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How to fight the stink bug invasion

Don't Waste Your Money

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There's a new pest invading the country, swarming homes and garages, sneaking into cars and kitchens.

They're called stink bugs, and they stink in every way possible.
    
But we have some solutions for fighting back.

Homeowners Going Crazy

They're on your doors....and windows....and under the eaves of your home. Squash one, and you'll get a horrible smell.

"Stink bugs, they're horrible," one homeowner told us. "They stink!," said another.

Stink bugs -- officially Brown Marmorated stink bugs -- arrived in the US from Asia a decade ago. They are spreading from the east to west coast by the hundreds of millions and are now in 40 states.

One Man's Solution
    
John Gramm, whose home was covered with them, decided to fight back.
    
Gramm has tested out an arsenal of sprays, squirt bottles, pesticides, and soaps. He claims he's found one cheap and environmentally safe solution that kills the bugs: Dawn detergent.

Gramm explained, "I use a third cup of Dawn and the rest water, and give it a couple of squirts, squirt the bug suds him up, and he's history."

Gramm and a number of bloggers say it is effective, though we found it to be a little messy.

Longer Term Solutions

So we turned to a professional -- Jerry Zapf of Sure Thing pest control -- to see what else you can do.

Zapf says the best way to keep them out of your home is to caulk cracks and crevices -- especially around air conditioners -- as they are drawn to the homes' heat at night.

"What they're seeking is any kind of heat being emitted from the house," Zapf said. "So you're talking all the entrances, exits, doors, windows. But also all the vents."

He says make sure the weatherstripping is tight around vents and garage doors. "It is extremely important. That is the real key of slowing down the migration of these insects."

Under eaves, you can hire a professional to spray pesticide, which keeps them from crawling in.

In the attic, meantime, you can hang fly paper or a bug zapper to kill those that get in.

While nothing will get rid of them entirely, John Gramm is happy to take them out one by one.

Other Remedies

Meantime, online blogs have dozens of other home remedies to fight the bugs, from Lysol, to WD-40, to spraying perfume on your window screens.

Bayer Advanced, the insecticide company, also has some ideas, though of course their goal is to sell product.

But if it works, it works, so you don't waste your money.

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