What Attracts Stink Bugs in Your House? 5 Common Mistakes

Stink bugs are not the kind of pests that pose a property or health risk, but you still wouldn’t want to discover a whole group of insects chilling in your house, right?

 These bugs will start searching for shelter as the temperatures drop, so if you live in a green area, have a house made of natural materials, and forget to turn your lights off at night, stink bugs will be attracted to your home.

When it comes to stink bugs, the 5 common mistakes that people make include:

  • Not sealing entry points
  • Leaving the lights on
  • Not inspecting boxes and bags before bringing them into the house
  • Not taking proper care of their garden or backyard
  • Not dealing with the problem the right way

How to stop making these mistakes once and for all, and what attracts the insects in the first place? You are about to find out.

What Attracts Stink Bugs in Your House?

Your House Can Become Their Shelter

In fall, when it becomes more complicated to find food, stink bugs begin seeking shelter. This is how the insects get ready for their diapause – a part of the bug’s seasonal cycle when the creature becomes practically inactive.

If you live in a place where the temperature doesn’t change throughout the year, then you might never have to deal with a stink bug infestation.

On the other hand, the areas that get to experience all four seasons are more ‘vulnerable’ to such a problem.

So, as soon as the temperatures start dropping, the stink bugs begin searching for shelter, where they can safely rest during winter.

In the wild, the insects would choose to stay under stones and the bark of a tree, but if there is a house anywhere near – they might prefer to spend their diapause inside.

By the way, in some cases, the bugs don’t even enter the building. They gather in big groups and stay on the outside walls, for example.

However, if the creatures find a way in, they will make it inside the house and spend the colder months inside the walls, in the attic, or even on the ceilings.

Fun fact: As soon as it starts to become warmer, the stink bugs would ‘wake up’ and become more active. But the insects may mistake the warmth coming from your heater for the arrival of spring. In such a case, some bugs might end up flying around your living room.

They Are Following a Scent Trail

The brown marmorated stink bug is a serious agricultural pest that can be found throughout the US. Moreover, these guys might invade your house and in most cases, they come in large groups.

Why does that happen?

Unfortunately, the brown marmorated stink bug is the one that has a superpower. It can release a special chemical that is called ‘the aggregation pheromone’.

In a nutshell, as soon as at least one bug finds a great place for overwintering, it will release this chemical that will attract plenty of other bugs to the area.

This is the insect’s way of saying ‘step right up, dear friends, I’ve found a new home for us for the winter’.

That is why you might never see a single stink bug – they are practically always forming giant clusters.

By the way, the aggregation pheromone is not the same chemical that causes the bugs to stink. Actually, it has no smell at all, so we, humans, won’t be able to feel it.

It Is a Source of Food

As we have already mentioned, stink bugs are agricultural pests. They especially love soybeans and corn, but they can also snack on a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Apples, cherries, apricots, grapes, peppers, tomatoes…

If you have a garden or a backyard where you grow any of these things, the stink bugs might end up in close proximity to your house. In the most severe cases, the insects might invade your house and feed on the fruits that you have in the kitchen.

Stink bugs can also eat ornamental plants. So, any green friends that are grown in your garden or the house might end up attracting a bunch of insects.

Your House Has Plenty of Entry Points

Perhaps, the most important point out of them all. If your house doesn’t have any entry points, then the stink bugs simply won’t be able to get in.

Unfortunately, the majority of buildings have plenty of cracks, holes, and other openings that can be used as entry points.

So, if the bugs start gathering on the outside walls of the building and they accidentally find a way in – they will most certainly enter the house.

Bear in mind that window and door frames and holes in roofs and foundations can also become ‘welcoming signs’.

There Are Lots of Lights

Just like a lot of other insects, stink bugs are attracted to bright lights. Some creatures see light as a beacon of safety. The presence of a bright source shows that the pathway is free and clear and plenty of insects choose to follow the source to avoid any obstructions.

