When you come across stink bugs you will have the chance to understand why they are called “smelly bugs.” I am sure that most of us have experienced this unpleasant odor when touching or killing one of those insects. When I was a kid I had this experience which made my mom laugh at me and my child’s naivety.
Here is what you need to know about the Stink Bug’s smell:
1. The odor the insects emit is a protective reaction against predators which makes them go away and not touch the bug.
2. It is coming from special glands which are situated on the thorax of the Shield Bugs.
3. The glands are producing a toxin containing fluid in case of an imminent danger. The fluid itself is not poisonous but is with quite a disgusting “aroma”.
4. The liquid is containing Aldehydes such as CH3-(CH2)2-CH=CH-CHO. This is where the horrid smell comes from.
5. If you are not touching or smashing the insects usually you will not feel the odor however if you have a lot of them in a closed space (like your house) your senses will be tested.
6. If a Shield Bug gets on your hand and leaves its smell do the following to get rid of it:
• Try to replace the smell with a stronger one – usually washing dirty dishes helps as the combination of grease smell from the food and the dish soap seems to do the work
• If your hands smell like food after that clean them again with a dish soap
• Consider using a hand cleanser which contains alcohol
• A good shower as soon as possible after “the attack” can help as well. Pay more attention and rub the smelly part
• You can use any acid containing fruit or vegetable to rub the place: tomatoes, lemons, lime etc.
7. If you have an infestation in your home and it seems the odor is everywhere:
• Bear in mind that if you leave the smell and the bugs inside you will get bad results
• The stink can last 4-8 months and if you have still insects in the house they will make sure it is “refreshed”
• The “scent” attracts other bugs inside as well
8. What to do to clean your house:
• Find the source of infestation and kill and remove everything you see: adult species, “babies” and eggs.
• Start treating the place where you found most of the insects. Clean it with strong chemicals containing bleach or use acid containing liquids like vinegar.
• If the smell is all over the house then it’s a bit harder. You need to treat the walls and lamps with vinegar. I am saying lamps because during the night when the light is on they will most often get on them.
• Of course you also have another choice. Get rid of the infestation completely and leave the smell till it goes away by itself. Keep in mind though that you need to seal all crack on your house and buy protective nets for your windows so you prevent others from coming inside.
As a conclusion I can say that it is hard fighting this new home pest as first you need to remove the insects and then decide what to do with the smell. Do not get discouraged though because I have managed to do it which means that you can definitely succeed too.