft. garter snakes, big fat 4 ft. long black rat snakes, giant 3″ wolf spiders…nothing! And we have all those things here on a regular basis. There is no bird food up here right now; nothing at all for the little guy to munch on. EXCEPT dead/dying stink bugs! In fact I read somewhere not long ago that killing the SB’s in your home with something like a hot-shot bomb and not picking them up, could very well attract mice. I’d heard before that their dead bodies could attract carpet beetles, but only recently saw the mice-attractant article.

Be well everyone – love from Martinsburg!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 3, 2013, 2:09 pm

Whoops – so selfish I am! I meant to acknowledge your stinky gas station ordeal! How horrible…last year I was waiting for my receipt to come out, got ready to grab it and realized a SB was sitting right where I was going to put my hand! I left the receipt hanging and did exactly what you did — checked myself, my car, and took off like a bat out of hell!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2013, 1:01 am

Hi Denise! Good to hear they’ve calmed down a bit there. I hadn’t heard about the ground temp information before your post…interesting. I’ve read more about these stupid bugs in the past than I’ve ever wanted to read about any insect. And my obsession and hatred of them finds me still reading articles about them on the internet…LOL! Yesterday, I noticed an article which headlined that due to the current gov’t shutdown, the stink bug study has come to a halt at a time of the year when it’s needed the most.

I’ve gotta share my preying mantis story. Okay, the preying mantis are so creepy looking, and they’ve always scared me even as a kid. However, I know they are part of the good bug family, and they are beneficial in getting rid of the bad bugs. So, yesterday, another warm day here, I’m about to enter this building, and I glance up above the door, and I see a preying mantis clinging to the wall. Not far away, I see something moving…yes, a stink bug crawling along. I thought to myself, I bet he’s going to go after that thing. Sure enough, he was moving slowing, stalking the stinkie. I backed away from the door and thought to myself, I’ve gotta see how this ends up. I stood there staring at the wall. As the mantis got closer he quickly made his move…and it was fast too. One big swoop, with his leg/claw thing (whatever it’s called) and he got the stinkie. It was gross, yet fascinating at the same time. I’d never seen a preying mantis do that before my eyes (except for something on TV). The mantis then tumbled off the wall holding the bug, and landed on the ground. It startled me and caused me to let out a scream, and I ran quickly in the building. Thank you preying mantis!!!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2013, 5:12 pm

OMGosh Nikki — I just watched this video on the “Bug of the Week” website (! How cool it must have been to see that for real! Here’s a link to the youtube video; gave me a sick sense of satisfaction! I’m like you Nikki – while I’m not afraid of them and actually feel lucky when I notice one in my yard, I’ve always been afraid to hold them. They’re “claws” are pretty scary looking. This video is so freaky…the mantis certainly looks like a little tiny alien!

Yes, the stink bug research is “on hold,” as you said. How stupid (the whole “stinking” mess). As I said, I’d love to move somewhere that doesn’t include the BM stink bug, or the human kind!

Again today, I only saw around 15 — it would be interesting to find out why the hot weather shut them down. I’m not complaining; it’s been a wonderful respite. But I am very worried about what this means when the weather returns to normal. Stay tuned, eh?!

susan of Malvern, PA (SE) October 1, 2013, 2:06 pm

We took the dogs out to Marsh creek in Chester springs today.. the SB’s were every where.. saw them coming from trees and one landed on my husbands glasses! I was too freaked to stay long.. they were all over the cars in the parking lot with many folks leaving windows open. Sadly, they are everywhere, confirmed from coast to coast. PLEASE… we must be careful with the poison spraying though.. we are in such a dreadful place killing off the honey bees and many other beneficial bugs. Drinkable water is also no longer plentiful, so please don’t flush solitary SB’s. I have found wrapping them in a piece of duct tape or spraying with Dawn soap works.. keep both in your car! We must win, without killing ourselves in the long run.

Kathy S October 1, 2013, 12:56 pm

Getting bombarded spraying tomorrow hope its not to late AMEN!

Jane A., West Chester, PA September 30, 2013, 2:58 pm

I sprayed the upstairs windows with the St. Gabriel’s Organic spray this morning in anticipation that today would be “the day.” Happy to report that I haven’t seen any on my office windows so far today (this is where I usually see them.) I think the wintergreen smell is repelling them.

I have seen some on my next door neighbor’s house, and a bunch at my local hardware store.

I’ve definitely got my guard up and will remain vigilant. I think when the weather gets warmer this week it could get ugly!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 30, 2013, 7:13 pm

Hi Jane…guess what happened to me today? I’m sitting at a red light, and a huge stink bug (one of the big adult kind) just landed right on my driver’s side window. I freaked out! I saw it from the corner of my eye, looked over, and just went nuts. I’m thinking, I’ve gotta pull over cause this thing is gonna adhere to this glass while I drive. As many of us know, movement is not an issue with these guys…they can cling to a car very well.
I drove to a store parking lot, got out with tissue, and took it off the glass.
It stayed on glass until I smooshed it. Unbelievable!

I’m bracing myself for this week…supposed to really warm up around here from all the cool temps we’ve had lately.

stacey September 30, 2013, 10:52 am

They’re everywhere here today !
UGH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen, Charles Town, WV September 30, 2013, 11:06 am

I am not surprised. I figure with the warm weather expected this week that they would be everywhere. YUK!!!!!

Last week I had one fly in my car through an open window and I was a panic. I had to pull off the road and get it out of my car to prevent an accident. No more driving with the windows down! I hate them so much! I did some spraying yesterday but I might need to do more. I do this in additions to having someone come out and spray. It’s crazy! I don’t even like walking my dogs in the evening exhausted I am afraid I will bring them in the house. Just plain disgusting!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 30, 2013, 7:15 pm

Karen…me too! It happened today (see my post above). I didn’t have my window open at the time…thank God! That would have been much worse.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 30, 2013, 7:18 pm

Stacey–are you located in PA?

stacey October 5, 2013, 9:31 pm

Yes, just below you in Delaware County- near the delaware state line. The past week has been horrible here !

Stevieb September 29, 2013, 8:14 pm

I seen the numbers go up the past coulple days , they are here but not as bad , I did cut a couple trees down but , they seem to be late this year , I powered sprayed today , some dead ones in my gazeboe , I mix my demand cs so strong it last all year ,really I mean bugs hit my screens in the summer like flys and bees and whatever , seems like the spiders live through it a little better but my method is don’t be cheap with the demand cs , mix it strong and it last ,

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 29, 2013, 7:30 pm

All is still quiet. The next two weeks should really confirm things for us. Early October is often the best indicator of the BMSB season (at least in PA, I think). Now this isn’t good…saw this article online…they’re making their presence know in California (at least in Sacramento right now). I’m thinking of all their crops out there, especially grapes. Per article, 2016 seems to be the earliest for possible release of parasitic wasps to go after these things. Article mentions other invasive species and the resulting problems. It’s a shame more wasn’t done sooner to tackle this bug and not allowing it to advance as long as it has. I know they’ve been bugging me for 10 years…can’t belive it’s been that long.

