Homemade stink bug trap

It really works!

Starting in February, I noticed the first stink bug—in the house! I live in USDA zone 7a, and this winter was particularly cold. Between my husband and me, we caught about 50 stink bugs before spring. And by "caught", I mean manually capturing the bugs with a tissue and flushing the bug down the toilet. The stink bugs showed up most often in the evening. They flew around, landing on tables that had a lamp turned on.

Searching for stink bug traps

Fearing that our stink bug infestation would not stop (or get worse), I searched the internet for some kind of a trap to capture the bugs in the house so my husband and I would not have to catch them. I saw some big name products like Rescue Indoor (and Outdoor) devices. I also saw how someone devised a homemade trap from a soda bottle. The Rescue stink bug trap received horrible views from customers, so I considered the soda bottle trap. The procedure to convert the soda bottle into a stink bug trap, though not necessarily difficult, was still not easy.

The super easy stink bug trap

Then I discovered a stink bug trap that was so easy to assemble, I HAD TO try it. The internet article about the stink bug trap tells how Virginia Tech came up with a scathingly brilliant idea to use an aluminum baking pan, like you might bake lasagna in. Fill the pan about halfway with tap water, then a big squirt of dish soap. Swish the water to dissolve the soap. Direct a lamp onto the water and then wait. Virginia Tech created a short video to show you how to create this super easy stink bug trap.

My version of the stink bug trap

Instead of a baking pan, I used a large plastic plant saucer with sides that are about 3 inches tall. I lined the inside of the saucer with aluminum foil to mimic that aluminum baking pan (see picture above). If you do not have an aluminum baking pan, you can use any shallow container and line it with aluminum foil to create a reflective surface. The container needs to be deep enough to prevent the stink bug from walking out, probably no less than 1 inch. If you are using a very shallow container (less than 2 inches tall), so as not to spill water when carrying the container, it would be best to set the empty container in the desired location and then pour water into the container. I also discovered that it is best to use a wide container, at least 10 inches wide. I tried small containers, like a cup, but for some reason, the stink bugs did not enter.
After adding water and a good squirt of dish soap that I swished around to mix, I placed the pan on my garden table located in the mud room, though it could be placed anywhere in the house out of reach of children. I used the mud room because I saw a couple of stink bugs on the window blinds. I positioned a flexible-neck desk lamp (with fluorescent bulb) to point down on the water. Before going to bed, I turned the light on.

NOTE: You will see in the photo a blue "special roast" container. That is a cut-down coffee can that I also considered for use as a stick bug trap. It did catch stink bugs; however, the can was already showing discoloration as it started to rust so I would not recommend a can. A large butter tub is a good alternative.


Stink bug floating in water mixed with dish detergent
Stink bugs are attracted to light, thus the reason for turning on the light. Next morning, I saw that my homemade stink bug trap had caught a stink bug! Caught two more the next night; five more the third night. By night four, I had captured 11 stink bugs in my homemade stink bug trap.

When to empty the trap

There comes a time when the container needs to be dumped into the toilet--that time is now. The reason: the stink bugs emitted their stink, perhaps to signal for help or to alert fellow buggers to stay away. The odor reaches out several feet beyond the water trap. Definitely time to dump the water and start with fresh for my homemade stink bug trap.

Stink bugs captured after four days
What an easy solution to control stink bugs in the house!
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