Some pests will sneak into your plants when you least expect them. If you’re a seasoned plant parent, you know that even a single bug can create a world of nuisance. Stink Bugs are common pests in outdoor and indoor environments, but many people don’t know what they look like or the damage they can cause. Whenever you’re faced with stink bugs on your plants, your best shot at peace is trying to kill the stink bug immediately before it can lay any eggs and cause havoc.
If you’re unsure whether you can kill stink bugs using neem oil, look no further as we tell you more.
What are Stink Bugs?
The most crucial step in killing stink bugs is finding ways to identify and kill them. Stink bugs are usually red, brown, black, or green in color but can vary in size, so it may be difficult to identify them. If you pay attention to this bug, you will notice that it has an exoskeleton that is almost shield-like in shape.
These bugs are pest and can cause your plants to lose a lot of cell sap and become extremely weak. If you find a relatively large bug on your plants, then your first move will be to remove it. A stinky bug is so named because it will release an acrid, burning-like smell whenever it feels threatened. It is the most alarmingly obvious sign that you’re facing a stink bug.
Be warned: Stink Bugs are also Home-Intruders
Stink bugs are attracted to the following features in your home.
Like other bugs stink bugs also hate the cold and wet atmospheres of the outside world. Instead, the warmth and comfort of your home seem more attractive to them. If you have cracks in your home or use screen doors often, stink bugs can easily find a way into your home. It is especially common in autumn, as the insides of a home are much more comfortable than the outside.
Stink Bugs also don’t like it in the dark. Many people in the south will turn on their porch lights early in fall and winter, but that’s more like an invitation to the stink bugs into your porch and then into your home. If you want to keep the stink bugs away, we suggest you don’t keep any light sources near your plants.
Once stink bugs are in your home, they don’t waste time and will go straight to the nearest plant to feed on it.
Can You Kill Stink Bugs with Neem Oil?
The simplest answer is no, you cannot. Neem oil is quite a gentle response to stink bugs since stink bugs have quite a hard external shell. The exoskeleton will protect them from all the chemical compounds in the neem oil that would have killed off other things like aphids and mealy bugs.
So, does that mean you don’t use neem oil at all? Of course not. The neem oil will not immediately kill the stink bug but can slow down its production. It can also ensure that one stink bug doesn’t lead to hundreds more.
Many researchers noted that neem oil would reduce the feeding rate of these stink bugs, so the plant has more time to reconstruct. The neem oil also increases egg death and induces deformities in these bugs, so they’re ineffective in their fight against your plant. Once they are slower, you have a better chance of getting to them and removing them through physical methods.
The neem oil can help immobilize them so that their population dies out eventually. But it may take a lot of work, and these bugs may continue to feed on your plant.
Why Are Stink Bugs Harmful?
We have talked about stink bugs being a nuisance, but what are some reasons you must get rid of them as soon as you see them?
They Feed on Cell Sap from Plants
We know that all plants have cell sap filled with nutrients that helps a plant survive. The leaves are the plant’s kitchen, meaning they make all the food for the plant and ensure its survival. However, leaves need nutrients to make food. When stink bugs arrive on a plant, they pierce it and then suck out most of the nutrients from the leaves, cell by cell. This action, when done enough times, can cause the leaves to die out, and then eventually, the plant will die too.
They Fill the Leaves with Chemicals
It’s bad enough that stink bugs will feed off the nutrition that plants need, but these bugs go a step further. Stink bugs will fill the plants with chemicals while feeding on them. These chemicals are toxic for the plants and will need resources to neutralize them. However, the process becomes exhaustive since the stink bugs are already feeding on the plant.
They Multiply Rapidly
If only a stink bug or two were on the plant, the plants wouldn’t be in great trouble. However, as soon as you let one stink bug into the house, they will lay a hundred more, and all these nymphs will then feed on the same plant. So, your stink bug problem can rapidly go from a small one to a large one.
They Pass Yeast Spot Disease to Your Plants
A disease of any kind can harm your plant health. But yeast spot disease increases plant breakdown, so there are limited chances of your plant surviving the combined effect of these actions.
They Release an Acrid Smell
If you threaten the stink bugs on your plants even a little bit, they will release an acrid smell that will permeate all around your home. Thus, the experience with stink bugs will be unpleasant.
What are Some Methods of Killing Stink Bugs With Neem Oil?
Only neem oil won’t work when you go in for the kill. However, a combination of steps might help. You can use the neem oil to slow the process down, and then you can do the following:
Push Bugs into Soapy Water
Just get a bucket with dish soap and slowly push the bugs into the soapy water while wearing a mask and protective gloves.
Kill them With Your Hand.
Once they seem subdued, you can squash the bugs with your hand. However, this can be a messier process.
Spray With Soapy Water
Another way to subdue them is to spray them with soapy water so you can spring them off the plant.
Stink bugs can create a lot of nuisances if you don’t take the proper measures at the right time. Many people believe that they could use neem oil to kill stink bugs. However, that’s not the case. Neem oil can reduce its effect but will not kill stink bugs.