JT from Central Jersey September 25, 2013, 12:41 pm

Hello All,

Haven’t posted on here in a while. I have not seen more than a few stink bugs in the last few days. However I did want to share this article with as a reminder not to let your guard down. I will continue to powerspray my house from foundation to roof with Demand CS. However, Suspend Polyzone is a newer insecticide labled for stink bugs and will be just as effective as Demand.

JT from Central Jersey

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 22, 2013, 1:34 am

Just checking in. Still have only seen those few…none since. I agree about October being another swarming period to watch. Okay, I’m going to admit this here, that I did I mark on my calendar for this year, the week of/or right after Labor Day, and the first week of October to “watch.” From prior experience, this was the pattern around here. This is a difficult invasive species that seems to now be a permanent resident.

I agree about certain trees, shrubs, plants, etc. that may be attracting more than say your neighbor’s property. I read that the BMSB do fancy flowers and trees from their native countires (makes sense) that are now abundant here. Additionally, some of their favorites include (list from personal reading and some from experience): sunflowers; hibiscus; butterfly bushes; dogwood trees; maple trees; birch trees; anything which produces a type of berry (tree or shrub); trees producing a type of nut/seed/or fruit, veggie gardens (there’s more, but you get the idea…they like a lot of things).

The bad part is that you can do all the hard work to keep them off your house, etc., but if your neighbors do nothing at all, their share can spread around the area as well. I’m still interested in finding out why some homes are more attractive than others (besides the greenery issue and those light colored houses). I wonder what else it is???

Gotta get up into the attic this week. This is one area that I cannot keep them out completely. They do like the higher points of the home. What a pain in the butt to have to deal with this year in and year out. The only positive is the lighter numbers. I hate bugs and these are so horrible to deal with (and their pop-up out of nowhere personalities still scare the heck out me).

stacey September 24, 2013, 11:07 am

LOL. Yeah, I hate the pop-out !

Stevieb September 20, 2013, 7:25 pm

Debbie m , where run what Town and state ????

Debbie M. September 20, 2013, 4:22 pm

Not sure why I have these bugs and my neighbors don’t I do not see one on their house. I am loaded with them right now, and I do know they need to get in the house since the nites are getting cooler and will hide somewhere and I will find them through out the winter, and then some waiting to get back out once April approaches. I have tried everything, in my window sills, I even tried the dawn spraying them out side, they still don’t seem to die. They are a nuisance and I had them since they came here in the late 90s from Asia into Allentown. I literally have on a hot afternoon, atleast 100 on the back of my house, not in the front. On a breazy day you wont see too many and thats a good thing, but when the Sun is in Full force, they come out like crazy…where do they go at nite? In the Trees?…..Someone needs to come up with something…I tried Everthing, I cant stand not opening my windows and screen doors this time of the year, Aggrevated!!!!

JC September 21, 2013, 6:54 am

Debbie – You may have a tree or shrub in your yard, one that your neighbor does not have, that is attracting them. If you fill a coffee can 1/2 full of hot water and add 1/2 cup of Dawn – hold it up next to them, they will jump in and die. You may have to give them a nudge. That works for a stink bug here or there. To take down the majority of them, spray your home with either Talstar Pro, Demand CS or Suspend Polyzone (

At night they go into any crack or crevice they can find in your home; under siding, around windows and door, down chimneys, under ridge vents, etc. A stink bug scout will mark your home with a pheromone (not the same scent that we smell) at the points of easy entry for the rest of them. Spraying your home, at least in late August, early September will work. Even spraying now will help to a certain degree.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 22, 2013, 1:51 am

Hi JC! Nice to see you again!

Have you ever heard this one? Someone told me to make sure to spray foundation around house about 3 to 4 feet up and outward. Many BMSB’s don’t just fly to house, many walk through grass and climb up. First time I’ve heard that.

Also, those bugs that don’t make it to a house or someplace for Fall/Winter to hang out until Spring survive very well in cold weather hiding inside dead trees. I think this was relatively new info about these bugs. I guess they are hardier and stronger when it comes to the cold temps than originally thought.

JC September 22, 2013, 7:05 am

Thanks, Nikki – you too!

I’ve been thinking about the crawling thing and my first response would be that it is unlikely. However, remembering that they are very active after a heavy rain could make that logical. They might not like the water soaked ground. On the other hand, mowing the lawn (close to an acre) never seems to send the sbs flying. My other thought would be why crawl when you can fly. I have heard, however, that they can no longer fly when temps go below 55ish. These beasties are still a mystery in many ways.

I have also heard that they often overwinter inside old trees and even under the bark of trees. One more reason for folks to be careful when bringing in that firewood. Someone from another forum actually put a sb in the freezer overnight to see if it would kill it. The next day when he got it out, after about an hour of thawing, it got up and walked away. I also read an article that stated that some of the knock down products do in fact knock them down, and they can then metabolize certain products and after a day or so, they then get up and walk away. I believe the only time you can be sure a sb is dead is when he is belly up. Did someone mention them clinging to the screens? I have found that when they are dying, you will see them first hanging on by three legs, then two, rarely one…..and then they are belly up somewhere close by.
We have added spraying the ridge vent, the top of the chimney and the gutters to our routine. We also now spray all bushes and shrubs within twelve feet of the house. Plus the hedge between us and a neighbor who we know has a serious problem with the beasties. We also spray up into a pin oak in the back yard. Last year our swarm consisted of twelve sbs over a period of about six weeks, one here and there. I think early spraying and adding the landscaping really made a difference. I do know that in the beginning they stage themselves in the trees and bushes, going back and forth from there to the house, until it gets cold enough that they just stay in the house. I believe we got many of them before they even made it to the house.

stacey September 24, 2013, 11:01 am

Aren’t you concerned about killing bees and other beneficials ??

JC September 24, 2013, 11:50 am

I can’t explain why, but that hasn’t been a problem. Maybe they somehow know to keep away for a bit of time. We have many bird feeding stations, an extensive perennial garden the length of the front of the house, and we continue to see birds, bees, butterflies (before they started migrating) and all kinds of squirrels, chipmunks, etc. Maybe it’s because the sbs groom themselves after sitting upon a treated area and that is what kills them. Also, the sbs sit on a particular spot for an extended period of time, but the others tend to flit around.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 29, 2013, 7:39 pm

JC, thanks for the interesting reading. Good info.

I’ve never seen them nor smelled them in the grass…have you? Actually, I usually never see them hanging around much on greenery. I mostly notice them once they make their way to house. The most I’ve easily seen were on a dogwood tree and on hibiscus plants. They blend in well…LOL!

Kathy S September 19, 2013, 4:31 pm

Had two stink bugs inside this week ugh! and now I see they are on the chimney thought they were gone, I live in Whitehouse sta. NJ, we will know in the next few days if they are going to swarm suckers are right on time!!

