Breaking the stink bug cycle
Hardly. If any adult stink bugs were inside your house this spring, they have: 1) died inside the house; and/or 2) found their way back outside to mate and lay eggs.
It's the second possibility you need to be concerned about. The population of stink bugs outside your home could multiply exponentially this summer. An adult female stink bug can lay 20-30 eggs in a mass and as many as 400 eggs in a season. Usually, there are two generations that survive in a season. So from that single stink bug, you could potentially have hundreds more later on.
So, even though stink bugs may be out of sight to you this summer where your house interior is concerned, don't let them be out of mind. By using the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap outdoors in July, August and September, you can break their breeding cycle and put a dent in the problem. Any number of stink bugs you can catch is significant.
Where can you purchase them? A complete list is coming soon on our web site... stay tuned!
RESCUE! offers both outdoor and indoor solution for stink bugs
In addition to our forthcoming outdoor Stink Bug Trap, RESCUE!® unveiled an indoor solution for stink bugs last week at the 2011 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
Available in July 2011, the RESCUE!® Stink Bug Trap works outdoors to intercept adult stink bugs before they enter homes, as well as the younger generations that damage gardens and fruit trees. The trap lures multiple species of pest stink bugs with pheromone attractants that are odor-free to humans.
The reusable trap comes with a 2-week attractant supply and has a suggested retail price of $19.99. A 7-week attractant refill will be sold separately for around $9.99 retail.
When stink bugs venture inside homes to overwinter as summer turns to fall, RESCUE!® has a trap for that as well. With a light accessory that retails around $17.99, the same RESCUE!® Stink Bug Trap can be used indoors. The blue LED light attachment plugs into a wall outlet and illuminates the trap to draw stink bugs when they are active inside the home.
Once stink bugs are trapped either outdoors or indoors, they dehydrate inside the trap chamber for easy, odor-free disposal and reuse.
The stink bug has been called a “terrorist bug”; its spread deemed a “national crisis”. It has received major media attention since September 2010 when its populations exploded in the U.S.. RESCUE!® is the first established lawn & garden product manufacturer to offer an answer to the growing problem.
Stink Bugs damage fruit, vegetables and farm crops – but when they invade the indoors in colder weather, they really raise a stink. With no effective natural enemies, stink bugs have been discovered in 33 states to this point – most recently in Michigan and Iowa.
Outdoor testing of the RESCUE!® Stink Bug Trap was conducted at the USDA’s 800-acre facility in Beltsville, MD. RESCUE!® designed both the trap and the controlled-release technology for the pheromones, enabling the attractants to last over a number of weeks and lure stink bugs from a 30-foot radius.
RESCUE!® became aware of this pest in 2002, as a result of working with university and federal researchers who saw a stink bug infestation as having potential to be a significant problem in the U.S.. When the stink bug population exploded in late summer/fall 2010, the R&D Department took its knowledge gained from these years of research to come up with a retail product to trap these pests.
Established in 1982, parent company Sterling International, Inc. sells its RESCUE!® traps and attractants for wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, flies, Japanese beetles and Oriental beetles through home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and beyond. The traps are manufactured in the USA at Sterling’s headquarters in Spokane, Washington.
Where the stink bugs are...
Curious about which states have the worst stink bug problem?
This graphic maps out the states where stink bugs have been detected, the states where stink bugs are a nuisance, and the "red zone" states where stink bugs are at crazy, tear-your-hair-out, burn-down-the-house and hunt-down-the-person-who-brought-them-here levels.
Which level of infestation are you experiencing?
A "Stink Bug-pocalypse?"
All signs and news stories like this one are pointing to a stink bug plague of "biblical proportions" this year. Is this overly dramatic? Perhaps. But when your home -- your sanctuary -- is threatened by these smelly pests, it doesn't take that many to make you pull your hair out.
Some readers have said they are killing 40-50 a day in their homes. This gentleman claims to have killed over 12,000 of them in his Maryland farmhouse.
