By Barbara Fahs, Garden Guides Contributor
Stinkbugs are called that because they smell due to a natural defense they possess. Many birds and lizards won't touch them because of their noxious scent. They're native to Asia but have become prevalent in all states, so no one is immune from a possible attack. Less than one inch long, stinkbugs are often brown.
Prevention and Control
Prevention is the best remedy if you can begin when you first discover stinkbugs.
Seal all cracks around windows and doors with silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Repair or replace damaged screens.
Stinkbugs feed on tomatoes, beans, all fruit, corn, peppers and cabbage.
Stinkbugs can severely damage your fruits and vegetables. Some people experience an allergic reaction to their secretion, which can be hazardous because stinkbugs also like to live indoors and can infest your living areas. Stinkbugs also bite, so avoid handling them.
Parasitic wasps, Tachinid flies, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs and damsel bugs feed on stinkbugs. You can attract them by growing pollen and nectar plants, like dill and fennel, and allowing them to flower.
Commercial stinkbug remedies are on the market. Double-cone traps have proven effective in orchards: they use an aggregation pheromone. Placed in tree crotches near the orchard's border, these traps help to detect the presence of stinkbugs.
Other Methods of Control
If you have stinkbugs in your house, spray a commercial product around the outside in the fall, concentrating on doors, windows and other possible entry points. Handpicking can help, but wear a nose plug.