Jane A., West Chester, PA September 19, 2013, 3:03 pm

Hi, Stacey and StevieB! I did see several last Thursday (after posting earlier in the week that I hadn’t seen any!) They were just hanging out on the outside of a few window screens. I didn’t freak out, but just sprayed them with my Ivory soap spray.

Funny thing is…that’s the only day I’ve seen them, and I’ve really been looking out for them! No other sightings since then. I’ve been checking the neighbors’ houses, too. Nothing. I’m deliriously happy over here!

I know that in prior years I’ve had quite a problem by this time of year. I know sometimes October can be bad, too. Well, we’ll see. Let’s all keep each other posted!

stacey September 24, 2013, 11:04 am

Heh. The DAY AFTER I posted that I hadn’t seen any, the swarming started here. I knew I’d jinx myself ! In any case, I saw a few dozen, maybe more..but since that day haven’t seen many.
Keeping my fingers crossed it will be light this year….

Stevieb September 18, 2013, 4:31 pm

Hi Stacey I’m in deco also media , and we usually start to see them pick up the numbers starting with this week , keep ur fingers crossed , maybe the birds are really starting to eat them , it’s been pretty low numbers around here ,we shall see ,

stacey September 24, 2013, 11:06 am

I actually did see a large flock of birds eating them last year. They were chasing them all over my house and garage roofs. Then they all flew to my neighbors house and did the same thing.

stacey September 18, 2013, 2:42 pm

Hello all. I’m checking in for the first time in quite a while, as having seen only a few sb’s so far, I was wondering what everyone else was experiencing. I hesitate to jinx myself, as I know the fall is young, but to date I’ve seen approximately a dozen or less.
I live in south-eastern pa.Delaware County.
How about everyone else ??

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 7, 2013, 3:14 pm

Hey Jane! Good news to hear. Around late August, I start to get that “they’re coming soon” feeling. You get a few months break, and just when you think the nightmare is gone for good, you realize it’s that time of year for the return(will it be severe, light, or somewhere in between). It’s ridiculous. I started doing a search called “stink bug news,” and it picks up the most current articles online. I saw this one, and I thought it was a great idea…in PA somewhere they’re offering a stink bug workshop…here’s article link Note their life span listed — up to 2 years (most live 7 months). These are alien bugs…LOL! As stated in article, it says to remove most shrubbery near house (which I’ve done a few years ago), however, as we all know, these guys are pretty good fliers and they also like trees, so they will land on house regardless. Where oh where are the birds around here. I remember seeing them around quite a bit last year…hope they’re just running a little late.

Denise– did you see where they want people to volunteer counting the stink bugs clinging to houses and windows and report on it, it’s part of a study I think Virginia and Maryland in particular. They are trying to determine why certain houses are chosen over others. That’s something I’ve wondered about too!!! Can’t wait to find out the results of the study. One thing about these bugs…after dealing with them all these years, just when I think I’ve figured them out, something with them still seems to surprise me about these nasty little things.

Jane A., West Chester, PA September 7, 2013, 1:33 am

Hello, Nikki and Denise! Nice to talk to you again. I’ve got good news to report: No Stinky sightings in West Chester. All AC units removed early this week. Not necessary anymore. I’m freezing! I really couldn’t be happier about this. No spraying, no nonsense. I do have a TON of birds, though. I feed them, and so do my neighbors. I really do think it helps, though that’s not why I do it. I just love the sound and the sight of the birds, the nests, the babies, etc.

Didn’t put any plants on my deck this summer (for the 4th year, due to the stink bugs), but if they have really left and gone to other climes, I would love to have all the hanging baskets and window boxes on the deck again. I’ve really missed that…

Denise - Martinsburg, WV September 7, 2013, 10:43 am

Hi Jane! I so hope this year you all get to enjoy the most beautiful season of the year! I grew basil, catnip and some kind of long peppers on my deck this year; never saw any kind of bug on any of them! I wonder if catnip (mint?) or the strong smell of basil kept them all (SB’s in particular) away? I saw a pic somewhere recently of a pepper plant looking exactly like mine and the peppers were covered in SB’s – young and big old nasty ones. There’s only one spot on my deck that receives appropriate morning sun, so they’re all gathered closely in that section. I can’t have a real garden until I can afford to fence it completely – way too many deer roaming through here.

A smaller flock or mostly grackles (2 or 3 hundred) came through just a few minutes ago, jumping on the tree branches and picking the SB’s who flew off out of the air! Many were simply picking them off the tree; easy work. I saw very few bugs trying to escape, and none flew up to my house or screens today. Course it’s still cool this morning, and most are probably a bit sluggish yet. We’re definitely not in the “swarming season” here yet. Here’s the neato thing I saw today: a whole bunch of smaller birds (various sparrows and warblers, wrens, nuthatches) joined in the game – almost like they were more watching and learning. I didn’t see any juncos or chickadees participating…yet. Our resident robins have been scouring the yard almost daily for the last month or so as well.

Not happy to post this, but I’ve seen a large number of articles predicting the 2013 Fall season to be particularly horrible – even worse than in 2010, which they say was the worst year. Especially in PA, MD, VA, and WV – which is where the researcher quotes came from. Some of these scientists said the numbers found this Spring were 6 times those of 2010. Unfortunately, one of the main predictors of this is the USDA fruit research lady (Tracy Leskey) who’s located about 10 miles from me. Sigh…let’s hope they’re as wrong about this as they are about most everything else.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 6, 2013, 1:30 pm

They’ve launched! Just giving everyone a heads up. At least in this part of PA, this is the first I’ve seen them. And right on schedule…I have this week marked on my calendar (I know, I’m still crazy obsessed with them even after all these years). Just saw two, but that’s two too many! I have the day off, so I thought I’d do some spraying. Went outside a little while ago and just had to laugh. “Welcome Back” I said…while I sprayed them. Here’s hoping for a light season this year!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV September 6, 2013, 2:33 pm

So was this yesterday for you Nikki? I’m home every day, so always get the joy of knowing the moment they start their antics. Yesterday at 5:00 pm was my first sighting of them actually on the house. It was 58 last night…going to be 50 tonight. Suspect the numbers will grow this evening – in about 2 hours, ugh. Birds were back again today, but in much smaller numbers.

On a nicer subject…I missed you guys this summer; not our topic, but you!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 6, 2013, 5:06 pm

Hi Denise! Nice to see you again on here as well. I was amazed by your story about the bugs.

Saw the first 2 today, Sept. 6. Did some light spraying earlier, and haven’t seen anymore but those 2. The weather here today is simply stunning…an early Fall-like day. It’s sunny w/clear blue skys, cool and breezy…low 70’s. It was pretty chilly here last night. It sounds like you’re getting some cool temps where you’re located.

