Stink Bugs Invading Your Home? 7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Them (2024)

Stink bugs are generally harmless, but they can become quite the nuisance in the cooler months thanks to their token smell. Thankfully, most stink bug infestations are not serious and can be dealt with the help of a few DIY solutions. Here's what you need to know to get rid of stink bugs.

Are Stink Bugs Harmful?

While their love of fruits like apples and pears can make them quite the pest to commercial agricultural operations, in everyday life, stink bugs are harmless to homes and humans. They cannot damage any part of your home, nor can they bite or sting you.

The one downfall of the stink bug lies within its name: its smell. When a stink bug is threatened or injured, it releases a smelly concoction made up of chemical. This response exists to ward off potential predators, but it can become quite the odorous nuisance inside the home.

What Attracts Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are most attracted to the light and warmth our homes provide, especially in the cooler fall and winter months. This is because stink bugs need a warm place to overwinter and hibernate. Most varieties of stink bugs are an invasive species from southeast Asia, where they never evolved to exist alongside freezing temperatures, so they have to seek out warm places when they hibernate in order to survive.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

If you have stink bugs in your home, try these seven tips for getting rid of them.

Prevent Them From Entering in the First Place

The most important thing you can do to get rid of stink bugs in your home is to ensure that they can't even access it in the first place. This means closing up any potential gaps in your doors, windows, and vents with caulk. You'll also want to walk around the perimeter of the exterior of your home and fill in any small holes that they could get into.

Additionally, make sure screens are always covering any open windows or doors, and keep the space around any window fans or air conditioners as sealed as possible. It's best to do all of these things in spring and summer, before stink bugs start making their way into your home in fall.

Vacuum Them Up

If you've stumbled upon a small cluster of stink bugs and you have a bagged vacuum on hand, grab it. A vacuum with a bag is key here—using a bagless vacuum will result in a canister filled with live, angry and smelly stink bugs.

Quickly vacuum the stink bugs up using a hose attachment to reach into tight corners. Once you've gotten all the bugs, immediately throw the bag away.

Make a Plastic Bottle Trap

Feel like getting a little crafty? Try making a DIY stink bug trap.

  • Cut the top of an empty soda bottle off and set it aside.
  • Inside the bottom of the halved soda bottle, place a small battery-powered light that can be pushed on or off.
  • Cover the outside of the bottle around the light with electrical tape, then turn the top of the bottle upside down and place it on top of the bottom of the bottle. Secure it with tape.
  • Finally, place a few strips of masking tape along the length of the outside of the bottle to allow easy access for the stink bugs.

Once it's nighttime, press the light on inside the bottle trap with a pen or chopstick. Place the bottle in the area where you're finding lots of stink bugs and make sure all the other lights are off.

Overnight, the light from the bottle will attract nearby stink bugs. They'll climb in via the easy-access masking tape, but once they fall in, they cannot leave because of the ultra-smooth surface of the plastic bottle. The contents of the bottle can either be flushed away, or the bottle can be placed in a bag and tossed.

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a great pest control solution for insects like stink bugs. DE is made up of fossils that cut up and destroy the exoskeleton of stink bugs, causing them to dehydrate and die. DE will work best when it's sprinkled along entryways and points of access to your home, like window frames and doorways. Re-sprinkle DE as needed or when it gets wet.

Use Soapy Water

Soapy water is another easy way to get rid of stink bugs. Like diatomaceous earth, dish soap destroys the exoskeleton of stink bugs, causing them to die. To do this, add a teaspoon of dish soap to an empty spray bottle and fill the rest up with water. Spray any stink bugs with the soapy water, then dispose of them in the toilet or trash can once they've died.

If you don't mind handling stink bugs, a similar technique can also be used with a cup of soapy water. Knock any stink bugs you see into the cup of water, where they'll quickly drown.

Try Essential Oils or Neem Oil

Highly fragranced essential oils like peppermint or clove oil will work to prevent stink bugs from entering your home when sprayed onto entryways, windowsills, and baseboards. The strong smell of essential oils repels many insects, including stink bugs.

Combine half a teaspoon of oil with two cups of water inside a spray bottle and spray the mixture throughout the perimeter of your home.

A neem oil spray can be made similarly—though you'll want to use twice the amount of neem oil—but it serves a different purpose. Rather than repelling the bugs, neem oil disrupts stink bugs' reproductive system and appetite, causing them fail to reproduce and starve.

A neem oil spray should also be added to the perimeter of your home.

Call a Professional

Though most stink bug infestations are fairly easy to manage, a serious and prolonged infestation may warrant bringing in the help of a pest control professional. If none of these DIY solutions are making a dent in your stink bug populations, it's time to call a professional pest control service.

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Stink Bugs Invading Your Home? 7 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Them (2024)


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