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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your Home: 8 Effective Ways

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how to get rid of stink bugs

Stink bugs are unsightly and smelly, and nobody likes to share space with them.

Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate these pests and reclaim your home.

Here at Pest Dude, we have more than 20 years of experience in the pest control industry, and we specialize in helping customers learn how to get rid of pests on their own.

In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for removing stink bugs in your home and keeping them from returning.

Before You Get Started

If you’re working on removing stink bugs, you should start by gathering the supplies you’ll need. Because pesticides don’t work against stink bugs (more on this later), you won’t be using harsh toxicants.

That said, you should still gather the items you plan to use, such as store-bought traps, essential oils, spray bottles, and caulk.

Last but not least, be sure that you avoid touching or squishing stink bugs when you encounter them. While stink bugs don’t pose a health risk to humans and are not known to transmit disease, they release a foul odor when disturbed or crushed.

8 Effective Ways to Remove Stink Bugs

effective ways to remove stink bugs

1. Seal gaps and cracks

The best way to get rid of stink bugs is to keep them out of your house.

How to do this:

  • Use caulk to fill all gaps and cracks around your home’s foundation, windows, doors, and utility lines.
  • Use fine mesh screens to cover air vents and keep stink bugs from coming in that way.
  • Place weather strips on doors and install door sweeps if daylight is visible around the outside of the door.
  • Use steel wool to fill larger gaps, such as those around plumbing pipes.
  • Install or repair screens on doors and windows.
  • Use spray foam to fill the gaps around the edges of window air conditioning units.

2. Vacuum and remove stink bugs

To get rid of stink bug infestations, use a vacuum to suck up adults you see. To ensure you kill any adult stink bugs you pick up, dispose of the vacuum bag in a tightly sealed outdoor trash can.

Bear in mind that vacuuming up stink bugs will cause your vacuum to smell like stink bugs for some time, so you may want to use a bagged variety and just throw the bag away afterward.

3. Soapy water

When stink bugs encounter a threat, they react by dropping straight down. To kill them, fill a wide-mouthed mason jar with soapy water and a splash of white vinegar.

Place the jar directly beneath the stink bug and wait for it to drop into the water. Once it does, the bug will drown, and you can flush it down the sink or toilet.

You can also use soapy water to prevent stink bugs from entering your home in the first place. For best results, combine equal parts of hot water and dish soap in a spray bottle and spray it onto window sills and other possible entry points.

4. Garlic

Create a homemade stink bug repellent by combining four teaspoons of garlic powder with two cups of water in a spray bottle.

Mix the solution thoroughly and spray it on indoor window sills to create a barrier against stink bugs.

5. Essential oils

To eliminate stink bugs, use essential oils like mint, clove, lemongrass, and spearmint.

For best results, mix ten drops of essential oil with about 16 ounces of water and spray it along interior entry zones, like doors and windows. Reapply at least once a week.

6. Stink bug traps

One of the most effective ways to eliminate stink bugs is to use stink bug traps. While you can buy stink bug traps (like these), you can also make one at home.

Here’s how:

Use a razor blade to slice the top off a one-liter plastic soda bottle.

Once you’ve removed the top, flip it over and place it upside down into the body of the soda bottle, creating a funnel. Next, take some black electrical tape, run it around the bottom of the bottle, and drop a battery-powered LED light into the bottom of the trap.

The light will attract stink bugs and cause them to crawl into the bottle. Once they’re inside, they can’t climb back out.

Alternately, fill a wide pan with hot, soapy water and place it anywhere you’ve noticed stink bug activity. Place a small light above the dish so that it hangs over the water. The stink bugs will move toward the light, fall into the water, and drown overnight.

7. Diatomaceous earth

To kill stink bugs without harsh pesticides, use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Made from the fossilized remains of tiny organisms known as diatoms, diatomaceous earth damages the hard exoskeletons of insects and kills them by dehydration.