Just recently, I saw an online article about the increase in bugs due to the high rain levels in parts of PA this past summer. They mentioned the stink bugs and said they should be less in numbers or might be gone. Also, farmers haven’t been seeing them within the crops/trees as in the past summers (maybe so, but I doubt they’re completely gone). Even if their numbers are less, I can’t see these bugs ever going away completely unless more is done. I agree with you…these are determined bugs with a will to survive. If only they’d just stay outside like most bugs want to…no, they have to over-winter. The box elder bugs over-winter too, but I almost never get any inside the house. Maybe one or two in certain windows, but that is it (and they die much easier). I’ll see the box elder bugs outside on the walls or even within a crack, but they aren’t as annoying and forceful as the stinkies. I believe this is going on the 11th Fall season for me. The first run in with these things began so innocently…a few getting inside through window air cond. in early October while it was being taken out of window. The years following just got worse. No more window units for me (only portable a/c’s). Fortunately, the last few years have been on the lighter side.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV September 5, 2013, 9:11 pm

Hi all – so nice not to have heard from anyone…so far. Couple things. Today I heard the familiar grackles/cowbirds/blackbirds, so I looked and sure enough there was the my beloved flock of thousands (millions even?) of birds dancing on my tree branches and running through my gutters and all over the roof! Why, I wondered – I hadn’t seen any of the hateful SB’s yet? How odd that I felt a strangely cool wind after our 90 degree weekend at precisely the same moment that I heard the birds! Welp – after the birds were here for a few minutes, suddenly there were about 15 SB’s on my south-facing screens and siding. But they don’t stink yet – at long as you don’t squash them. And they died w/ one shot of eucalyptus mix since they’re fully kicking from the still warm days. They were not really looking to snuggle in somewhere yet, but rather trying to escape from the birds. THE BAD NEWS: Some were gigantic and others were small – telling me that we will once again have several generations to deal with this fall. THE GOOD NEWS: Our incredible birds are way ahead of these guys now. Seems Mother Nature (as always) is far beyond our “scientists,” and She may well take care of most of our problem! There were additional new bird species in this group that I’ve never seen before, so the word is out – at least in my part of the country. I’m crossing my fingers that my optimistic heart is going to prove true!

2nd thing – last year I was whining around about smelling SB’s but not being able to figure out where the stench was coming from. Well I figured it out after a HORRIBLE winter of disgust. I narrowed down that the smell was coming from my cooktop downdraft AND the wall between my kitchen and office. I spent the entire winter with the downdraft vent covered with multiple layers of towels. We tried puffing delta dust into the downdraft, to no avail. My thoughts were that the SOB’s were in too much of a dormant state (diapause) to be affected by the poison. So we boiled 4 large pots of water on the stove w/ the downdraft running, for several consecutive days (well, not 24/7, but pretty darn close!) and then we even had a 2-week long warm spell in the 70’s which I would have thought might have awakened them enough to allow the poison to seep in. But no – the stink continued to keep me in daily anguish. I work from home, so there is no escape for me.

In desperation, I called our home builder and had them send me the complete plans for our home, of which we are not the original owners. This is a “manufactured” home – which means it was built indoors, driven in pieces to the site, and put together once they were all here. It’s rock solid – nary a crack or a shim anywhere. We have NEVER had a stink bug get inside our home (other than the attic) throughout these trying last 6 or 7 years, unless it rode in on a shopping bag or one of our cats (or us – aggggh!). For this reason, I will never own a home that isn’t built this way now that we are plagued with these hateful bugs.

Back to the plans – I spoke w/ one of the engineers at length, and it turns out my office (the sunroom) was a separate section, added to the rest of the house after it arrived onsite – which I pretty much already knew. He suggested several places where the fit might not have been exactly perfect. And guess what? HE WAS RIGHT! They had made their way in through a minuscule (and I mean minuscule!) spot where the connection was and maybe also beside the dryer vent as well, and were sitting (with all their ungodly stink) in the wall and around the downdraft – not in it! But thanks to my incredible sense of smell (no gift, I can assure you) it was as if they were sitting next to me on my desk! We found and sealed the spots, and three weeks ago sprayed the living daylights out of every possible area they might try to come back to (and they most definitely WILL try). We also sprayed profusely up under every inch of the vinyl siding around the entire house. The key word here is UNDER, as we’ve always sprayed every inch of the outside siding! Having witnessed their relentless attempts to find the place where one of them left his “here’s-the-way-in-pheremone” last year when one got in through a window that wasn’t latched – I know they will be hunting, and hopefully dying while doing so. Hence, I am praying for a stink-free winter this year. Most of all, I’m happy to report that I am NOT a nutcase, that I did truly suffer horrendously from their stench all winter long (it was not my imagination running wild), and that I have hopefully won at least this round with the so-and-so’s!

Now, having said all of that – these creatures are truly the most amazing adaptable things God every placed on this planet. I feel certain there are SB fossils from the beginning of time on earth over in Asia. I only wish I could stay in that frame of mind – awed by their incredible ability to adapt, survive, and thrive. Alas – I know I can’t; I’ll cry and cringe once again this fall when they fully arrive. And once again, I’ll be obsessed, horrified, and in a constant state of panic.

Bless you all – I pray for sanity and peace for all of us this upcoming stink bug season!

Kid September 5, 2013, 10:55 pm

Hi everyone,

It is nice to know that you all are hanging in there fighting the dreadful SBs.
Now, I have a question about trees and shrubs. Has anyone sprayed trees and they are still fine with Demand CS or what works best? Thinking about pulling up trees I just planted for privacy. I noticed SBs in them. I had no greenery around house.
Time to start fighting again. I have seen them on outside of house, mostly dead, hate that I can’t sit on porch, ewwww. Rather have dead bugs than alive. Remember to get those eggs off house and KILL them…… I scrap them off and squish in duct tape, they lay so many on windows and screens, found babies caught in between screen and window, could have gotten in house. So, keep windows closed during this time for sure, hate to spray eggs only, may risk resistance to insecticide. Read that alternating insecticides can also help prevent resistance.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA September 7, 2013, 3:41 pm

Hi Kid! I’ve never used Demand CS…I’m sure some others on here have. I think it’s supposed to be very good from what I remember reading about in the past. I started using Bugg Slayer…I think it works very well, and it has a residual effect. It’s described as a synthetic pyrethroid found in the extract of chrysanthemum flowers, deltamethrin. I think it was given the safest EPA rating for an insecticide. It has worked well for me, and they also sell a ready to use spray that you can keep around the house and use either inside or out. I often wonder about that…these bugs developing a resistance to these sprays…oh great, just what we need.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA May 17, 2013, 8:06 pm

Attention “SB Haters!” It has begun…the beginning of the stink bug spring season (and the start of their mating season as well if I remember correctly –the info on their habits/life cycle). With such a cool spring season (nice!) in PA this year, I haven’t seen any yet until today (and the wandering one inside home over the winter). Today, one was riding inside my car on the window…oh yes…and I was so angry! I also found one when I came home clinging to outside window on house. The boxelder bugs are driving me crazy too…their numbers are up this year. Been spraying last 2 weekends to get rid of them. They always show up at same side of house. Very similiar patterns and behavior of the BMSB, only not as freaky or scary to me for some reason. They’ve been very light in numbers last few years (almost forgot about ’em)…seems more this year. Another pest to battle.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA February 13, 2013, 1:07 am

Hello SB Haters! It’s been a few months since I’ve been on here. Came on here today to report a sighting of one in my house. The slight change from bitter cold to warmer temps today must have brought some out. Where did this one come from??? I have no clue. I thought my house was clear. I’ve been so lucky the past 2 winters without seeing or smelling even one. Enough already with these things!!! It’s about time the powers that be (who allowed this to get out of hand) start doing something about them…it’s been too many years.

