When the question is stinkbugs, the answer is… May 15, 2011Posted by ourfriendben in critters, gardening, homesteading.
Tags: brown marmorated stink bugs, On the Cheap, Spencer Soper, stink bugs, stinkbug controls, stinkbugs
Here in the vicinity of Allentown, Pennsylvania, the epicenter of the stinkbug invasion, our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and everyone around us are fighting what appears to be a losing battle to keep the horrid bugs out of our homes. Even in the rural area where Silence and I live, the stinkbugs have been literally coming out of the woodwork, and we’ve been catching and tossing between 10 and 20 out the door every day. Silence can barely sleep for fear that one of the alien invaders will land on her the moment she drifts off.
Fortunately, others are battling the Forces of Evil with greater success. And, thanks to Spencer Soper and his weekly “On the Cheap” column in our local paper, the Allentown, PA Morning Call, we can now share the definitive solution—so to speak—with you. Silence, who hates stinkbugs with a passion reserved by most people for politicians and credit-card companies, is a devoted fan of Spencer and “On the Cheap.” So you can imagine her excitement when the two came together this morning.
“Ben! BEN!!! Look at this! Spencer Soper’s ‘On the Cheap’ column is about stinkbugs! It’s called ‘Stink bugs no match for cheapster’! And guess how the guy dealt with the stinkbugs!”
“Mint rubbing alcohol?” I hazarded, since a number of our blog’s readers have proposed that as an effective solution.
“Uh, Windex?” One reader had reported victory from turning the famed blue glass-cleaner upon the enemy.
“Wrong again, and spare me the sarcasm, please. What’s the oldest organic gardening bug control in the world?”
“A jar of soapy water.”
Turns out, cheapster Dale Guth of nearby Alburtis, PA discovered after trying a so-called Stink Bug Killer spray from his local hardware store (which failed to do more than give the stinkbugs a bath) that the old tried-and-true solution worked best. He squirted Dawn dishwashing liquid into the bottom of a small, individual-sized applesauce container (yogurt or Jell-o cups would work just as well), filled it with warm water, and used a Popsicle stick to push the stinkbugs in so he didn’t have to touch them. In 30 seconds, they were dead.
Organic gardeners have been using jars of soapy water to hand-pick and drown bugs of all kinds, from slugs and caterpillars to Japanese beetles, since the Sixties. Grab the pests, toss them in the jar, dump the contents (once you’re sure the bugs are deceased) on the compost pile. Refill the jar with soapy water, repeat. Why didn’t anybody think of trying it on stinkbugs before now?!
Dale points out that he collects at least 8 or 10 stinkbugs before dumping the contents of the cup into the toilet and flushing to conserve water. And he has his stinkbug-catching cups positioned at strategic points around the house so one’s always at hand when a stinkbug appears.
Thanks, Dale, and thanks, Spencer, for a great, low-tech, low-cost stinkbug “solution.” (Pun intended.) The column is really humorous, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy reading it at www.mcall.com/onthecheap, not to mention watching the accompanying video. Especially if stinkbugs are terrorizing you this spring.