How to control seasonal beetles and stink bugs as they come out of dormancy

Originally sourced from Knox News

"Last week's warm weather has awakened the pesky boxelder beetles, the Asian lady beetle and the brown marmorated stink bug.

The creepy crawlers are coming out of hibernation and seeking the warmest spot in the house — or exterior of your home and car — in which to gather.

It's an event that happens every year around this time, yet there's really not a lot one can do to prevent their invasion.

"No matter what we do, we can't eliminate all of them," said David S. Vandergriff, agent with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

There are ways to keep them at bay, however.

Pest control companies can be hired to spray a treatment of pesticide around the perimeter of the house, or homeowners can go to their local lawn and garden store and purchase ready-to-use products that do the same.

For those who prefer to go the all-natural route, soapy water will kill the bugs but it has to be used on a daily basis. Some diluted essential oils can also be used, such as peppermint oil and water, and there's a list of organic pesticides that can be considered with the list available at organics material review institute (

Vandergriff said he is already dealing with the pests at his Sharps Chapel home.

"The lady beetles and stink bugs that we didn't get vacuumed up in the fall have been hiding in the house over the winter. Now with the longer days and warmer weather, they are coming out like crazy. I'm even finding them in my car with a half dozen or so of them on the windshield that faces the sun," he said.

He recommends keeping a broom near the areas that they cluster so they can be swept away. Or, if a cluster of bugs are found on an easy access area boiling water can be poured over them.

But before you go on a killing spree, keep in mind that only one of the three pests are actually bad for the environment. That's the brown marmorated stink bug, which causes damage to the garden by feeding on fruit and vegetable crops.

The Asian lady beetles feed on aphids and soft-body insects, which is actually good for the gardens, and the boxelder beetle feeds on the seed of the maple tree.

Even better news is that by the end of March the pests will most likely have found a cozy home away from our doors and windows.

"They will be moving to the trees and landscape areas soon because they are looking for a place where they can feed, reproduce and raise their young," Vandergriff said."


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