I am in Western Maryland and have had a stink bug problem for the past two years. This year I purchased wet vacuum and was vacuuming them up and drowning them, but have given up after filling my two gallon wet vac and dumping it three times. I did not want to resort to using chemicals, but now I feel it is my only alternative. I would like to know when would be the best time to spray for these bugs so I will not have them next year. I live on 7 acres so there is plenty of plant life for them to eat. They are on my house and last year I vacuumed up all of the ones I could find in the attic. I think they are living in my siding. They seem to travel up the siding and chimney to the attic.
I was planning on ordering the Cypermethrin, but don't know when to start spraying. I have found the bugs hibernating in my horse blankets and under the flaps of my saddles in my barn.
I already own a sprayer as we have box elder bugs we spray for each year with an insect soap, which doesn't seem to do anything for the stink bugs.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Thank you, V.
As our online STINK BUG CONTROL article explains, this invasive insect known as the stink bug will remain active all winter once they move inside. Additionally, populations tend to return to the same home year after year so getting long term control is a long process and generally takes a full cycle year. This does not mean you won't see immediate results from any treatments you do but rather it will take a full year before the full benefit of your effort pays major dividends. The good news is that if you follow the guidelines listed below, you should be able to reduce the local problem so much you won't have to be seeing or dealing with them this time next year.
For now, it would be wise to treat with the CYPERMETHRIN on the outside of any building where you see activity. This could be your home or your barn where the horses reside. Treating these areas will insure you stop the stink bugs from getting up under the siding which will make getting complete control that much easier. Since you mention you have tried to hold off spraying "chemicals", we do have an organic option that will work better than the INSECTICIDAL SOAP you have tried in the past for Boxelder bugs. On our NON TOXIC PEST CONTROL site, we feature all organic and "exempt" products. On that site there are two which work well for Stink Bugs. BUG PATROL RTS comes with it's own sprayer and works well on insects which have tough bodies like Stink Bugs. It's labeled and approved for use in organic gardening so it's not as harsh as the Cypermethrin. The totally exempt ECO IC is another great choice which is actually labeled for use directly on horses for all kinds of biting pests. You can see on it's label that you are able to treat safely around horses without posing a risk to them so this might be a good option based on your situation. This food grade product works well on Stink Bugs too and can be effectively used on the buildings to stop them from getting inside.
Since you mentioned finding them in your attic, the use of some dust up there would be wise. On our Non-Toxic site there are two which would work well. The MOTHERS EARTH DE DUST and the ECO EXEMPT. Again, these are low impact products which work well on many pests including stink bugs. You would only have to use them once now to get a good protective layer in place that would last a whole year. This treatment would effectively take away the attic as a nest site and should be done based on the fact that you've seen activity in this area. Either option listed above would work as well as the DELTAMETHRIN DUST we have listed in the Stink Bug article.
Lastly, inside the home you should knock down any seen during the winter months using either the D-FORCE AEROSOL or our organic option, the HOUSEPLANT INSECT KILLER. The D-Force is notably stronger and will last a week or two per treatment. The Houseplant Insect Killer will have to be used more frequently but it will work on stinkbugs. Whats great about this formulation is that you can effectively use it inside on any plants you have so it's good to have around for mealybugs or other plant pests commonly found inside during winter months.
So in summary, the time to spray for stink bugs is now. What's important to realize is the net effect of all these treatments will be a huge reduction in the amount of stink bugs using your property for a nest site. If done properly, by this time next year there will be a lot less stink bugs coming around or on your property.