Whether that’s the case with stink bugs, experts can’t really say. But these creatures are definitely attracted to bright lights, especially at the end of spring. So, if you like to leave exterior lights on at night, you might have to deal with a bug problem.

Your House Is Made of Natural Materials

In nature, stink bugs prefer to go into diapause under a rocky crevice or the bark of a tree. If your house has a dark coloring and natural siding, then the insects might mistake your home for their usual spot.

As a result, the bugs will first collect on your outside walls and later on, if they manage to find an entry point, will get inside the house.

You Live in a Green Area

Green and rural areas are usually full of stink bugs. You will rarely encounter these insects in the middle of the city as there are simply not enough food sources for them.

But green areas have plenty of plants, crops, fruit trees, and other things that the stink bugs can feed on. If your house is surrounded by gardens, agricultural land, or anything like that, the bugs might end up inside your building one day.

5 Common Mistakes that You Should Stop Making

As you can see, there are quite a few things that can attract stink bugs. Thankfully, getting rid of these annoying creatures is not extremely difficult. You should simply stop making these 5 most common mistakes.

Leaving Entry Points

You have to seal up your house. Yes, the whole process will require a lot of time, but the results would certainly be worth it.

Look for cracks and various holes around vents, windows, doors, utility pipes, siding, and baseboards. You can seal the entry points up by using caulk, mesh screens, or a foam sealant, for example.

Tip: if your house has a fireplace, make sure to always close the flue when you are not using it.

Leaving Lights On

Try to keep your outdoor lighting to a minimum. Switch off porch lights whenever you can, and don’t forget to pull the blinds down as soon as it gets a bit darker outside to prevent any light from spilling outside.

This habit will help you cope not only with stink bugs but with other flying insects as well.

Not Inspecting Boxes and Bags

Always check the bags and boxes that you are planning on bringing inside the house beforehand.

Stink bugs might use grocery bags to travel. So, always double-check these items before leaving them on your kitchen counter.

Also, take a few minutes to inspect the boxes that you tend to leave in the garage or attic for prolonged periods of time. Insects can get inside boxes with Christmas decorations, for example, and you might end up bringing the pests into your living room without realizing that.

Not Taking Care of Your Garden

This is a common mistake made by people who have a garden or a backyard that is full of trees and other plants.

Keep shrubbery and branches well-trimmed, as some insects (not only stink bugs) can use branches to get into your house through an open window, for example.

If you store firewood or anything like that outside, make sure to put the piles at least 20 feet away from the house and, ideally, 5 inches off the ground.

Not Dealing with the Problem

At one point in your life, you might have noticed a single stink bug, killed it, and thought that that’s pretty much it. But these insects tend to invade houses in groups. So, if you have spotted one bug, the chances are high that there is a whole bunch of his ‘friends’ hiding in a safe space inside your house.

You should inspect the whole house and try to find places where the bugs might be resting.

Once you have found the insects, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them. This method is incredibly effective, but don’t forget to immediately clean the vacuum bag as soon as you have finished. If left inside the vacuum, stink bugs will make not only the device but, potentially, the whole house…stink.

You can also use a plastic water bottle with soap water to scoop the bugs. Let the insects drown and then throw them away. This method would require a bit more time, but it’s just as effective (and you wouldn’t have to deal with the smell).

Usually, homeowners are able to take care of a stink bug problem on their own. But you if ever feel like the situation is going out of control, make sure to call the professionals.

To Sum Up

What attracts stink bugs in your house? There are a few things that can draw these creatures to your beloved home. Starting from lights and food sources and ending with the materials that your house is made out of.

To make sure that stink bugs never become a problem that you have to deal with, you should try to avoid the most common mistakes that a lot of homeowners make.

Try to seal all potential entry points, turn the lights off at night, take care of your garden and/or backyard, inspect any bags and boxes before bringing them into the house, and know exactly what you should do if you ever spot a stink bug.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Do Stink Bugs Go in Your Bed? 3 Signs Everyone Should Know

What do stink bugs eat? Foods You Should Avoid Keeping At Home

11 Plants That Repel Stink Bugs

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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