Like most things in life, timing is everything! When we tested the Rescue Stink Bug Trap this summer, it failed miserably. But conditions have changed and this time it's a whole different story.
The trap uses a pheromone, or scent, as bait to lure stink bugs in and will attract the prehistoric-looking insects from as far as 30 feet away.
"You want to draw them away and you want to intercept them before they get to the house,” said Stephanie Cates, director of marketing for Rescue.
It sounds simple enough: Bait, capture and kill as many stink bugs as possible before they wreak havoc in your home.
"Every female stink bug, because she can lay up to 400 eggs a season that could be hundreds of stink bugs that won't be in your house," said Cates on a recent trip to Pittsburgh.
The makers of the trap have been testing it at homes in the South and North Hills and they have been having a lot of luck, but we didn't want to take their word for it. We wanted to try out the trap ourselves. So we set up a couple of them, including one up in my back yard.Within a day, it looked like a stink bug social. They were flying in circles, landing around the trap and gathering in nearby trees.
Four days later, it looked like I had a swarm of bees in my yard. The trap was filled with 100-150 stink bugs, while dozens more circled nearby trying to get in.
There's no poison in the trap. Once the bugs are in, they can't get out. Eventually they dehydrate and die, but placement is crucial. Cates says you want to keep the trap at least 15 feet from your home and I could see why. The bait was luring stink bugs from the woods. A tree a few away from the trap was covered in at least two dozen of the bugs.
Doreen Hoover is a researcher for Rescue. She has been setting up and monitoring traps in the Pittsburgh area and has been seeing a lot of activity.
"I've had anywhere from 50 to probably a couple hundred per trap, in a day or two." said Hoover.
When she emptied one of the traps for us, outside a North Hills home, there were 83 stink bugs inside. Hoover recommends hanging the traps on a fence or sheppard’s crook so the pheromone will get picked up by the wind and travel farther.
The Rescue Stink Bug Trap sells for about $20 and can be found at home improvement, garden and hardware stores.