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Study: homemade traps get rid of more stink bugs

Posted at 8:13 AM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 09:05:50-04

More stink bugs are invading homes in Mid-Michigan, and getting rid of them is no fun. Now researchers at Virginia Tech think they found the best way to get the job done, and it's using tools most people probably already have at home.

The unwanted guests are getting a little too comfortable at Ferrante Jones' house, with dozens of stink bugs crawling around.

"I need to get rid of them," she said.

Jones says she hasn't had much luck. Now there are so many of the pests in her bedroom she's sleeping on the couch, but that solution might not work much longer.

"Now they're in my sunroom where I thought I could relax and then I found one in my daughters room last night," Jones added.

The problem starts when brown marmorated stink bugs nest inside over the winter, then in the spring wake up and try to get back out.

Researchers at Virginia Tech found a homemade light trap is more effective than store-bought ones, based on how the traps worked in multiple homes over two years.

Here's how the trap works. Fill a foil roasting pan with water, then add dish soap and put the pan under a lamp in a dark room. Researchers found that will catch 14 times more stink bugs compared to store-bought traps.

Those findings don't surprise Michigan State University Entomologist Howard Russell.

"Light traps are pretty effective in getting rid of them and you can buy pretty expensive ones for 50 bucks or more or you can make your own," he explained. "If the light is shining in this pan of water then they crawl into the pan of water, they drown and all is good."

It's a trap Russell says more people might need with the number of stink bugs in Michigan on the rise.

"Out East they shovel them up in bucket-loads and remove them from their homes," Russell added. "So we're just at the very beginning of the curve."

A scenario Jones hopes she never has to deal with, keeping her fingers crossed a homemade light trap will do the trick.

"If i notice it's working then I'll do that and maybe I'll start sleeping up in my room again," she said.