PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With warmer days finally here, it’s time for gardening, spending more time outside and stink bugs. Sad, but true, this is prime time for the irritating little pests.
Now though, there may be a safe, new way to get rid of them.
The story behind the trap is really something. A local man, Andy Strube had a major stink bug problem in his house in the woods. Then, when one fell into a plate of food, enough was enough.
Andy put his problem solving skills to work; and the Strube Stink Bug Trap was born. It promises to be the last stop a stink bug makes. But does it really do that?
The Strube Stink Bug Trap is marketed as using “a killer combination of light, scent, and gooey glue to ensure no one escapes.” The non-toxic, indoor trap claims to be “a trifecta of stink bug stopping power.”
It’s hanging in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette garden columnist Doug Oster’s sun porch.
“Basically, there’s a bright light in here – a bright florescent light – and then above the light there is a cartridge, a replaceable cartridge that has… it has a cocktail of peppers and squash put together. These bugs love peppers and squash, and so when the light is on, it heats up and releases an odor – I can’t smell anything – but the bugs are drawn to it,” said Oster. “They’re drawn to the light and their drawn to that pepper – that pepper and squash smell.”
So, the stink bugs fly toward the trap – thinking they’re going to get food – but instead, they get stuck.
“It’s really disgusting and actually the part that I feel bad about, and this may sound funny, but the part I feel bad about is the bug gets stuck on here and it takes a couple of days for it to die,” said Oster.” I don’t know, that’s kind of creepy.”
However, Oster points out that it’s even creepier to think of the effects of a major infestation, which is exactly what the inventor was dealing with.
Oster did find that there are some tricks to using the trap.
“You have to set it in one place and leave it on all the time, and it’s a bright light, so it’s not [going to] be a place where you’re [going to] sleep. You’re [going to] have to go to another room, and you just leave it there for days. You can’t keep moving it around,” said Oster. “Also, the temperature in the room matters, the warmer the temp in the room, the more active the bugs are [going to] be. They’re cold-blooded.”
When you think about what room you’re going to hang the trap in, aesthetics come into play. It’s totally environmentally-safe, but not the prettiest thing to look at. Also, Oster did have a bit of a tricky time getting it set up.
“It’s definitely ugly. I mean you would not want this hanging in your dining room, and it’s messy to use,” said Oster. “When I opened it up out of the box, some of the cardboard got stuck on here. If you do move it, the cord will come down here and get stuck on it. If you touch it, you will get stuck to it.
“Functionally, I think it’s amazing; looks-wise though – but what are you [going to] do with it… It’s always [going to] have these disgusting stink bugs all over it,” he added.
The Strube Stink Bug Trap sells in some local hardware stores and online for $50, and claims to be well-worth the investment for people crazy with stink bugs.
Does it really do that?
“Definitely, it’s filled with bugs,” said Oster. “I don’t have a bad infestation. I was surprised at how many I caught.”
Oster said he only ever saw maybe one or two a week flying around.
The glue is non-toxic; so if you get any on you, it washes right off.
Since Oster got his trap, the inventor has made improvements, including a covering that protects the glue during shipping, then peels off.