What about you? We want to hear more about your stink bug situation where you live. Please share with us below... or better yet, on our Facebook page, where we occasionally post contests and give away prizes!
Is Pittsburgh the epicenter of the stink bug invasion?
What's happening in Pittsburgh to make stink bugs such a hot topic? Looks like a warming trend where daytime temps reached the 60s this past week is playing a role in stirring up these stinky specimens. The adult bugs are getting restless inside the houses where they found shelter when the weather turned colder last fall.
Thanks to this Post-Gazette blog post, this Post-Gazette article, this WPXI-TV news story, and this one on KDKA-TV, we're getting an extraordinary response from western Pennsylvania for our Stink Bug Trap. Retailers in the area are on it, too, letting us know they're hot to get the product on their shelves!
We know that inside the house, stink bugs respond to light and seek moisture. When they are disturbed or threatened, they emit a chemical defensive secretion. In lay terms, they stink!
Whether it's flushing them down the toilet, vacuuming them (which causes that chemical defense) or dunking them in a water/dish soap mixture, people are getting by with home remedies for now because there is no effective extermination method.
The good news is that these overwintering adults will start to leave the house when spring's warmer temperatures hit.
We wish it were sooner, folks, but help is on the way... Hang on for the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap, coming July 2011!
Western PA heralds RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap arrival
Folks in western Pennsylvania are among those anticipating the arrival of the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap on store shelves, thanks to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Doug Oster's blog post, article, and Sunday morning show on KDKA-AM.
Busy Beaver will carry the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap at all of their locations in western PA and eastern Ohio. Other known retailers in that region are Agway in Greensburg, PA; Best Feeds Garden Center in Gibsonia, PA; and Martin's Flowers & Shrubs in Belle Vernon, PA.
This list will grow; check back for more retail locations in the coming months!
More about the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap
A comment on our last blog post brought up some good points and questions about the product that we want to answer here.
Q: Will the Stink Bug Trap attract more stink bugs onto your property that wouldn't ordinarily be there?
A: No. The RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap will catch stink bugs within a 20-foot radius. It will attract the bugs that are already in your yard and prevent them from damaging your garden or getting in your house. All of our RESCUE! traps work this way, in fact -- it's a misconception to believe that they lure insects from all over the neighborhood.
Q: Will the trap work indoors?
A: No, the trap is intended for use outdoors to prevent the stink bugs from doing damage in your garden or getting inside your house. Once stink bugs are inside your house, they do not respond to the pheromone lures. If our testing leads us to a solution for catching stink bugs indoors, we will most certainly share that.
Q: Some stink bugs are beneficial. Will the trap catch them along with the pests?
A: We recognize that some stink bugs, like the Spined Soldier Bug, are beneficial. The RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap will catch the stink bugs that are pests and leave the beneficial insects alone.
Keep your questions coming!
Got a Stink Bug problem? Thanks to RESCUE!, there's a trap for that!
(tap, tap, tap) Is this thing on?
Just checking the microphone and sound system since we haven't broadcast anything here in a while.
We're back... with big news. Many of you have asked us about a solution for stink bugs. Since last September, they've received major media attention when their numbers exploded in the U.S. The stink bug has been called a "terrorist bug" by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and its spread was deemed a "national crisis" in a letter written by Bartlett and 14 other members of Congress.
(So, does this mean that we can say "RESCUE! solves national crisis"? I like the sound of that headline!)
Stink Bugs damage fruit, vegetables and farm crops -- but when they invade the indoors in colder weather, they really raise a stink. With no natural predators, stink bugs have been discovered in 30 states to this point. Michigan was added to the list last week.
Available for shipments in July 2011, the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap works outdoors to catch adult stink bugs before they enter homes, as well as the younger generations that damage gardens and fruit trees. The trap lures multiple species of stink bugs with pheromone attractants that are odor-free to humans.
The reusable trap comes with a 2-week attractant supply and is expected to be priced at $19.99 retail. A 7-week attractant refill will be sold separately for $9.99 retail.