To Diane and Helen—sorry to hear these nasty little things bit both of you. The “experts” say they don’t bite or pierce you, but I’ve heard before that they can.

helen April 11, 2013, 5:57 pm

Yuck! Two in my house yesterday – they’re back.

Diane December 12, 2012, 2:43 pm

Hello all. I live outside of Pittsburgh. And I am deginitely a member of the “Stink Bugs have actually driven me crazy” club!

It has been helpful for me to read your posts. I have been stung/bitten by one – right above my left eye. I was asleep and something woke me up, I reached up to my left eye and immediately felt intense pain. Ran to bathroom and began flushing eye area with cold water. The odor was overpowering and the pain was intense, and it was 2:00 am! The area above my left eyelid immediately swelled up. The really intense pain abated in about 20 minutes. The eye area remained sore, swollen and reddened for 3-4 days afterwards.

So don’t believe anyone who says these things don’t bite. They certainly can.
When I returned to my bed there was the bug – with pieces of legs laying around it. So I must have really hit it hard with the back of my hand, and maybe that is why it bit me. I don’t know.

I do know that there I was in the middle of the night, freaking out, crying, in pain with a swollen eye, and changing my bed sheets.

This was three years ago. Since then, these things have never really been totally gone from my house despite “professional” extermination four different times. (I finally gave up on that, it was costing too much.)

helen December 16, 2012, 1:46 pm

Hi Diane, Sorry to hear about your experience with these hated things. I also was bitten on the back of my hand and had the exact same reaction as what you had. They positively do bite and they leave distinct marks (2) where they pierce the skin. I also had some itching for a day or so after the bite. These things need to disappear forever. Hang in there Diane.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 26, 2012, 1:16 am

It’s been quiet here as well, but thought I’d post since I saw some on cars 2 days ago. Had that warm spell here for the last few days, and I thought they just might be around. I didn’t see any around or outside of house, however, I did see them on several cars where I was parked. I was at an appointment in the late afternoon (around 3:00 pm), and when I returned to my car about a half hour later, there was one sitting on passenger’s side window in parking lot. I freaked out as usual. I took the time to grab with tissue and dispose of it. I said “you’re not riding home with me.” I then had to do an entire check of car inside and out just to be sure as best as possible. I noticed some on the other cars—not many, just a few here and there. But still, right? Enough already!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 11, 2012, 11:58 am

I’ve seen none for quite awhile. But I keep getting the tiniest whiff of one (or some) in various places inside. I thought maybe they were in the ceiling — smell coming from behind the ceiling fans or recessed lights? But I’ve torn each area apart, banged hard on everything around (ceiling included), wiggled anything nearby – but haven’t yet figured it out. I know I would smell it big-time if I disturbed them. It’s driving me crazy — just the teeniest occasional passing whiff here or there. Normally I can smell one out within 5 minutes (hehe). Had my SO check all the fan and air vents, I’ve sniffed every electrical outlet, gotten on chairs and sniffed all the ceiling fans/lights. Maybe there are some above the ceiling/in the attic that are dead or dying? So this weekend all dead/dying SBs will be removed from our attics — I can’t do it of course.

Anyone else had this happen?

JT from Central Jersey October 11, 2012, 3:13 pm

Hi Denise,

I had a similar problem and what I did was apply clear caulk around the opening of the top of the ceiling fan. I also clear taped any other areas on the fans that were open and might allow passage. Then I went up in the attic and dusted. No more proplems afterwards. Hope this helps.


Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 11, 2012, 3:38 pm

Thanks JT. So do you think it was from dead/dying ones, or LIVE ones in your attic before you dusted? We HEAVILY dusted all of our attics with deltamethrin (particularly over all the soffit areas) in late August. So heavily, that there are “dust puffs” below every soffit on our exterior vinyl siding. When I get on a ladder, bang on the ceiling (to disturb any possible SB), and then put my nose right up against the fans/lights on the ceiling, I smell nothing! I’ve done this at every light/fan in the house, usually immediately when and where I get the faint whiff! Also at all the exhaust or heat vents, electrical outlets, and around every window or door frame in the house (top to bottom). And believe me when I say, I can smell these things like nothing and no one else in the world! ๐Ÿ™

I’ve given this so much thought…I think you are right, it must be the few that may have gotten into the attic through the soffits and are dying. So that when I bang – there really isn’t any stink left in them. It’s probably their last “blast” I’m smelling — ugh. We will be caulking again this weekend as even the tiny whiff of a dying bug sends me into spasms. On a more positive note — even though we have a ceiling fan in the bedroom, I’ve never smelled anything in there!

If anyone thinks it could be something else — please share!

JT from Central Jersey October 11, 2012, 6:14 pm

Hi Denise,

I think that some of us just get freaked out and our imaginations run wild However, the dusting in the attic most definitely will take care of them. One word of caution though. Do not breath that dust in too much and remember Delta dust works well in a drier attic. Tempo dust is more easy to apply and can really survive the most humid conditions. These dusts last a very long time. So use it cautiously and follow the label.

I also screened all my vents in my house so nothing can get through them. I caulked all my baseboards so they cant get under where the sheetrock meets the floor either. This exclusion coupled with the spraying and dusting had given me a virtual SB free environment. So I recommend the same.


Jane A., West Chester, PA October 10, 2012, 9:41 pm

To my Southeastern PA friends: I was worried about today. The sun finally came out for the first time since Saturday. Well, I have all the windows open today, am enjoying the fresh breezes, and haven’t seen a single SB sighting! My idea of heaven! Hope the rest of you are having the same experience today!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 11, 2012, 11:47 am

Hi Jane – I’m not in PA, but none here either! Birds keep coming but only seem to rest in my trees. They have been spending quite a bit of time at my neighbors though, and she mentioned they still have a good number. Afraid to celebrate just yet.

Karen Bryant - Charles Town, WV October 11, 2012, 11:55 am

Same here, no SB sited. Loving life right now. Doing the happy dance. I know tomorrow could be a whole different story but for now I am happy. I was cleaning house this past weekend and actually got brave enough to open a few windows. No SBs in the house to the best of my knowledge. I did get a package last week that was left on my porch. I was so mad because I just knew that some of the little buggers would find their way into the box. I went and got my Bugzooka and was ready for them when they crawled out as I was opening the box. Fortunately only one climbed out. Even one is one too many.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was the beginning of the end for them this season!!!! Maybe I could even use my built in firepit one evening…We’ll see.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 7, 2012, 3:30 pm

All is calm…

(the chilly, rainy weather has helped today.) ๐Ÿ™‚

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 7, 2012, 4:31 pm

Yes, a very welcome respite! We probably won’t see any until at least Wednesday; whew.