8. Fly tape at the entryways

To catch stink bugs before they enter your home, hang fly strips (like these) at the entryways of your space. This will catch stink bugs as they come toward your windows and doors.

Why Don’t Pesticides Work?

While pesticides can be an effective way to get rid of other insects, stink bugs have a hard exoskeleton that protects their bodies like a shield and renders most pesticides ineffective.

Because of this, the most effective ways to get rid of stink bugs are exclusion, physical removal and trapping, and natural methods like essential oils and diatomaceous earth.

As a last resort, aerosol and fogger-type insecticides labeled for use against stink bugs will kill the pests in living areas and can be used for long-term stink bug management.

That said, these pesticides should only be applied by skilled professionals.

When to Call in a Professional

If you notice that your DIY stink bug control methods aren’t working, you may want to call a professional exterminator to help with your stink bug infestation.

Most pest management teams will start by recommending that you seal up all gaps and cracks that are more than ⅛” wide, installing or repairing screens over gable and roof vents, as well as windows and doors, and installing door sweeps.

Professional pest removal teams may also use stink bug repellents or traps to kill stink bugs and control their populations.

How to Prevent Stink Bug Infestation

how to prevent stink bug infestation

  • Seal entry points. To prevent stink bugs from coming back, inspect your home for entry points. Pay special attention to areas like the gaps and cracks around utility pipes, chimneys, and vents and the space beneath wood fascia. Use high-quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk to seal cracks.
  • Reduce moisture. Since stink bugs love moisture, reducing moisture buildup in and around your home can help get rid of them. For best results, check for and repair leaking pipes, clogged drains, and sources of standing water.
  • Replace and repair damaged screens. Keep stink bugs out of your home by repairing or replacing damaged screens on your windows or doors. While you’re at it, repair torn weather stripping and loose mortar and add door sweeps.
  • Turn off the outdoor lights. Like many other insects, stink bugs are attracted to bright lights. Fortunately, this means you can get rid of them by dimming or turning off your outdoor lights during the evenings. For even more protection, shut window blinds to keep indoor light from shining outside and swap your outdoor bulbs for yellow lights, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Remove food sources. To get rid of stink bugs, remove as many of their food sources as possible. Store pantry food in airtight containers, keep garbage in lidded containers and tightly-sealed bags, wipe down counters, and sweep floors nightly to eliminate crumbs and food residue.
  • Ventilation. Get rid of excess moisture and promote airflow by properly ventilating all attics, garages, basements, and crawl spaces. Install a dehumidifier and add screens over your attic and chimney vents.
  • Checking belongings before entering the house. Before you bring items like holiday decorations and grocery bags into your home, inspect them carefully for any stink bugs that may be hitching a ride.
  • Tidy your landscaping. Remove stink bug habitat by keeping bushes and shrubs trimmed back from the house. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, store all firewood at least 20 feet from the house.

Are Stink Bugs Invading Your Home? We Can Help!

Hiring a professional pest management company is a great way to get rid of stink bugs and keep them from coming back.

Here at Pest Dude, we work with a network of exterminators around the country. Looking for a skilled professional in your area?

Contact us at (844) 532-0076, and we’ll connect you with a professional in your area.

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Stink Bugs Control FAQs

Stink bugs, scientific name Halyomorpha halys, are considered an invasive pest species that originated in Asia and can now be found throughout the US. They get their name from the foul smell they release when they’re threatened or crushed. Stink bugs are most common in homes during the late summer and early fall.
No – most species of stink bugs do not bite or sting; instead, they release a bad smell to deter predators.

Stink bugs use their straw-like mouthparts to feed on plants, such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables, including beans, tomatoes, and stone fruits.

Stink bugs are attracted to warmth and food sources, including vegetables and fruit.

A combination of hot water, dish soap, and white vinegar can trap and kill stink bugs when placed near harborage areas. 

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Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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