Testing of the RESCUE! Stink Bug Trap was conducted at the USDA's 800-acre facility in Beltsville, MD. Sterling designed both the trap and the controlled-release technology for the pheromone. Though difficult and expensive to produce, the pheromones will be manufactured in-house thanks to Sterling's expertise in chemical synthesis.
Established in 1982, Sterling International, Inc. sells its RESCUE! traps and attractants for wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, flies, Japanese beetles and Oriental beetles through home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and beyond. The traps are manufactured in the USA at Sterling's headquarters in Spokane, Washington.
WHY-vangelists share their photos
I caught five yellowjacket queens and one blackjacket queen over the weekend in my W*H*Y Trap. Unfortunately, I can't show you this catch because I forgot to take a photo of it -- it was time to rebait the trap and I was eager to do so to catch the paper wasps I saw flying around.
Thankfully, we have some early WHY-vangelists who have done a better job of documenting what their W*H*Y Trap has caught so far this spring. Take a look...
Pat Pfeifer in Plummer, Idaho had a good early catch of wasps in the top chamber of his W*H*Y Trap (note the bodies that had already sunk to the bottom of the water):
This photo shows a trap in Canada -- Creston, BC to be exact. The catch is from late April/early May:
Here are some photos showing the top and the bottom of the W*H*Y Trap in Greenacres, Washington:
Our favorite is still from Stamford, TX -- this shows a catch made back in February!
Keep those W*H*Y Trap photos coming, folks!
Wasp weather... and we're catching them!
If the Northwest could string together more than two 70+ degree days in a row, we'd all be very happy. But this week, those two warm spring days were enough to capture a bunch of paper wasp (and some yellowjacket) queens in the WHY Trap. The photos and video below were taken on president Rod Schneidmiller's property.
Last night, three days after those photos and video were taken, it snowed. Many of the wasps were still alive today, and they huddled together for warmth near the top of the trap:
W*H*Y: The Buzz is getting out!
Here's an excerpt:
"Snow on the ground means nothing at Sterling International, the Spokane Valley company that’s buzzing around the clock making traps targeting the stinging bugs of spring and summer.
Sterling, which has been in business more than 25 years, has just released a product six years in the making, a three-in-one plastic trap it calls the WHY.
As in wasps, hornets and yellowjackets."
Click here to read the full article.
All hands on deck
One phrase you'll never hear at Sterling International: "That's not my job." No one here is above doing any task, because we're all invested in the success of our company.
Today was a perfect example. In order to produce enough W*H*Y Traps to meet a truckload shipment to Wal-Mart, everyone from the office -- the President, his wife, the Vice Presidents, our General Counsel, Marketing, Customer Service and R&D -- worked the assembly line today. Our blistering pace produced 6 pallets' worth (3,360 traps) in four hours.
Below L-R: General Counsel Bob Loomis, VP of Sales Jim Oxley, Gigi Schneidmiller and President Rod Schneidmiller set the pace at the beginning of the line.
Below: Personnel from Marketing, Customer Service, R&D and Operations load attractant into the traps, attach lids, and enclose the traps in the cardboard packaging before they're boxed up.
This isn't the first time we've been "all hands on deck". It's happened various times in our 27-year history.
One of the examples our President likes to cite took place in the late 1980s. He explains: "Sterling got a call from L&L Nursery Supply, a major distributor of our products. They had a regional account out of Portland, OR called Bi-Mart that was carrying another brand of yellowjacket trap, but that manufacturer was done shipping product for the year.
"It was early afternoon on a Thursday. We were told that if we could get yellowjacket traps to them by Friday, they would buy our product. However, we didn't have the product made up, and the day's deadline for shipping had passed. We pledged to do what we could.
"We had the office staff and everyone else out there assembling traps, and we held off the truck until 7 p.m. I personally loaded up the trailer. Thankfully, Spokane to Portland was one day service, so L&L was able to get product into the Bi-Mart stores on Friday.
