Monday, March 17, 2014

Stink Bug WAR- Phase 1 Tactic

Have you been keeping up? 

The whining is over.
It's go-time now.

Spring is in the air,
stink bugs are in our windows, 
and we're going to abolish and kill them all.
This particular window seems to be a hot spot in our home. On a bad day, we'll see dozens congregating on the glass. See all those spots on there? Spawn.

Let me tell you how awesome it is trying to squeegee stink bug crap off a 12-foot-high window.

Since this WAR is on, we wondered if this window is the prime portal.
Could they be squeezing in through gaps around the window frame?
Upon inspection…behold!

After discovering this half inch gap, Lee made sure to throughly seal it up with caulk to prevent more spawn from entering in the future.

One tiny step of progress...

But now, with this stealthy crevice revealed, we had tests to run in order to move onto Phase 2. 

How large of an opening can these stinkin' suckers get through?

Using an old fish tank, we created a divider that was lifted off the bottom with three quarters. 

Capturing test subjects wasn't difficult 'round these parts.
Within an hour, we had about a dozen in captivity.

Using a light source on one side (we eventually added a slice of banana peel for additional bait), we placed all the stink bugs on the dark side of the tank and watched to see if they could get under the panel towards the light and bait. 
Within minutes, the bugs started crawling under.
A gap, three quarters high, was no problem for them.

So we lowered the panel, down to two quarters (3.5 mm, ~1/8") and waited.
The stink bugs tried to get under that panel, but after 24 hours in captivity, only one made the squeeze to the other side.
Lowering the panel to only one quarter, after another 24 hours, none of the remaining bugs could pass under the wall.

End result- Stink bugs can potentially pass through height of about 1/8 of an inch.

Interesting to note- after 48 hours in captivity, with no food or water, 15 out of 17 stink bugs were dead.

To answer the bigger question—
Did the Phase 1 Tactic, sealing of the potential portal window, result in immediate reduction of stink bug sitings inside our home?

lowers shaking head, eyes closed, fists clenched, growling

There are just as many stinking spawn crawling around in here with that window sealed. There must be alternate, undiscovered entryways.

The Phase 1 Tactic isn't enough.

But it ain't over by a long shot, friends.
Time to break out the big guns.

It's about to get serious out here.
Get ready for Phase 2.
It's gonna be HUGE, and probably horrifying.

Stay tuned…
Here's to total and complete eradication!
XOXO From My Hearth to Yours
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