FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — They’re crawling, they’re everywhere and they really stink.
Suzanne Collins has a story about a woman who turned her stink bug frustration into an enterprise.
Scientists are racing to eradicate the invasive stink bug species on crops, but chemicals are not recommended for homes. Homeowners are told to vacuum them up or just cope. But that wasn’t enough for Laurie Vaudreuil, who is a stay-at-home mom with an electrical engineering degree.
“And it was surrounded by stink bugs. There were probably 300 stink bugs on it at any given time and we tried beating the door and they would divebomb you as you came out and everything,” she said. “I got to the bus stop and they were in my shirt and I thought, `This is war.’”
Vaudreuil has been mixing solutions with vinegar and essential oils for house cleaning instead of buying commercial brands, thinking it is better for one of her children, who is autistic. She decided to cook something up to fight stink bugs.
“I went home and I poured a whole bunch of vegetable oil and vinegar in a pot and cooked it with garlic because I heard garlic oil was supposed to help and I squirted that on the door and they seemed to say, `Oooh, lunch!’” she said.
But that failed, and she kept trying. Suddenly, one solution worked and it repels the stink bug. She says they don’t return to the sprayed area for a week or more.
Her husband is supporting her endeavor to run tests in their kitchen.
“It’s not something that sounds like it should work but you could clearly see the results. When she did the original on a lark, spraying the door, I was dumbfounded,” said Greg Vaudreuil.
Right now, a series of friends have agreed to test the repellant, but she says it’s meant to be used in the fall around doorways and windows to keep the stink bugs from seeking shelter.
She has contacted a patent attorney about her formula. She doesn’t know if she can get a patent or if she’ll ever many any money, but if she does, she hopes to help her Catholic parish build a new church.
The slogan on the bottle says, “Bringing Sanity To A World Overrun By Stink Bugs.”