"And Bi-Mart has been a customer of ours ever since."
First W*H*Y Traps shipped today!
Perhaps you noticed that I goofed and posted the W*H*Y Wednesday post on Tuesday. But I was just too excited, because our first W*H*Y Trap shipment went out today!
These traps -- all 3200 of them -- are destined for Wal-Mart stores in Florida. Ironically, the Yellow Freight truck was running late after being stuck in the snow. But at 4 p.m., we loaded 6 pallets onto the truck and sent it on its way to warmer climes.
Here's a photo of (L-R) yours truly, Paul Crooks (Industrial Engineer) and Alyssa Ando (Marketing Coordinator) in front of the shipment:
And here are some scenes from earlier today as the assembly line rolled out the W*H*Y Traps:
If you're in Florida, these will be coming to a store near you... and many more will be shipped out to other states next week!
Sterling gets an early Christmas present
Hot off the presses -- or in this case, the injection molding machine -- we have our first complete, non-prototype, finished W*H*Y Trap!
President Rod Schneidmiller holds this early Christmas present by our company tree in the front lobby.
Here's a closer look:
I can't tell you how excited we are to have a finished product. These photos don't do it justice -- the parts have such a high-quality look and feel. Everyone in the office was positively giddy to see and hold the trap. Next week we hope to be running the parts, assembling the traps with their attractant and packaging, and shipping displays.
Parts is Parts
And parts are good, when we're talking about parts that make up our highly anticipated new product! We're getting close to having all the parts ready to assemble the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets. Our Engineering Department is tweaking things like the clarity of the tube, the finish of the top and bottom caps, and the fit of the assembled parts. It's all looking very good, and I should be able to post some photos of the parts in the next few days.
In the meantime, enjoy this blast-from-the-past commercial which talks about some less appealing parts...
WHY-vangelist in Texas inundated with paper wasps
Brenda in West Texas is anxious to try out the new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets early next year. She just wrote to us and told us her situation:
"We live in West Texas and are inundated with paper wasps. When I walk out the front door, I take a fly swatter with me so I can fight my way off of the porch. In the summer, they dive bomb us when we are in the pool. We go through cases and cases of Wasp spray each summer. Those darn things can get inside the home through the smallest crevice and yesterday we had 25 in our living room when we returned home. Needless to say, we are very anxious to purchase a case of WHY traps and have them out in early spring so we can catch the queens."
And you can see where other WHY-vangelists are located and what they have said here.
W*H*Y Wednesday: European Paper Wasp
Today begins a new series, "W*H*Y Wednesday", where we focus on one of the 20 species of insects caught in the soon-to-be-released W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets. The conclusion of this series should coincide with the early availability of the W*H*Y Trap at your local retailers.
We start with a transplant from Europe that is making its mark in a growing portion of the U.S.: the European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominulus. This type of paper wasp is considered a non-native or invasive species.
The highlighted portion of this graphic shows where the European Paper Wasp can presently be found in the U.S.:
Appearance: With their yellow and black markings, European Paper Wasps are frequently mistaken for yellowjackets. As with all paper wasps, their waist is very thin, and their hind legs dangle down when they fly. European Paper Wasps are distinguished by their orange antennae.
Habits: European Paper Wasps are active during the day and rest on the nest at night. Adult paper wasps feed on sugar and nectar-like food. Larvae eat protein that is gathered and chewed by adult wasps as they prey on other insects. Colonies last one year, with new queens overwintering to make new nests the following spring.
European Paper Wasp nests: Their nest resembles an upside-down umbrella shape, and the open cells can be seen from below. Queens begin forming nests from wood and live plant fibers in the spring. Most European Paper Wasp nests are a single layer of hexagonal brood cells. These wasps prefer to nest in sheltered locations, but with much greater propensity to use manmade structures than other wasps -- structures such as eaves, decks, patio furniture, outdoor garbage containers, barbecue grills, mailboxes, birdhouses and planter pots.
