Spring is upon us; warmer temps, blossoming landscapes… and stink bugs! Scientists are predicting the shield-shaped invaders will again plague DC, MD, and VA in 2011. So how do we protect our homes from these smelly nuisances? Unfortunately, at present time there is no wonder cure for stink bugs, but here are a couple techniques to help minimize the problem.

If you are not adverse to chemical treatments, many pest experts have reported success using a product called Talstar Pro. Mix 1-ounce of concentrate per 1-gallon of water and apply with a pump sprayer, paying specific attention to the window sills and door thresholds around the exterior of your home. Pesticides break down with exposure to sunlight, so you may need to re-apply every 7-14 days for effective control.

Ensure your home’s exterior is properly sealed. Replace torn window and door screens. Seal cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, and any other openings with a high-quality silicone caulk. Install screens on attic vents, and chimney flues. Inspect crawl space openings and make sure they are properly sealed.

Stink bugs, like many insects, are drawn to light, so closing your shades at night and turning off exterior lighting when not needed will help to reduce their attraction to your home.

Stink bugs will impact all of us in the upcoming year. If you have other useful tips or techniques, I would encourage you to share them with us here.