As many forum members have become aware of, the mid-Atlantic region has been invaded by stink bugs. These invaders seem to find their way into any tiny crevice, tiny openings such as the little gap in your sliding cabin top are no problem for these hard-backed monsters.
Rumor has it that they entered the country as part of a research project at the University of Delaware and escaped from the lab. Other sources claim they were stow-aways in the hold of a freighter bringing goods from China and Japan.
Unfortunately, these stink bugs have no known predators in the U.S.. They breed like crazy, destroy plants, and spend a lot of time in homes and boats. I have a friend who owned a Catalina 27 kept near the mouth of the Gunpowder River in Chesapeake Bay's upper reaches. After a relatively cold winter he uncovered the boat, opened the hatch and thousands of them had taken up residence within the cabin. The entire wall behind the fold-down dinette table was completely covered with them.
Fortunately, there is a way to keep both your home and boat stink bug free. Because they can enter through the tiniest crack, it's important to seal off those areas as tightly as possible. For example, many boats have hatch boards with a louvered vent. They can easily pass through the louvers and enter the cabin. A small piece of screen behind the vent keeps them out.
Sliding cabin hatches are another easy source of entry, mainly because few if any fit tightly when closed. It only takes a small strip of foam to seal those openings, which keeps both stink bugs and water out.
In places where seals are not an option, a light coating of Avon Skin So Soft stops them dead in their tracks. Like all hard-bodied insects, they breath through their thorax. The vapor given off by Skin So Soft suffocates them, therefore they smell the oils and instantly back away. It also works well for mosquitoes, flies, gnats, wasps and bees.
Finally, stink bugs are attracted to light. A bug zapper kills them outdoors, but once they enter the house or boat, especially when you're not around, you need a way to trap them. Here's a neat, inexpensive way: