How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs – Idendify and Eliminate!

Learn why stink bugs might get into your house and find the best ways to get rid of them indoors as well as outdoors.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 09, 2023
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Stink bugs are among the most unpleasant insects you will likely encounter in your garden. They get their name from the foul odor they release when threatened or attacked. The stench is a defense mechanism for deterring predators. You are likely to have a stink bug infestation in the cooler months as they would be in search of a warm place to stay during winter.

Although they pose no health or property risk to homeowners, stink bugs can be a real nuisance with the stinking odor. The stench is pungent and lingers on for a while. For this reason, you should act fast and get rid of the bugs. This article has great hints and tips on how to get rid of stink bugs. Read on to understand why stink bugs come indoors and how you can get rid of their repulsing odor.

How to Identify a Stink Bug?

An article by PennState Extension describes the Brown marmorated stink bug as an invasive bug and a serious pest of fruits and vegetables. It is also a house pest, especially in the cold season when it is looking for protected and warm spaces to survive winter.

Stink bugs range in size, from half an inch to an inch. The bugs’ most notable characteristic is their pungent odor when frightened, disturbed, or crushed. The odor is skunk-like and smells like the tomato plants’ foliage.

 According to the National Pesticide Information Center, Stink bugs give off foul-smelling chemicals to repel predators and attract other stink bugs.

Why Do Stink Bugs Come Indoors?

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs - Idendify and Eliminate!

Many assume that stink bugs just come out of nowhere, but their presence is usually attributed to several factors.

  • Fruits: Stink bugs love fruits. If you have ripe fruits on your kitchen counter, they could be the reason stink bugs are in your home.
  • Plants in the garden: Besides ripe fruits, stink bugs enjoy a wide variety of native plants, including ornamental shrubs, weeds, and wild vines. They will snack on any plant parts, from the buds and blooms to the leaves and nuts.
  • Warmth and sunlight: Stink bugs love warmth and often hibernate in the cold winter months. They hide in unoccupied spaces like the attic or walls, and when temperatures begin to rise and the days get sunnier, they come out of hiding. You may find a small community of stink bugs in your home because they often weasel their way into spaces but have a hard time escaping.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Pest proofing your home right before winter is the best way to prevent unwanted guests like stink bugs and other pests from residing in your home. If you already have some stink bugs in your home, try the following remedies to get rid of them;

1. Keep your garden neat

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs - Idendify and Eliminate!

Keeping your garden or yard neat by cutting the grass and removing overgrown weeds can go a long way in controlling stink bugs. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests raking away debris and vegetation from your home’s foundation to avoid attracting pests. Remove all the potential hiding places like logs and old boards as well.

2. Close off all entryways

Seal all the entryways, including doors and windows, and fill up all cracks and openings with caulking. Use insect repellent around entryways to deter the insects. Also, since stink bugs are attracted to light, ensure you pull the shades or blinds at night.

3.  Use stink bug predators

Stink bugs have many natural enemies. You can control their population by attracting several beneficial creatures to your garden like praying mantis, ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic flies, spiders and toads.

4.  Plant trap plants

You can plant decoy plants to lure stink bugs away from your most prized garden plants. Once they attack the trap plant, you can pluck it out together with the bugs and dispose them off in the dustbin. Some of the plants that stink bugs are fond of include sunflower, okra, mustard, and sweet corn.

5.  Use insect traps around the home

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs - Idendify and Eliminate!

Buy insect traps and place them all around the home. Most insect traps have pheromones that will naturally attract the stink bugs. Once they are in the trap, they’ll be unable to leave and will eventually die.

6.  Use Pesticides

Stink bugs are resistant to most pesticides because it is hard for poisons to penetrate their wax-like coating. Regardless, some pesticides like, Diatomaceous earth, Rotenone, Neem oil, Insecticidal soap, and Pyrethrin have been proven to work against stink bugs.

The BUGGSLAYER insecticide is one of the most acclaimed pesticides that is effective against stink bugs. It is odorless, easy to apply, and creates a protective barrier around your home.

The Harris Stink bug killer is a close second. It is also an odorless formula that eliminates stink bugs effectively. It offers great value for money as you can use it for multiple repeated applications.

How to Get Rid of the Smell of Stink Bugs

If you squish stink bugs inside your home, the foul chemical smell they release will linger on for a while and it can be irritating. You can use essential oils to make your house smell great again. Mix an essential oil of your choice with water and spray it all over the house including the entry points like windows and doors. Besides making your house smell great, essential oils will deter stink bugs in your home.

Final Thoughts

Stink bugs are pesky insects with a foul smell that are a huge turn off. Although they are not harmful or destructive in a standard home setting, their pungent odor when squished or frightened can be a nuisance. We have covered how to get rid of stink bugs naturally, in the garden and in the house in great detail. Standard insecticides should not be your first option as they are highly resistant to most pesticides in the market. Instead, try all the natural methods we have outlined.

Now, when you know how to get rid of stink bugs, remember to keep a clean garden or yard and remove any food sources that may attract the insects in your home. When approaching cold season, seal off all entry points and use essential oils to deter them. If you have other stubborn pests like cockroaches and mosquitoes and can’t seem to find a solution, check out our best roach killers and best mosquito killers articles for useful buying guides.

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