how to get rid of stink bugs???

Hi Bugman!
My name is Cynthia I live just outside of Stuttgart, Germany. September 2003 we moved into a new apartment. After a few weeks, the outside windows were covered by dozens of ‘stink bugs’. They look like the ones I remember from my childhood growing up in Charlotte, NC. I’ve attached a photo. They did everything they could to get into the apartment and we tried everything to keep them out. The last tenant said he never saw such bugs during his two years living here. During the Winter months, we did not see any of the bugs. This first week in Feb. has been quite warm and now every morning I have to remove 2-5 bugs from the apartment. The ‘What’s That Bug’ site says these bugs are plant eaters, but I have not found any on my house plants. This house does have lots of wood paneling. Could that be attracting them? Any suggestions on how to keep them out? They are a real pest and really make my skin crawl!
Thanks for any suggestions you can give!

Dear Cynthia,
You do have a Stink Bug, Family Pentatomidae. They can be recognized by the shieldlike shape and the large triangular scutullum, the posterior portion of the thorax. They are plant eaters, for the most part, though some prey on other insects. The mouthparts are designed for piercing and sucking, so you won’t notice any chewed leaves. If the winter weather is warming, they could have roused themselves from hibernation and are seeking a new place to finish wintering over, hence their attraction to your house. They are seeking shelter, not food, so it is difficult to keep them out without making your house inhospitable. Sorry, I have no control advice.

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