Nature toward humans: It's unusual for European Paper Wasps to attack unless humans approach too close to a foraging wasp or nest. They can inflict painful stings when they do attack, and like yellowjackets, European Paper Wasps can sting multiple times. It is important to note that because of this species' tendency to nest within manmade structures, European Paper Wasps are more likely to be found in areas of human traffic, increasing the chances of accidentally disturbing a hidden nest.
Compared to other species, European Paper Wasps nest earlier in the spring, in a wider variety of nest sites, most of them sheltered. They are also more aggressive and feed on a wider variety of insects. For these reasons, the European Paper Wasp numbers are growing in the U.S. and out-competing native wasps.
The European Paper Wasp is most common in countries around the Mediterranean. It's also reportedly found in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and China.
Can't wait for ACE to discover WHY
We're excited to introduce the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets to Ace Hardware and their dealers this week in St. Louis. Ace was the first national account to recognize the potential of the W*H*Y Trap last spring, and their buyers added the product to their lawn & garden lineup without hesitation.
Stay tuned for blogging from the Ace show.
W*H*Y Trap gets its close-up
The new W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets makes its debut on retail shelves early next year, and we plan to support the launch with TV advertising. We have some great TV spots in the can already, but one crucial shot we were lacking was a good close-up of the W*H*Y Trap in action with live insects buzzing around inside.
Wasp, hornet and yellowjacket colonies reach their peak at the end of summer, as we've pointed out in previous postings. And so, hoping to get a good "body count" inside the trap, we waited out the summer and set aside time last week to get that crucial close-up shot with the help of North by Northwest Productions.
But some heavy wind forced us to move inside the garage to film it in front of an open window...
Not to worry -- here's how it looked on the screen... beautiful!
Tell a friend W*H*Y
The postcard will show up as an e-mail from you with your own personal message, and will include a link back to the site so the recipient can learn about the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
Here's a sampling:
W*H*Y Trap elements coming together
As we near our Fall trade show season, the raw materials needed to start producing the W*H*Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets are coming together. In the past two weeks, we've received elements of the packaging for the W*H*Y Trap, which makes the Marketing team quite happy.
Here's the cardboard "wrap" which goes around the trap. Note the diagram showing all 20 species that the trap catches and their corresponding markings.
Here's the foil pouch which contains the W*H*Y attractant refills:
Here's the header card that goes on top of our floor display:
And here's the display box for our W*H*Y attractant:
I'm banking on all these elements grabbing the consumer's attention in a store environment and communicating the quality of the product. Our wonderful designers at Sigma get the credit for the striking graphics, and Spokane Packaging for the design of the cardboard wrap and displays.
Where are the wasps? (or the hornets, or the yellowjackets)
It's WHY to the RESCUE! We have a new resource on our www.whyistheanswer.com web site for the WHY Trap. It's an interactive map that tells you which of the 20 species of wasps, hornets and yellowjackets are found in your area of the U.S.
Simply roll over each insect (it works better if you do it slowly) with your mouse pointer, and the U.S. map is highlighted with the "footprint" of where each insect is found. Then you can click on the insect if you want to find out more about its nesting habits, nature toward humans, etc.
You can find the map here.
True Value sees the value in WHY
Another retailer with a national presence is on board to carry the WHY Trap for Wasps, Hornets and Yellowjackets:
True Value has added the WHY Trap to their warehouses, so that the thousands of True Value dealers across the country will be able to offer it to their customers. We're looking forward to showing the product to dealers at their Fall Market in Atlanta this October!
Two more places to find the WHY Trap
The WHY Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets continues to make waves as our RESCUE! sales force presents it to their key accounts this summer. We have two more great retailers that are on board to carry the WHY Trap in 2009:
Orchard Supply Hardware has 85 stores in Northern and Southern California. They've been carrying our RESCUE! Yellowjacket Traps and Fly Traps for years, and will add the WHY Trap to their lineup next spring.