We need a sunny 70+ degree day, followed by a below -30 degree night! Like JT said – then they can’t get back to their hibernation-like state in time to hide away for winter. And that means fewer to lay eggs in the Spring!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 7, 2012, 7:04 pm

It’s so great. I was thinking the same thing this morning. Need a warm up day to lure them back out and about, then a big freeze. Catch them off guard and before they can store up their food reserves and make it back to their hiding places.

Speaking of…there was a JT and also a JC on this site in the past. I wonder how they’re doing.

JC October 8, 2012, 9:23 am

Hi Nikki – Thanks for asking about how we are doing. I am well and still a stink bug warrior ๐Ÿ™‚ Each year has gotten better for us. (I hesitate to say this out loud) but our swarm this year was about one dozen sbs, never more than three in a day, and only outside. I kept (still) waiting for the axe to fall. I do know they continue to thrive in our town. Maybe it helps that in our small neighborhood more and more people are treating their homes. Also, when we sprayed the house we focused on areas (including the ridgevent) that we know they favored. We had about a half gallon of spray leftover when we treated the house and we also sprayed the shrubs and trees closest to the house (as well as the hedge between us and a neighbor who doesn’t treat). I also planted a large amount of mums and lavender around the house and trimmed them three times this summer. Maybe when they were looking for a place to feed and breed they were repelled by the plants and as a result, never really settled in our yard. We are also in farm country and I do know they are allowing the farmers to use certain products that had been banned. I can’t figure it out but am very thankful for the blessing. The folks in Virginia and West Virginia have been absolutely terrorized by the beasties this year, with a swarm that began before ours in PA and with thousands covering their homes during the two major swarm periods (so far). I really feel terrible for them. At least they know about Demand CS and Talstar and I think one person said they use a product called Viper. It takes the sbs down in time, but they still have to endure them on and around their homes. I think we can finally enjoy the cool weather.
PS One person mentioned something interesting. He said a friend treated their home with flea bombs and the friend had to go out of town. As a favor he went over to air out the house, and found hundreds (if not more) of dead stinkbugs laying everywhere. It is possible they were stunned and not truly dead, but it was a great opportunity to gather them up and dispose of them in Dawn and water. I’d be curious to know how that family does over the winter and if this might work for folks who have not treated or prepared their homes for exclusion. He said they purchased the spray and Lowes. We need all the tips we can get. ๐Ÿ™‚ Best to everyone!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 8, 2012, 8:27 pm

Hello JC! Nice to see you again on here.

Sorry to hear you’re still battling these things, but glad to hear it’s gotten much better. I should have sprayed some trees around like you did earlier in the season. I completely forgot this year. I did that last year and I think it helped. Not that I have that many trees or shrubs. My few trees are on the smaller scale, but I have more shrubs. It’s mostly my neighbors on each side of me. I think they are contributing more to the problem. I wish they’d take better care of their lawn issues, especially their trees (hanging over onto my property & growing out of control). I understand things are so costly these days (believe me, I get that), but these two neighbors aren’t really the caring kind. They don’t take as much pride in their homes. It’s not so much as a financial thing with them as it’s more like “if you don’t like it, don’t look at it.” LOL! I’ve never gotten into it with either party, but I’ve heard from others in the neighborhood. The past 2 years, the one house has had an exterminator in the Spring and Fall.

My weakness area is the roof too. Forgot about ridge vent area up there since I’m not too familiar about roof issues. Also interesting stuff about the flea bombs.

I’m trying to remember, but I think it may have been you who posted on the pheromones these bugs leave as a trail for other SB’s to follow…it’s not the same scent as they leave when crushed or killed (as most people believe). It’s actually a different scent that we cannot smell…only SB’s can. I thought about that because I read something on another site recently where someone mentioned that they thought if you do crush and release the smell, it actually acts as a signal to other bugs that trouble/predator is around and they should leave. This was noticed in the field where scientists are working. Have you ever heard of that one before? I think that’s how it went.

JC October 9, 2012, 8:05 am

Nikki: I think I first heard about the pheremone marking from the agricultural extension service and I am sure I read it at several additional research sites. I’m sure the scent that is smelled by humans also acts as a marker.
Thanks, for the links you have provided to several very interesting sites.

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 6, 2012, 3:56 am

I expected the worst today… 70 degree temps and sunny…nary a stink bug in sight! So happy! I did, however, witness a bird smorgasbord at a neighboring property. Never seen anything like it before. Huge flock of birds diving onto a flat roof and eating like they were at an all you can eat buffet. It wasn’t my house, but I could see it from my office window, and like I said, really no SBs today at my house! Hallelujah!!!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2012, 9:24 am

I am so thrilled for you Jane! Please make a list of your yearly efforts so we can try and find out why your house is clear when others in the neighborhood are not! We’ll be our own scientists!

Yesterday, the flocks came 4 or 5 times….I only saw a few SB’s fly when the birds were stirring them up! Only about 20 total on the house all day – none on the roof. The flocks were staying near the top and middle of the trees up until yesterday, when they began flying low through the trees and landing on the ground to eat. They stayed in our yard and septic field for more than 30 minutes. They figured out most of the SBs had either flown or been knocked to the ground! It was 80 and very sunny here all day – can’t believe how happy I am! ๐Ÿ™‚

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 6, 2012, 5:20 pm

Hey Jane…it’s beginning to feel like Fall again today, isn’t it? I was just outside looking around. Nice and cool and breezy. I’m not seeing much, but then again, I did do a pretty good spraying the other day. Cloudy most of the day, but sun is back out. I only saw one stinkie. He landed on my house, quickly jumped off, then flew to the neighbor’s next door. The thing flew right up towards the attic.

Does anyone know if these bugs are especially fond of Chestnut trees? I know they like a huge list of trees, plants and ornamentals. I’m wondering if chestnut trees are on like their top ten list of favorites. Reason I’m asking…the other day that I was home early, I was observing several on one side of house. They seemed to be following the same route…LOL! I noticed they were heading towards neighbor’s on other side of me. They have two chestnut trees back there…I know for sure cause those spikey things are often in my yard. The squirrels drop them around. They are painfully sharp…not sure how those squirrles handle those things. Ouch! I wonder if those 2 trees (which have gotten larger) are attracting more to this area than normal. I’m just wondering.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2012, 9:43 pm

Posting info below for any newbies on here. And for the rest of us who STILL CAN’T BELIEVE that these bugs are STILL AROUND in such numbers driving us crazy. When will they go away for good? It’s pretty amazing to read how many states these bugs are now in . Some good info:

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2012, 9:29 am

Nikki — I’ve been seeing the little ones too – they came out later than their parents. This Sept 2012 post on your 1st link above explains the little ones:

Not good. I’m concerned that if everyone doesn’t make an effort to keep them out or kill them, we will never see an end to these.

