What attracts stink bugs (besides my tomatoes)?

hunter_tx(7bTx)June 8, 2007

It's time to gear up for the yearly stinkbug fight in this area- argh! Has anyone here had any success with any kind of attractant or trap? Is their attraction related to color? Are they attracted to smells? Anyone know of a good strategy besides the daily search and destroy missions that I am doing?

Thanks,

Mrs H

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newtxan

I read that sunflowers will attract them, so I planted a bunch behind my garden this year.

I haven't seen many so far. I had one pack of nymphs stake out an artichoke, but I took them all inside and washed them down the sink.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:00PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Mrs H

In addition to sunflowers, stinkbugs also love ornamental millet and soybeans. I'm sure there are other crops, too. All need to be planted early so they reach the stages where they'll attract stinkbugs.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 12:20PM
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gonefishin(z7bTx)

I have always kinda wondered if you did not have any "trap plants" to attract them in the first place, would you have any anyway??????????

Mrs. H. I usually do not have any around till the hot, dry weather arrives. They do like tomatoes, especially ripe ones or those that have started turning color. A weak or diseased plant seems to attract them, perhaps they sense it's distress.

It seems that more and more people are saying that a mild mixture of dawn dish washing mixture and water sprayed with a little hand sprayer like a windex bottle burned their plants to a crisp. I have never, ever seen any damage from it myself and it is basically about all that I have used last year and so far this year in my garden. I do not go out and drench the plants in the heat of the day, I make a round early in the morning and again late in the evening and only spray some directly on the bugs that I see. It works, kills them or runs them off. New ones take their place the next day but I have had pretty good success with it. I do not want to use a bunch of strong pesticides in my garden.
Just my .02
Bill P.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 1:32PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Bill P.

Only one site I've seen recommends killing pests attracted to trap crops, which makes perfect sense to me. Seems extremely unwise to attract them and just let them multiply unhindered. I guess the trick is to kill only them and not beneficials that might be attracted to the same trap crop.

I chose ornamental millet as a trap for stinkbugs AND cucumber beetles, which I had in droves last summer. I fully intend on slaughtering them!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 2:18PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Thanks guys. I don't use any pesticides except for occasional BT on corn earworms. Not even soap sprays anymore, because I don't want to kill off what beneficials there are. I doubt it's distressed plants because I super-amended the soil last Fall, and the tomato bed looks like a jungle out there that is chock full of fruit. I haven't seen many yet, but I know that where there are two, there are many more, lol. I do have lots of sunflowers, no soybean or millet, though. What I was wondering is if there is an attractant that I can put in the tomato areas, either some scent that attracts them or a color (perhaps a red Christmas ball with tanglefoot on it). I remember a thread last year about cuke beetles being attracted to something in clove oil, and making traps to lure them and kill them in soapy water. It would be wonderful if there were something like that which would work on stinkbugs. I have managed to keep the squash bugs to a minimum, but their eggs area easy to spot, and they will climb up to the top if you water overhead and can easily be hand-picked. Tomatoes are so thick that it is impossible to see many of them at a time for picking (or vacuuming them as I prefer). You guys just keep throwing ideas at me, and I'll see if I can come up with a better method.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 2:30PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Hi Mrs H, now I'm gonna have to tell you a story.

Apparently a family of stink bugs overwintered in my house this year. I kept seeing them in the early spring on my indoor plants and on the windows. I escorted a half dozen or so to the toilet bowl:)

Then came the army of ants a few days ago...they always get into this old house via the kitchen windows. I use liquid "Terro" ant killer for them. It's a bait that's made up of a sugar gel with borax as the active ingredient. The ants carry it back to the colony and it kills the other ants.

Anyhoo...a few days ago I noticed a couple of stink bugs sipping the sweet liquid sugar right along side the ants. They feasted for quite some time on the poison and within a few hours they were dead.

At 1st I had visions of Terro traps all around my garden. Wow...I thought...no more stink bugs!!! This'll be great!!

Then I realized the sugary mixture would attract beneficial insects as well...or some poor unsuspecting bird will make a meal of the sickly, no good stink bug.

BUT...if you ever get stink bugs IN your house, I highly recommend Terro.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 5:22PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Thanks, Peggy. I sure wish it would work in the tomato patch. I've been googling stink bug attractants, but all I have come up with is the chemical formula for male sex phermone, lol, and I bet it's not anything you can buy at your local garden center or grocery store.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 6:31PM
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texanjana(8)

They seem to love my lavender butterfly bush. I am an organic gardener, and I was finally able to kill most of them last year with Spinosad. You have to get them when they are small!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 8:24AM
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duajones(z9 TX)

I have millet planted but got a late start with it and the stinkbugs are destroying my tomatoes. It would be fantastic if someone were to figure out something that works.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 10:45AM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Well, I at found a place to start. I can't buy stinkbug phermone attractant, but it appears that using a trap alone may help some. It's worth a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: stinkbug trap info

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 3:51PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Mrs. H.

I LOVE being able to make traps just for specific pests, but danged if I can figure out how this one works. I'm also unable to visualize how the tip-top should be formed.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 4:14PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

anney- I'll be sure and let you know if I figure it out, lol. Like I said, it won't hurt to try :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 4:22PM
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