Has your garden been invaded by stink bugs? Using pesticides may destroy other insects which are useful to plants. Here are a few natural stink bug repellents that might prove useful.
Stink bugs are called so, because of the unpleasant stink they emit from their glands for self defense. This smell also acts as a warning sign to other bugs of its group, informing them about danger. One very interesting fact is that the smell from the liquid they release attracts mates. These bugs are very attractive; they are mostly brown, blue, green, black, and red in color. Stink bugs are agricultural pests and feed on plants, destroying our garden, fields, and orchards.
Using a natural stink bug repellent to control stink bugs is effective, if done in the right manner. However, it depends on which option you would like to opt for. Pesticides are highly toxic and harm other insects like earthworms, which are very useful for plants. Thus, it is not advisable to use insecticides to control stink bugs. These bugs can also invade your home during fall and destroy ornamental plants kept indoors. The female bug lays around 40 eggs, which are found in between closed leaves mostly on outdoor plants. The use of natural stink bug repellent to control this menace is a relatively safer and cheaper option.
Getting Rid of Stink Bugs
An easy way to get rid of stink bugs is to plant herbs like basil, mint, coriander, borage, and nasturtium in the garden as these plants attract other predatory insects which prey on stink bugs. As mentioned earlier, stink bugs enter the house and pose a threat to indoor plants and furniture. Stink bugs are usually attracted to light, so switch your lights when not in use, especially during the night. You may also vacuum them out, but remember this may make the entire place stink, so better be prepared and use some pleasant fragrance to cover it up. You may also use yellow sticking traps to eradicate the bugs. Drowning the bugs, as well as their eggs in soapy water also helps in getting rid of them, but do flush them out in the toilet. Do keep pets away during pest control, as the pesticides used may not always be 100% safe for your pet.
Homemade Stink Bug Repellent
- Homemade sprays and liquids can be used to make a natural stink bug killer. These are normally known to be safe and do not destroy delicate plants, or harm other beneficial insects like earthworms, parasitic nematodes, praying mantis etc.
- Prepare a solution by mixing essential oil and water in 1:2 ratio and put the solution in a spray can. The strong smell of oils will drive the bugs away.
- You can make a solution by adding rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) to water in 1:2 ratio and spraying it over the bugs.
- A time-consuming way of getting rid of the stink bugs is by preparing a powder by grinding dried black pepper, red pepper, chili pepper, dried ginger, and paprika. Sprinkle this powder over the plant and the bugs shall move miles away from the it.
- If you smoke cigarettes, then you can also try making a stink bug repellent out of it. All you need to do is soak few shredded cigarettes in a cup of water overnight, strain this solution and add few drops of liquid soap to it, and then spray it over the bugs.
- Garlic also helps in stink bug control, as it has a very strong smell that dissuades them. Soak ground garlic pods in 9 to 10 drops of mineral oil for at least 24 hours, dilute this mixture by adding few drops of soap liquid and 1 cup of water, the spray is now ready for use.
- If possible, find a full bloomed pyrethrum daisy, it would work wonders as a natural stink bug repellent. Dry the flower completely by hanging it in shade, then make a powder out of it, add few drops of mild liquid soap and a cup of water. Keep this solution in a tight closed jar and spray it over the plants early in the morning. This repellent is pretty strong as compared to other mixtures mentioned above, so dilute it further if the need arises.
- The safest of all the repellents is a herbal spray, this works on all insects that destroy plants. It can be made by grinding herbal tea. Whichever option you choose, make sure to add a cup of water and few drops of liquid soap to it and then spray it over the plants.
In case you are unable to control stubborn stink bugs after using these repellents, then you may need professional assistance. The best way of dealing with stink bugs is by following preventive measures.