Denise - Martinsburg WV October 5, 2012, 9:42 pm

So either something is wrong with this site these days, or the owner (and maybe everyone else?) is tired of my long diatribes. I’ve been trying to share my soap/eucalyptus oil recipe with Angela since last night, but it just won’t seem to post. If it shows up 4 times in here — I’m terribly sorry! Anyone else having trouble?

Kathy Purdy October 5, 2012, 10:36 pm

Denise, I am so sorry, I found all of your attempts–except the last one–in the Spam catcher. I have no idea why that happened. This final comment did NOT go into spam, but into moderation, which is how I knew to look for the others in spam. To all of you: I am usually pretty good about moderating comments. I rarely take even 24 hours. So if your comment doesn’t show up in that amount of time, let me know via the contact form and I will investigate. Those of you who are regular commenters, if you don’t change your email or the way you fill out the comment form, you shouldn’t even go into moderation. If you do, let me know via the contact form. Denise, your very first version of the comment is now displaying correctly as a reply to Angela.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 5, 2012, 10:44 pm

I’m embarrassed Kathy! I’m sure they were in the spam catcher because I had the oil and bottle company names on the first post. So, if you could, would you mind taking my repeated (each one slightly changed!) posts on this same subject off? I suspect many people are tired of my long-winded tales — and if they weren’t before, they sure will be now! So sorry — I’ll be more careful!

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 4, 2012, 9:51 pm

The flock (10,000 or more) came early this a.m. and again covered my trees and house. Today it was very warm, very sunny and I only saw 50 at most in the back. between 3:30 and 6. And I got about 30 of those with my soap/eucalyptus spray! Definitely throw out the cracked corn…let the birds know they are welcome!

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 4, 2012, 7:52 pm

I had to visit a client today – about 2 miles from where I live. Holy you-know-what! I will never make a trip there in October again. His house was crawling with the SBs inside and out. They were all over the front door when he opened it for me. Let’s just say it was a quick visit – which is a shame because I would have like to have spent more time with him, if not for the SBs!!!!

I checked my clothes, my hair, and the outside of my car carefully before getting out of there. Did not want any hitch hikers!!

It wasn’t too bad at my house today. Still several on the outside of the windows in my office…but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. It was mostly cloudy today, I think that’s why it wasn’t so bad.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 4, 2012, 9:36 pm

Horrible…just horrible. I check my car every time I drive anywhere. I admire your courage Jane. I would have turned and drove away without even getting out of my car.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2012, 9:34 pm

OMG! Went up into the attic the other day (the place I fear the most to see these things). I was freaking out. I saw a few on the one window. I took my little spray (with chemicals) and went to spray the windows. Not seeing any more but those few, I kept on spraying away, and two flew at me from out of nowhere. I screamed so loud my dog started barking. The one landed right in front of my feet, so I got him. Couldn’t find the other one so I grabbed my things and ran down the steps. I never got to finish. I guess I made them angry. The attic is the hardest place to seal off. They always get in up there. I think I’ll wait until the colder air kicks in cause the cold slows them down and eventually causes them to sleep. I hope whatever I was able to spray takes care of what’s up there.

Anyone else notice the baby ones? I saw several tiny ones. Usually don’t see those on the screens. Maybe more than one cycle came about this summer??? They experts have said in the past that PA had only gotten one cycle per season unlike areas in Asia that get several. I hope that’s not changing.

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 6, 2012, 4:02 am

Nikki, I saw a baby or an adolescent today on my screen. It was, in fact, the only one on the screen today. I sprayed it like crazy with my soap spray. Didn’t give me the same satisfaction as killing the big granddaddy Stink Bugs. Now I feel bad about it!

Angela October 4, 2012, 3:58 pm

Hello ladies
I have been keeping tabs on this blog for several years now and treasure it. We’ve had one swarm If black birds. Once. I am in the Winchester Va area. They Ate now swarming today. I was going to spray poison but the nozzle broke. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I made up liquid soap with eucalyptus oil but it didnt seem to knock them out, they were more trying to crawl away or brave the blast, and boy was I blasting them!!
What is the ratio to soap to water to essential oil ?
I kept telling myself not to scream when I was blasting them so they wouldn’t fly in my mouth. Ugh

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 4, 2012, 9:26 pm

Angela – I soak a bar of plain old ivory soap (not dish detergent) in hot water and make a nice soupy solution. Maybe about an hour (less if I need it quicker!). Use a funnel, and pour it into a really good squirt bottle. The bottle I have is made by “Bottlecrew,” 24 ozs., and you can twist the nozzle to make it spray a fine mist or a strong, long stream. Then I add like 20 drops of really strong eucalyptus oil and shake it up. This last time, I found a 16 ounce (yes, 16 oz.) bottle made by NOW, Personal Care Eucalyptus Oil. Says it’s 100% pure and natural. I’ve paid about $15 for the little tiny bottles and this one cost only like $25. It’s definitely not as strong as the little bottles, so I add about 4-6 tsps.

The trick is to make the ivory soap smell strongly and mostly like the oil. I’m not really sure the oil is doing anything more to kill them than the goopy soap, but it definitely smells much better, especially after you’ve been spraying it through every screen in your house and after it dries. I began to loath the smell of the ivory soap alone in 2010 because it started to remind me of the SBs. Plus, the oil covers the stink — maybe even stops them from spraying their stink before they die. Ivory soap by itself does not. (I have an incredibly sensitive nose…so sad for me this time of year.) I spray it several times a day where my screen sliding door to the deck meets the door jamb. That’s the only place I can see daylight in a crack in my house, and I’ve NEVER had one try to get in through there. I notice when I spray it in the air where several are, they’ll all fly off if they can. They don’t like the smell, maybe it even stings them? Probably tea tree or wintergreen would work just as well.

As far as spraying the doodie of em and having them walk or run off — that will happen if they’re not warm enough yet. Their system is slowed down until they get nice and heated up, so it takes longer for them to die. JT (a former pest control specialist on this site) says they will die regardless – you don’t need to spray and spray — it just takes them longer. I believe him….but I can’t stop spraying until they either die or begin to. The other important thing is to spray it on their stomach, if possible. If they’re running away, use a strong squirt to flip them and get their stomach at least once. This is quite a trick if you’re like me and won’t even risk sticking your arm beyond the safety of the house! Good luck!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2012, 9:20 pm

Hi Angela! I’m not too sure about the exact ratio. From what I remember on past posts on here, I think it’s best to make the soap solution very thick. I think best liquid soaps were Dawn, Palmolive, Ivory…those kinds. I think the thicker the soap, the easier it is to smother these things. It’s not a quick kill…they will still move around and crawl. These things have those protective shields on top of them…it’s like their suit of armor. I don’t think these freakish bugs are all that susceptible to soap sprays. Personally, from what I recall in using soap, it works best when these things are dropped into a bucket of this type of liquid. But then you have to physically do that. (I don’t like doing that.) Or, hold a bucket or cup right underneath them. These bugs often dive right into the container without any help. They are so weird. Someone once told me that they do that because when they go to take off in flight, they drop down first, then fly. It’s like they do the one step before the actual flight. I have seen that before. If you have a lot of them, I’d try to go with whatever chemical spray you’re using. If it’s a decent spray for these things, it should have a residual effect.

