Anyone who has been in a home improvement or hardware store recently has probably a number of “NEW” insect traps labeled for stink bugs. Most of these traps involve the use of some sort of sticky surface to trap the insects surrounded by cardboard, paper, or plastic construction. Some also include lights to increase the effectiveness of the traps.
None of these traps contain any parts or process that is new or innovative. The only thing new about the traps is that they have “stink Bugs” on the packaging. Sticky type traps and insect light traps have been around for many years and are used every day in many different homes and business. They can be very effective at monitoring and control of flying insects if used properly.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has presented some unique challenges when trying to use traps to control or even monitor their movements (The USDA has been working on stink bug traps for about 5 years). The most difficult challenge when trying to use a trap to prevent BSMB from entering your home in the fall is providing them with a reason to enter the trap. Since they do not feed or reproduce when they are entering your home, food attractants and sex pheromones are of little use. The use of light traps on the exterior of the home will catch some but will attract far more than it catches directly to your home. Currently, there are no exterior traps that will effectively stop the stink bugs from entering your home. Sure, exterior traps may catch a few, even a few hundred. But, when you consider that several thousand may be working their way into you attic, trapping a few hundred makes little difference. However, interior traps can give you significant reduction in the numbers of stink bugs flying around the inside of your house.
If you want to use traps to reduce the numbers of stink bugs inside your house, these are the things you should consider based upon much research (independent and USDA) and much trial and error. First, stink bugs are difficult to keep in traps once they enter. They seem to be very adept at finding their way out. Second, Black seems to be more attractive color than others tested perhaps because it appears to be a hole or void area to them. Lastly, traps that use a UV light as an attractant has shown to be very effective at catching large numbers of stink bugs when placed properly. Placing light traps in the attic, crawl space, or other dark and undisturbed areas where the stink bugs hibernate can significantly reduce the numbers of these insects in your home. These light based traps will also catch a number of other insects like bees and wasps. They should incorporate the use of a glue board as the trapping method. Many times the stink bugs are entering the home along the roof line and end up in the attic space. They then can come down through the walls and other spots into the living areas of your home. Since stink bugs navigate in part by sight, they will be attracted to the strong source of UV light in the attic and become trapped before they make it down to your bedroom. You wont get them all, but you trap more this way than trying to trap them outdoors or hanging a glue trap in your living room because that’s where you see them.
Insect light traps are readily available and can be very effective in reducing the numbers of insects in your home if placed properly and maintained. It doesn’t have to say “stink bug trap” to be effective. Conversely, just because it may say “stink bug trap” does not mean it will do anything to solve your problem.
About the Author
Rick DeDonato, M.S. Entomology, Ohio State University
Post Graduate Training at the United States Academy of Health and Science
Royal Pest - Commercial and Residential Pest Control Planet Friendly Pest Control
www.royalpest.com - (800) 769-2573