PITTSBURGH,None - We first met Julian Smith last spring after he posted a YouTube video on how to make a homemade stink bug trap.
The invention was quite simple. He used an empty pop bottle, some tape and an LED light. The homemade trap cost less than $7 to make and was amazingly effective.
Smith began experimenting with ways to get rid of stink bugs because he had hundreds of them in his home. He didn’t give up until he came up with a trap that worked.
Fast forward five months and that homemade stink bug trap is about to go into mass production. Target 11 was there as the prototype was unveiled.
"It's beautiful man," said Smith as he hugged the founder of Inventionland after seeing the prototype for the first time.
For Smith, this is a dream come true.
"I've been doing a lot of these things my whole life. I've spent a lot of money of stupid stuff, you know, but this little thing came to life,” said Smith the inventor of “The Best Stink Bug Trap Ever.”
Smith took his stink bug trap to Inventionland, where a team of designers and engineers went to work. Their goal was to come up with a simple design that was inexpensive to manufacture.
"He put on his YouTube video, the ‘Best Stink Bug Trap Ever’ and we're like that's a cool way of saying it," said George Davison the CEO of Inventionland, so the name stuck.
Smith’s YouTube video has gotten more than 160,000 hits and he has gotten a lot of positive feedback from people who say the trap really works.
The founder of Inventionland is confident the commercial version will be just as successful. Davison’s team has tested and he said, “It works just like his other one."
The trap uses an LED light to lure stink bugs in and then the funnel design keeps them from escaping. The only real difference between the homemade version and the commercial version is that you never have to touch the bugs when you empty the commercial trap.
The factory is scheduled to begin production in the next couple of months.
"I would think our first run would be several hundred thousand," said Philip Boxwell, founder of PredaSCENT, a company that makes all natural insect repellents and now is expanding into the manufacturing and marketing of stink bug traps.
The Best Stink Bug Trap Ever will be sold under the brand name BugsScare and should be on store shelves next spring. It will hit the market just as stink bugs come out of hibernation and start to become a pest in people’s homes.
The manufacturer plans to sell the stink bug trap in 25 states including Pennsylvania.