I scream too. LOL! 10 years of this nonsense, and I still scream over these things. I still haven’t gotten used to them. Who would?…they aren’t the least bit cute or anything…and they stink…and they sould like mini helicopters when they fly at you, etc., etc. And they leave brown residue around window sills. Creepy…just creepy. We’ve had light years and heavier years in numbers…this year seems to be somewhere in the middle between light and heavy around here. Best of luck to you in the stink bug battle.

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 6, 2012, 3:45 am

Hi, Angela! I know you’ve already gotten Denise’s info on how to make the soap spray. I make it, too, and, I swear by it! But, I’m very inprecise when whipping up my potions. What I do: in a regular sized spray bottle I add Ivory liquid dish soap, then water…ratio maybe 1 part Ivory to 3 parts water, then I add maybe 7 drops of the eucalyptus? I’m not sure, but I’m miserly with that stuff. It DOES work. The important thing is to spray the underbelly, if you can’t do that you haven’t killed anything. Knock them over with the spray, spray the underbelly til it’s saturated, it’s dead. The mixture is very inprecise, plus it can’t be so thick that it won’t be sprayable. I have killed many this way. And they are really dead. Don’t go overboard adding to much eucalyptus oil. The smell will make you sick, if you over-do it, trust me.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 6, 2012, 9:38 am

I know what you mean about the smell making you sick – for me it was the soap that did it. I think because of my beagle nose, the eucalyptus oil is the least offensive smell to me. I’ve always used the bar soap, I wonder if the dish detergent smells better when it dries? Also – the bar soap can leave a white mark if I spray one spot like crazy. Comes right off w/ power sprayer, but it’s a hideous reminder until we wash it. Think I’ll try your recipe next — if I need to (hehe, wishful thinking!).

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 10, 2012, 9:54 pm

Denise, My “recipe” is a hodgepodge of other people’s recipes. Most importantly – it does work. None of the measurements are precise. It can’t be too thick that it won’t spray correctly, it can’t be too thin that it doesn’t suffocate and kill. It’s pretty much trial and error. The key to killing is getting the underbelly. It’s that simple.

The big advantages to my homemade spray is it’s safe – no lethal chemicals for pets or humans, and it’s incredibly cheap to make. And, the fact that it actually WORKS makes it a real winner!

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 3, 2012, 9:49 pm

Are these things persistent or what? I’ll give them that. I sprayed around windows, inside and out. I’d get one on the screen, seconds later, another one whacks into the screen and lands there. I observed this one bug…I swear it must have been some type of super stink bug or some zombie stinky…it just wouldn’t expire. It was relentless. It kept trying to make it up the glass window…slipping and sliding on the spray. Okay, I’ve got chemicals here, and this thing was fighting all the way. LOL! It wouldn’t stop. The legs were twitching away so I know it had the spray on it, so I added some extra (LOL! just to be sure, right?). It kept climbing…and fast too. I watched that stupid thing for like 15 mins. until it finally fell off the outside window. Wow!

I also saw some birds on the roof going crazy. Very small size birds. Are they wrens…not sure what they were. I saw another larger bird pecking away at neighbor’s shingles on roof…he had to be catching his dinner up there.

Stevie b–one of my neighbors told me that skunks like them. Not sure if that’s true or not. Or how he even knows that. We do have a skunk running around here at night. I also read the praying mantis likes to chow down on these bugs too.

Jane A., West Chester, PA October 6, 2012, 4:10 am

Probably wrens, Nikki. And skunks are omnivores…which means they eat everything! As much as I hate the Stink Bugs, I prefer them over skunks. Don’t ever try to attract skunks to your property. You think the fleas were bad? Try getting rid of skunk smell….lasts for up to 6 months. Almost impossible to get rid of.

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 7, 2012, 3:26 pm

Oh yes, unfortunately, there’s one around here already. I’ve only seen it once in the distance while walking dog, and it freaked me out. I’ve smelled it at night even with all the windows shut. The odor just came right inside and woke me up in the middle of the night. It must of had a run in with something out there.

Speaking of fleas…so far so good this year. I really got an early start/prevention this time. I never want to repeat last year. That was the first time I had to go through a flea nightmare. Is it true that October is often more worse than the summer months in our area? I hope not, but so far no fleas on doggie.

Denise - Martinsburg, WV October 3, 2012, 7:50 pm

There is no question the birds have tremendously reduced SB numbers at our house. Today, as Karen mentioned, it was warm and partly sunny here. First warm day since the weekend flock visit. By 2:30 I had only seen about 10 SBs. Between 3 and 6, I estimate maybe 100-200. All on the back of the house – ZERO on the front. I know I killed 30 or so on the south-facing screens. This may sound like a lot, but we were in the many, MANY thousands the last warm day here. Still, 100’s are too many — I can’t even concentrate to work in my office with their constant smacking against the house/gutters/screens/windows. I’m like a mad woman, pacing from room to room, window to window, with my spray bottle at the ready. If anyone witnessed this – I feel sure someone would have me committed!

Karen — how were the numbers in Charles Town today? I am just sick to hear that you PA folks had large numbers today….I was so encouraged by your reports before today. Just, WTF????? We need more birds. We must kill them in the Spring before they lay eggs — I vow to seriously work on that next March.

JT from Central Jersey October 4, 2012, 12:14 pm

Hi All,

It is a rough day over here in central jersey shore although not as bad as PA or WV. Got my Demand CS ready and will power spray the house. Time to keep the windows closed again. Good luck guys.


Stevieb October 3, 2012, 4:26 pm

Full tilt around here also also most of them on house are licking there
Legs looks like that anyways trying to get the poison . Something is eating them dead ones in my shed ,I don’t know if it’s a mouse or chipmunk or other infects any ideas ?????

Nikki - Philadelphia, PA October 3, 2012, 4:04 pm

Oh…bleep! They are in full force today! I had to leave work early to take my dog to the vet. While picking him up, I saw them. Flying around like crazy. This is worse than last year I’m afraid (I should have known it was too good to be true). I didn’t have time to really check things out because I was in a hurry. I just got home now to observe. Saw quite a few on the roof perching in the way that they do. Sick of ’em! Saw a few baby-sized ones on the screens. Those screens are heavily sprayed so no worries there. The roof line wasn’t done yet. Just great.

Jane…I hear ya. I’m freaking out too. Colder weather is due around here on Friday. At least now I know what I’m up against this season. More than last year. Well, I’m going to get off of here and take care of this business. I also have to go up into the attic later…I’m nervous.