Nothing says summer like fresh from the garden vegetables. Many people wait all year for those first ripe, juicy tomatoes to come out of their garden. How great is it to just walk out into your home garden and pick your own salad ingredients for dinner? You walk outside in the setting sunlight of a summer evening. You take a moment to admire your neat rows of plants that you have been working so hard on since spring.
You bend over to pick a few plump tomatoes that are just the perfect shades of red, when suddenly you are overwhelmed by a strange, musky odor. You look around, confused. Then you find the culprit. Sitting on top of the beautiful tomato in your hand is a stinky, little bugger. The stink bug! He loves tomatoes too, and he is emitting that foul odor in an effort to get you away from his tomato.
Stink bugs are annoying pests that do not confine themselves to your garden. Stink bugs can take up residence behind walls, under floorboards, in cabinets and pretty much anywhere they want. It is true that one or two of them are not that big of a deal. Perhaps they will grace you with their little stink every once in a while, but stink bugs can congregate into swarms.
So imagine that little stink times 100 or 200! That would be a problem. They are especially attracted to vegetables, so gardeners would be wise to take a little precaution. Preventing or eliminating stink bugs does not mean saturating your garden with chemical pesticides, though. Here are a few natural alternatives for stink bug control.
The acidity and smell of garlic will keep stink bugs far away. The best way to use garlic for this purpose is to mix 4 teaspoons of garlic powder with 2 cups of water into a spray bottle. You can spray the mixture directly onto the leaves of your plants, soil and even around doorways if you feel the bugs may be trying to invade your house.
Mint is a very fragrant herb that has been found to repel stink bugs. Although mint is pleasant to humans, it is very unattractive to these insects. Simply combine 10 drops of mint essential oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Like the garlic solution, this solution can be sprayed directly onto the leaves of your plants and on the surrounding soil.
If your stink bug population looks to be on a larger scale, you may want to invest in pheromone traps. These traps use no chemicals, but rather attract the insects in using a synthetic version of their own naturally occurring pheromones. Pheromones are substances produced by an insect to help them find one another. The insect is lured into the trap and then dies of dehydration. Keep in mind that if you use traps like this, you will need to replace them often to keep the stink bug population under control.