Flat, shield-shaped stink bugs have become a common pest in gardens throughout North America. They will eat many kinds of fruits and vegetables, weeds and many kinds of flowers. Stink bugs are very hard to eradicate once they become established. A few methods of eliminating stink bugs organically have been tested, and here are some ideas that can help you get rid of stink bugs without using pesticides.
Stink bugs' favorite fruits are tomatoes, peaches, pears and raspberries. They also love to eat okra and beans. When you plant these fruits and vegetables, surround them with plants that repel stink bugs. These include flowers such as marigold, chrysanthemum and tansy, with their yellow blossoms. Stink bugs also dislike such herbs as catnip, garlic, lavender, thyme and mint due to their strong scents. The sharp flavor and scent of radishes will also deter stink bugs from making a home in your garden.
This process lures stink bugs to a particular area of the garden where they are caught in specially designed traps. Plants that will draw stink bugs away from your main garden are sunflowers, as well as grains such as sorghum, buckwheat and millet.
Set lightweight nets, fitted with drawstrings at the opening, over the top of the sunflowers. When the stink bugs climb up the sunflowers and other grains, and into the net, you can pull it tightly closed at the bottom and immerse the net completely in a bucket of warm soapy water. Dispose of the stink bugs in the trash when they are completely dead.
Build yellow tripods of triangle-shaped pieces of medium-density fiberboard, that interlock in the middle, and set them in the garden away from the plants you want to protect. Choose a sunny spot because stink bugs like bright light.
Put a string-tie insect net at the top, and bait the trap with some of the stink bug's preferred food, such as pieces of tomato or peach. Let the stink bugs climb up to the food and then close the net. Remove it from the tripod and submerge it in soap bubbles to drown the stink bugs.
In the House
Determine, if you can, where the stink bugs are entering. Seal and caulk all openings in brickwork, around window frames, door frames and ledges. If you see some in the house, cover them with a paper towel or tissue before squashing them, to reduce their gas spray range. They will emit their stinky gas when threatened.
Lure them out by baiting a trap container with peaches or raspberries. In the morning, seal the container into a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash. Indoors in winter, stink bugs do not survive for very long, as they prefer to live in damp conditions with plenty of light. Centrally-heated homes are too dry.
Other Methods to Reduce Stink Bugs
Slow-moving stink bugs cannot escape jets of water from your garden hose. Wash off infested plants and flowers once a week thoroughly with cold water.