Q:

How do you control stink bugs organically?

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Quick Answer

Although stink bugs are quite hard to control, there are a number of accepted organic methods, including kaolin clay, insecticidal soap sprays and good weed control, according to the University of California's Integrated Pest Management Program. Still, insecticides are quite ineffective and should be used only as a last resort.

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Full Answer

Organic insecticide soap sprays usually only kill stink bugs with direct contact and are typically only effective on younger stink bugs, according to Organic Gardening magazine. For this reason, it is recommended to take certain physical steps to prevent stink bug damage to gardens. There are numerous pheromone traps designed specifically for stink bugs, which can help to control and monitor their population. For best results, these traps should be put out early in the year, preferably before April 1st.

One of the more effective ways to prevent stink bugs from damaging crops is actually to pick the adults, nymphs and eggs off the plants by hand. In addition, there are certain crops that can be planted as "trap crops," which entice the stink bugs to feed on them instead of the other plants. Some of these trap crops include mustard, amaranth, okra and sweet corn. Covering the plants with garden row covers is another good way to prevent the bugs from damaging garden plants.

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