I have to admit, I screamed like a little girl the first time I saw one of those nasty, brown armored bugs, so lovingly called the Marmorated Stink Bug. It was slowly buzzing around and around my head, apparently very unhappy about my entrance onto the back porch. Well, the feeling was mutual.
Once I caught my footing, I realized the bug was not alone. He had brought his gross friends to a pop-up party in my sun room. I started to panic, and quickly phoned a friend to find out what kind of horrific infestation I had in my house. I will never forget the response, “oh, that thing, it is JUST a stink bug.” JUST?! Just a buzzing, gross, brown, smells-up-your-house-when-squished, bug. Oh, yeah, no need to panic. I was told squishing the little devils would only cause my house to smell, and attract even more. So, I got to work on a stink bug eradication plan.
Anyone who knows me, understands that I am a lover of all animals, bugs, and pretty much all living, breathing things. Except wasps and hornets. Those things I kill with a vengeance. We all have our limits. I typically practice catch and release, and stink bugs were no exception. Upon further review of the house, I realized they were also coming in a small crack next to the window AC unit in my bedroom. I found that stink bugs are quite nimble and can navigate into your house through the smallest of openings. On the back porch, ok, I can handle it. Bedroom, not so much. They had to GO.
To my advantage, stink bugs are kind of dopey. They don’t move really fast, and seem to only want to fly if forced. They prefer to just putz around, on your walls, ceilings, and they love sun-filled windows! Catching them was not the problem, but what to catch them IN took quite a bit of trial and error.
Apparently, there is a $30 gizmo that you can purchase on Amazon called the “BugZooka.” Its claim to Amazon fame is that it humanely catches insects and other unwanteds from your house through a 38 inch long suction tube. The bugs fall down the shaft into a container that you can then empty outside. Or, another alternative, stated the ad, was to let your kids have fun examining the contents of the container. Which I muttered ‘serial killers’ under my breath. Because, it is called “catch and release,” not “catch and torture” for an hour before your kid gets bored and squishes the bug to see what guts look like!
I am sure it’s an amazing product, and would have done the trick. But, I could not stomach spending ANY dollars on something that was going to catch bugs, so I came up with my own catch and release contraption. A plastic cup and an old birthday card. Completely genius, I know. Jewel cases work really well, too. But not the super stiff ones from the 90’s. You want the flexible ones from the CD burning days. Below, I have compiled a few stink bug catching tips based on your needs.
Mallory’s Stink Bug Catching Strategies
Is the stink bug on the ceiling? Take the cup and put it underneath the bug, use the birthday card to flick the clunky bug inside, and immediately cover the cup with the card. Shake it a little bit to make sure ol’ stinky is not stuck to the cup. Enjoy the ping sound you hear when he/she hits the bottom! Release him out a window.
Is the stink bug on the wall? Take the open end of the cup and cover the bug up. Move cup up and down rapidly. Slowly pull back the cup and cover with the card. Voila.
Are the stink bugs stuck in your bamboo blinds? Slowly roll the shade up using the pull string, and then allow it to come crashing down. Shaking the blinds a few times at the end with the string. Promptly gather up all of the bugs off the window ledge, or floor.
Is the stink bug flying around your ceiling light? Stand on a stool, small ladder, or, in my case, the end of the bed. Keep a good eye on that little pest, and as his fat bug butt circles, hold the open end of the cup in his path. 7 times out of 10, they will fly right in the cup. The other three times, they will land on your head and you will freak the bl**p out. Disclaimer-Make sure your cup is stink bug free before trying this maneuver, or you may incite panic from onlookers when you miss and multiple stink bugs come flying out of the cup towards onlookers head.
Is the stink bug on your bed? SCREAM! Then rip all of the sheets off your bed in a panic. Run them outside, squealing the whole way. Shake them rapidly, and then take a deep breath. Immediately wash all sheets, comforters, mattress pads, pillow cases, and decorative throw pillows. You will then sleep on the couch, with a throw blanket that has been carefully examined prior to lying down.
I know there is more than one way to catch a stink bug, and we would love to hear about it in the comments below. Stink bugs-I promise, I will not miss you. I have noticed your slow and steady departure from my house with the approaching cold weather, and I am ever so grateful. But, if you could please tell your lady bug friends to be gone on your way out the window crack, that’d be great.