Attic Trunk is an online retailer boasting a variety of items sold for use around the home, from computers to wind chimes. In addition to carrying all of our Fly and Yellowjacket products, they carry the RESCUE! Japanese Beetle Trap. They are so enthusiastic about the WHY Trap that they've already listed it on their web site (under the "Outdoors" section).
More places WHERE you can find WHY
Oh, just a few small retailers, like this one:
and this one:
and another one you may have heard of:
New WHY Trap commercials win awards
The 29th Annual Telly Awards competition received over 14,000 entries from ad agencies, television & cable stations, production companies, and corporations around the world. The Bronze award is the competition's second highest honor. (The Silver Telly is the top honor, and Jones Advertising won some of those several years ago for our SMARTrap and Japanese Beetle Trap spots).
Here are the two spots. The first is called "Break Room":
The second spot for the W·H·Y Trap is called "Rumble".
Red wasps have a new enemy
Just when you think the news about our new W·H·Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets can't get any better, our scientists go and add two new species to the list, after some extensive testing in the mid-South this spring. And they're both red wasp species -- which anyone in the southeastern U.S. knows is a real coup. Here's our press release:
New W·H·Y Trap catches two red wasps, bringing species count to 20
Spokane, WA, June 30, 2008 -- Red wasps, a significant pest problem for residents of the southeastern United States, will finally meet their nemesis in 2009: the new W·H·Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
Scientists at Sterling International recently added two red wasp species -- Polistes carolina and Polistes perplexus -- to the long list of insects caught in the new W·H·Y Trap from RESCUE!. Their addition brings the total count of targeted wasp, hornet and yellowjacket species to 20.
When the W·H·Y Trap lands on retail shelves in spring 2009, consumers will have one answer for these stinging, nest-building, backyard-invading insects.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a sting from a red wasp feels far more painful than stings from other species of paper wasps. Red wasps are also known for building some of the largest nests of any wasp species.
The W·H·Y Trap will catch the queens of each species in the spring before they build nests, and will capture the foraging workers throughout summer and fall. Refill attractants will be available so the trap can be used for multiple seasons.
As with other RESCUE! products, the W·H·Y Trap uses attractants rather than killing agents. Once lured inside, the insects die naturally.
Since 1982, Sterling International, Inc. has created insect traps and attractants as an alternative to sprays. Based in Spokane, Washington, the company sells its RESCUE! brand Fly Traps, Yellowjacket Traps and Japanese & Oriental Beetle Traps through home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Do you live in an area with red wasps? Have any red wasp stories you'd like to share? Feel free to add a comment.
My parents, the "WHY-vangelists"
My parents visited me over the weekend, and I armed them both with "I know WHY" t-shirts and brochures about the WHY Trap. Back home in Tucson, my mom found the perfect pair of pants in her closet to complete the ensemble: capri pants in our RESCUE! green, with a fun bee print on them to boot.
And it turns out that Ace IS the place -- the first place to commit to carrying the WHY Trap and the WHY Attractant refills in its warehouses around the country in 2009! Read more in this press release.
Coverage from the National Hardware Show
Gang members invade our WHY Trap exhibit...
...Actually, it was just us. On Day 2 of the National Hardware Show, the RESCUE! Sales & Marketing team hammed it up in "biker gang" jackets. Alyssa was a wasp, Jim was a hornet, and Jonathan and I were yellowjackets.
Here we are approaching the Convention Center...
And in the booth...
These outfits reflect the concept we used in one of our new TV commercials for the WHY Trap. Called "Rumble", the spot shows a family in their backyard about to enjoy some hamburgers from the barbecue. Suddenly, a gang of "yellowjackets" (3 guys in yellow jackets) bust through the gate to crash the picnic. They are followed by three wasp women, and three bad hornets who close in on the family, digging into the potato salad and Kool-Aid, poking the hamburgers on the barbecue and threatening to sting. The WHY Trap comes to the rescue, as mom hangs it up in a tree to draw the "gang members" away from the family's patio.