You've probably seen them crawling on your screens or fluttering around your house. You can't crush them, because they expel a musty scent when frightened, a defensive technique that has earned them their name—stink bugs.
Stink bugs, which have a brown, shield-like body, were first discovered in Allentown, PA in 2001, according to a University of Maryland entomology bulletin. They feed on fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables and legumes, and are common throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the fall, according to the bulletin.
Although stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans, according to UMD, they are a major nuisance.
Here are ten ways to get rid of them:
1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs - UMD Bulletin.
2. Cut the top of a half gallon or gallon jug, fill it with soapy water and use a piece of cardboard or a napkin to whisk the bugs into the water, which will drown them - UMD Bulletin.
3. Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. - UMD Home and Garden Information Center.
4. Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these. - UMD HGIC.
5. Plant or move fruit trees and vegetable gardens, especially tomato plants, away from your home to prevent stink bugs from landing on the exterior of your home. - UMD HGIC.
6. Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee. - Bayer Advanced insect control.
7. Hang a stink bug trap outside your house to catch them. - UMD Bug Guy, Mike Raupp, YouTube.
8. Hang a damp towel outside your home overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel, and you can use a vacuum or knock them into a jug of soapy water to kill them. -Bayer Advanced
9. Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label. Insecticides are never to be used indoors - UMD HGIC
10. Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stink bugs often enter through attics - Mike Raupp, UMD Bug Guy, YouTube.