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Instructions to build a simple trap for stink bugs

trap for stink bugs

You will learn how to make a simple stink bugs trap, using simple instructions.

Stink bugs are small shield-shaped insects that live by sucking the juices from your plants. They are called stink bugs because they have a very bad smell if you step on or disturb them.

They are difficult to deal with because their tough exoskeleton protects them from insecticides, both chemical and ecological.

Stink bugs attack the fruits, leaves and trunk of a wide range of plants. Among them are tomatoes, fruit trees, vegetables and beans.

Green stink bug
Green stink bug

Stink bugs (Pentatomoidea) are one of the most difficult insects to control, both biologically and chemically. Their hard casing protects them effectively.

Brown stink bug
Brown stink bug

It has been observed that the use of sulfur (sulphur) repels them, but does not kill them. Dusting with sulfur tomatoes to protect them from fungus also protects them from stink bugs.

You can also pick stink bugs by hand (wear gloves because some people are allergic to their bite and to protect your hands from the bad smell) and drown them in water to which you have added dishwashing liquid or soap.

To deal with stink bugs, you can take advantage of their tendency to be attracted to light. It is on this weakness that the trap we will build next is based.

The materials you will need to make the trap for stink bugs

To make the trap for stink bugs you will need:

  • 1 transparent plastic soda bottle of 1.5 or 2 liters
  • 1 DOT-it self-contained LED light with batteries
  • black duct tape
  • masking tape or glue and paper

Our goal is to make a light trap that will attract the stink bugs, they will get into it and can’t get out.

As a light source we will use a self-contained light source with low consumption LED lights. With the bottle we will make the container of the trap and in it we will put the light fixture.


Step 1

Step 1. I build a trap for stink bugs

We take a plastic soda bottle with a capacity of 1.5 or 2 liters. The bottle should be smooth. A bottle of a well-known soft drink is suitable. Remove the label.

Step 2

Step 2-A. I build a trap for stink bugs

We will cut the bottle. Careful, it needs to be cut to the right height.

The height of the bottle I had available was 31 cm. I cut the bottle to 19 cm (from the base). The goal is to cut the bottle to such a height that when you put the top into the bottom, the mouth of the bottle is far enough away from the LED light that you will put in.

Step 2-B. I build a trap for stink bugs

Step 3

Step 3. I build a trap for stink bugs

Use the black duct tape and cover the bottom of the bottle. This way, we will hide the light. If we don’t do this, then the stink bugs seeing the light will try to get at it from the bottom of the bottle and will have no reason to try to get into the trap from the top.

Step 4

Step 4-A. I build a trap for stink bugs

Carefully place the LED light inside the bottle. The LEDs should be facing upwards.

Step 4-B. I build a trap for stink bugs

We put the upper part of the bottle inside the lower part, as shown in the photo. Check that there is clearance between the light fixture and the neck and lip of the bottle.

Step 5

Remove for the moment, the top part of the bottle.

The plastic bottle is slippery and the stink bugs will not be able to get on it. Therefore, we need to make “paths” on which the insects can walk and get into the trap.

Step 5. I build a trap for stink bugs

The simplest way to make these paths is to use masking tape because it has a grained surface. Alternatively (as in the photo), you can use strips of paper to stick to the outside of the bottle.

Step 6

Step 6. I build a trap for stink bugs

Reposition the top of the bottle. Our trap is ready!

To turn the stand-alone light on or off, we use a pen or marker.

The LED light switch on by pressing on its surface. The whole surface acts as an on/off switch.

The final trap for stink bugs

How to use the trap

It is obvious that the trap can be used outdoors at night, or inside enclosed dark spaces.

When it gets dark, we place the trap near the place where we have determined that there is a problem with stink bugs. We prop it up or we dig a shallow pit in the soil and place it inside, so that the wind does can’t knock it down.

Turn on the light.

The next morning, we’ll check the trap.

If all has gone well, we’ll find stink bugs trapped inside.

To remove the trapped stink bugs, we turn off the light. Remove the top part of the bottle. Empty the stink bugs into a bucket of water with dishwashing liquid or soap.

The next night we can use it again!

Happy hunting!

OSRAM’s DOT-it LED light

OSRAM DOT-it LED light

As a standalone LED light, I used the DOT-it Classic from Osram. You can find it in electrical stores. It is relatively cheap, under 7 Euro.

To power it, it uses 3 Micro R3 AAA batteries, which are included in the package.


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