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Say good riddance to stinkbugs by staying vigilant, taking action ASAP

Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Patty Daniels of Connellsville has been fighting pests in the area since 1995, one of the few women in the male-dominated field. Daniels, of Daniels Pest Control, battles the stink bug infestation with full house treatments, using a high-pressure nozzle spray gun around the outside to try and stop the stink bugs from entering.

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By Laura Szepesi
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 3:06 p.m.

Batten down the hatches!

That's the best way to limit the number of stink bugs that invade households, according to local exterminators.

“Be diligent,” said Patty Daniels, owner of Daniels Pest Control of Connellsville since 1995. “Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors, and repair damaged screens. Install screens on vents — including bathroom, clothes dryer and stove vents.”

Local exterminators concur that it's impossible to keep all stink bugs outside, although there are ways to reduce their numbers when they get inside, including traps.

“The most effective are pheromone traps,” which lure the insects with a stink bug-like scent,” said Don Swaney, who has 34 years experience with Vermin Control Co. of Uniontown; The company has been in business since 1928.

“Light traps also are somewhat effective,” he said. Shaped like a funnel, the traps contain a bright LED light which attracts the bugs. “They go in but can't get out.”

Nix sticky traps

Sticky traps, used to catch many pests, have minimal success with stink bugs, said George Riggar, who has operated Safeway Pest Control in Uniontown since 1986. “You only catch a few.”

Swaney agreed.

“There's nothing to lure stink bugs onto sticky traps,” he explained.

Infestation of the annoying bugs varies from area to area and house to house.

Spray works best

The exterminators agree that chemical control is most effective on houses infested with stink bugs. There are sprays available for both indoor and outdoor pest control.

“BASF Corp. has introduced a new chemical that is very effective,” Daniels said.

A dilution of chemical and water is applied to the entire exterior of the house, using a high-pressured nozzle spray gun.

“Our customers are very satisfied with the results of a foundation to roof power-spray,” Daniels said.

Riggar said Safeway Pest Control often uses a spray called Tandem to fight stink bugs.

“It lands on the bugs and kills them,” he said. “It reduces the population.”

“Sprays do work well, but the treatment doesn't last forever,” Swaney cautioned. “It should be done regularly.”

Protect your attic

Because the bugs favor attics, treat gutters and soffit and fascia, said Frank Pizzurro, whose Statewide Pest Control Co. in Uniontown is in its third generation, with more than 50 years experience.

The exterminators said they have experienced a higher-than-usual calls about stink bugs this winter. Most complaints are in the fall (when the bugs head indoors) and in spring (when they awaken and head outside again).

Anyone who sees a stink bug in their house now can be sure the critter has been inside sleeping since fall, Swaney said.

“If you find them in your house, don't squish them,” Daniels advised. “They're called stink bugs for a reason.”

Laura Szepesi is a contributing writer.

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