How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs (and Keep Them Away) 

Published July 11, 2022
Stink bug resting in a Gorse Bush

Are you plagued by stink bugs? You are not alone. These bugs are a persistent problem for at least half of the year - sometimes longer. They tend to be the most active in spring and summer, but they can also be active during fall in winter, especially if temperatures are at least relatively warm. If you are tired of battling these insects and want to learn how to get rid of stink bugs once and for all, you'll be glad to discover the suggestions below.

Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House

Do stink bugs sometimes find their way into your home? Before you learn how to get rid of stink bugs, first learn how to keep them out of the house. They may be flying in through open doors when people enter or leave, but that's not the only way they can get inside. They are small, so they can finagle their way indoors through small cracks and openings that you may not even realize are there. You can't stop opening the door to your home, but you can seal up other ways they may be getting in.

  • Put weather stripping around doors, windows, and other areas where they may be gaining entry to your home.
  • Apply fresh caulk around molding, plumbing fixtures, and pipes that lead into and out of your house.
  • Inspect the screens on your windows or any patio doors for holes and make any repairs that are necessary.

Add Plants That Repel Stink Bugs to Your Garden

If you want to know how to keep stink bugs away from your property as a whole, think carefully about what you plant in your yard or garden. Plants like fruit trees, legumes, corn, tomatoes, and many others attract stink bugs to the garden, but there are also a lot of plants that serve to repel these pesky insects. Make sure your garden includes things that may deter stink bugs, such as garlic, lavender, rosemary, tansy, and thyme. Stink bugs tend to avoid areas where these crops are planted, so place them strategically throughout your landscape and near entrances to your home.

Keep Stink Bugs Away With Essential Oils

If you're looking for a home remedy to help you get rid of stink bugs, essential oils are a great option. Many essential oils emit odors that stink bugs find repulsive. You can use these essential oils to create your own stink bug repellent. Simply fill a spray bottle with water and add 10-15 drops of any combination of clove, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, mint, or eucalyptus oil per cup of water. Shake well, then spray in indoor or outdoor areas where you have seen stink bugs. You can also saturate cotton balls with the same essential oils and place them in areas frequented by stink bugs.

Get Rid of Stink Bugs With Commercial Stink Bug Repellent

If you would prefer to use a stink bug repellent that is less fragrant than an essential oil spray, you will be glad to learn that it is possible to purchase commercially produced stink bug repellent that does not have a strong smell. Harris Home Pest Control Stink Bug Killer is one such product. It comes in a spray bottle and is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being safe to use indoors in residential settings. You can also use it to get rid of stink bugs outside.

Kill Stink Bugs Quickly

Stink bug repellent and other preventive measures will help keep stink bugs away, but it's not likely to eliminate their presence. When you find stink bugs in your home or garden, you can either let them stay there or kill them. The best way to kill them is with soapy water. Mix any kind of antibacterial dish soap with water in a sprayer and spray it on the bugs when you see them. You can also capture them in a container and then spray them with soapy water. Alternately, you can fill a jar with soapy water and knock any stink bugs you see into it, where they will drown.

Encourage Stink Bug Predators

While attracting stink bug predators to your yard may not be as fast-acting as taking them out with soapy water, this can be a good long-term solution to minimize your stink bug problem. Birds, toads, and many beneficial garden bugs will be more than happy to help kill the stink bugs that find their way to your property. Draw them in with bird feeders, bird baths, areas for toads to feed and find shelter, and plants that attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. Once they arrive, they're sure to play an active role in helping to control your pest population.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Now that you know how to get rid of stink bugs and keep them away, you don't have to just sit back and let them crawl around on your plants or get into your home without fighting back. You may not be able to totally eliminate stink bugs from your garden or home, but applying the suggestions above can definitely help you minimize their presence.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs (and Keep Them Away)