Updated: 7:07 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | Posted: 4:31 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Target 11 investigates best ways to stop stinkbugs

PITTSBURGH —

With the warmer weather, stinkbugs are making an unwanted appearance in a lot of Pittsburgh homes, so Target 11 Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor put four new traps to the test. She found out what works and what doesn't.

To do this test right, I needed a home full of stinkbugs. Fortunately, one of our Facebook friends volunteered. Her sunroom is filled with them, and like a lot of us, she's tried and tried but just hasn't been able to get rid of the annoying pests.

Cindy Dick showed me her handy little vacuum which she uses to sweep up the prehistoric-looking insects that have moved into her Canonsburg home.

"One day, I had 123 in my bedroom," said Dick.

The unwanted guests are a real nuisance, so we set up four different traps. All of them claim they will catch stinkbugs indoors, and they're sold on Amazon.com.

- The Stink Bug Trap sells for $10. It comes with three sticky traps and a lure.

- The Biocare Stink Bug Trap for Indoor Use retails for $30. It comes with a blacklight lure and plugs into an electrical outlet.

- The Original Indoor Stink Bug Trap by nth Solutions sells for $32. It uses a light and bait as lures.

- The Strube Stink Bug Trap is priced at $55. It is made right here in Pennsylvania by a Lancaster County man who was fed up with the pests.

Just for fun, I also ordered the BugZooka, a $29 vacuum that sucks bugs up with the touch of a button and doesn't require electricity.

Our first try with the BugZooka wasn't very successful.

"Nope, you have to be right on top of them for this to work," said Dick as she tried to vacuum up a stinkbug in a corner of a window.

One week after setting the traps, we returned to rather disappointing results. Most of the traps hadn't done very well.

"The one that I thought would do the best only has three, and one of them was because it just flew into it. I don't think it was attracted," said Dick.

So the Strube trap, which was the most expensive one, failed. But so did the least expensive sticky traps.

"This one, I would definitely not waste my money on it, because as you can see, the lure didn't even stay on it," said Dick about the The Stink Bug trap, which caught four stinkbugs.

The trap by nth Solutions didn't do any better, catching a mere three stinkbugs in a room filled with them.

But there was one stand-out. The Biocare trap lured 33 stinkbugs to their death. The blacklight lure drew the creepy-crawlers in and then drowned them in soapy water.

To our surprise, the BugZooka was also quite effective. It sucked up 51 stinkbugs.

But none of the traps worked as well as Cindy's handheld vacuum.

"It is a very big disappointment, and if I had actually bought these, I would not be happy. I would probably be asking for a refund," said Dick.

So the real winner is something you probably already have in your home, and that's a vacuum. For $30, I would also recommend the Biocare trap. Just remember it has to be used near an outlet so it can be plugged in.

We also tested the traps in the attic. Again, the Biocare trap did the best, catching more than 50 stinkbugs. The Strube sticky trap with a light was next-best, catching about 20 bugs.

We've been following a story about a local man who invented a $7 homemade stinkbug trap. His how-to video on YouTube has been viewed more than 209,000 times.

Watch the video.

Julian Smith took his design to Inventionland, and they sold the idea to a manufacturer.

The Best Stink Bug Trap Ever should be on store shelves this fall.

Smith told me he's making some final modifications to make the trap even better. He's tested it against all of the traps we tested, and he says his design works even better.

Remember if you have a problem you want Robin to investigate, you can email her at Target11@wpxi.com.  You can also find Robin on Twitter @WPXI RobinTaylor.

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