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Ideas for controlling stink bugs

 
Ian Batra
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Anyone have any tips for how they control stink bugs? I have a diverse suburban garden in San Jose, CA (zone 9B) and generally have no pest problems except for stink bugs. I get both the brown mammorated and the green type. I never spray anything, and usually control things with companion planting and allowing nature to police its own. However, the stink bugs are the non-native species that seem to escape nature. I'd love to hear some ideas.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Hi, Ian and welcome to permies.
We have both green and brown stinkbugs. The damage they do here is mainly to the surface of my tomatoes...sometimes making the skin so blemished it is inedible. The best method I have found for them is a shake of each plant while keeping an eye on what drops. During the summer I sometimes get one per plant (and I squish them). I do this every day that I can. It is harder to find them with mulch but I found that the stinkbugs land on their back and play dead for a bit...their bottom side is kind of greenish yellow. When I find them elsewhere I just pick and squish...here, anyway, they seem to show up as singles instead of hoards like blister beetles or squash bugs.
I am anxious to hear other suggestions.
 
Miles Flansburg
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What kind of damage do stink bugs inflict? I guess they like tomatoes, what else?
 
Ian Batra
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Miles Flansburg wrote:What kind of damage do stink bugs inflict? I guess they like tomatoes, what else?


Stink bugs do love tomatoes, but they will also after legumes, peppers, eggplants, and the latest for me is chard. The don't chew or bite the plants as much as poke holes in it with their needle like mouths. From what I gather the damage besides beings cosmetic also causes the harvested produce to spoil very quickly.
 
Ian Batra
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As a stink bug update, I can say my problem simply vanished, leaving behind evidence only in some damaged chard. My guess is that my healthy population of wasps and mini wasps took care of business. Two days ago there
were stink bugs everywhere but there were also mini wasps all around my rosemary and borage plants, and I always have a variety of wasps around the garden. I guess my companion planting worked, just took a little longer to do the trick.
 
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