How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs | 12 Remedies


Stink bugs are hands down one of the nastiest bugs you will encounter in your life. As their name suggests, these insects get their name from the foul stench they leave behind after flocking through your house.

Describing the exact smell of a stink bug is difficult, mainly because there are no distinct smells that mimic the natural smell it exudes. If we had to describe it literally, it would be a combination of dirty rocks, rotting fruit, and even rotten pulp.

If you are wondering how to get rid of stink bugs, this article will explore everything you need to know about their extermination from out of your home.

Also read: How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes? | 14 Effective Ways

What are Stink Bugs?

Before we walk you through the different tips to eliminate stink bugs from outside your house, let us understand what this bug is in the first place.

Stink bugs are a significant crop pest with a brown, marbled appearance on their bodies. These bugs often enter people’s homes when the weather outside is cool and not favorable for their living. So, you might find a few of them chilling around the basement, living room, or attic until springtime.

Do Stink Bugs Appear More in Spring?

Stink bugs aren’t that fond of the winter months, which means that you will find them in more numbers outdoors during the spring season when they have outwintered the cold season.

Once the weather outside isn’t chilly and instead turns sunny and warmer, they find ways to navigate outdoors, where they mate and reproduce.

Although they aren’t harmful physically, stink bugs, as their name suggests, will stink up the entire place. Squashing them seems like a bad idea because it increases the stench even more than you can imagine.

How to Eliminate Stink Bug Infestation at Home

Given the kind of issues stinks bugs introduce when they infest indoors, it isn’t surprising that you need to find effective ways to eliminate them as soon as possible.

Ideally, you will find them in tight spaces and on the upper floors. So, when it comes to looking for signs of infestation in your home, we’d recommend that you explore those spots first.

1. Use Essential Oil

Peppermint Oil

When it comes to eliminating bugs and flies from your home, nothing works better than essential oil.

Peppermint oil is the type of essential oil that works best for getting rid of stink bugs. You can make a solution using some water and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake and mix the solution well and then spray it all around.

Spray these in the tight spots where the stink bugs have the maximum tendency to enter your home.

2. Check the Entry Points

Another essential step you need to take to eliminate stink bugs from outside your home is to look for entry points. There are several ways these bugs can enter the home, including the cracks and openings around the doors and windows.

So, assess the window and door frames or cracks in the wall from where these bugs can enter. If you find open areas, close those entry points immediately.

Caulk or any other silicone-based sealant will work effectively in closing those entry points and ensuring that the bugs don’t have any way of entering your home.

3. Turn Off the Lights

Light Bulb
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If you keep the porch lights turned on at night, that’s another habit you need to get rid of.

Stink bugs, like most other types of pests, are attracted to light. So, keeping the lights turned on gives them an open invitation to come and invade the space inside your home.

While you don’t have to turn off the lights all year round, ensure that you at least turn off the lights during the winter months when the infestation is likely at its peak.

4. Use Stink Bug Traps

Glue Trap Strips

The dish soap water solution is one of the best and easiest traps you can set up to attract and catch the stink bugs inside it.

You can fill a dish with some water and dish soap. Mix everything until it becomes foamy and frothy. Keep the dish under a well-lit area where the stink bugs will most likely frequent.

Doing so will lure these bugs, and the moment they fall into the maze of the trap, they won’t be able to get out of the dish, thereby killing them in the process.

5. Use Garlic Spray


Aromatics are a great way to repel stink bugs out of your house. If you want to use a non-toxic way to eliminate or prevent stink bug infestation, garlic spray is a very effective method.

For this, you need to take a bowl and pour half a cup of lukewarm water. To that, add 2-3 tsp of garlic powder and mix it well. Transfer it to a spray bottle from there.

Spray this solution around the house, especially in areas like the door frame, window sills, cracks in the wall, etc.

6. Find & Eliminate Moisture Sites

Another effective way to get rid of stink bugs is to find moist areas around the house. This includes leaky faucets, overwatered plants, etc.

You have to look around the house and check if you have leaky pipes. If you do, ensure that you fix those immediately without any second thoughts.

Besides leaky pipes, even clogged drains are another thing that you must pay close attention to. Fix any of these issues if you don’t want things to take a turn for the worse.

7. Use Organic Insecticides

Not everyone wants to use harsh chemicals in and around their house for insect or pest management. If you are one of those people, we’d recommend that you use organic insecticides instead.

Since chemical insecticides risk damaging plants, we’d recommend that you stick to organic and natural pesticides to work their magic.

Some of the best natural insecticides include pyrethrins, insecticidal soap, neem oil, etc. You can spray these around the garden area or the entry points and see if it makes a difference.

8. Vacuum the House

Stink bugs have a terrible reputation for hiding in the upper areas or the cracks and crevices around the house. If you want to eliminate them without stinking up the whole place, vacuuming is a great workaround.

It is not just effective but a great sanitary alternative that you can check out for yourself. Also, we’d recommend that you use a disposable vacuum bag when cleaning your home for stink bugs. Otherwise, it will stink up the vacuum cleaner.

9. Landscape Properly

An unkempt garden or backyard is another reason you can’t control the stink bug infestation around your home. The best way to work around that issue is by keeping the surroundings clean.

You don’t have to do much but ensure that you rake the garden, eliminate food sources, get rid of weeds and mulch, and keep the area clean. Not doing so will eventually end up causing chaos in the garden, leading to elevated risks of stink bug infestation in and around the house.

10. Ventilate the Area

Since stink bugs have a reputation for hiding in tight spots and crowded spaces, that’s the first thing you need to address. If you have a basement or an attic where the stink bugs are mainly infesting, we’d recommend that you ventilate those areas first.

Also, avoid overcrowding in those spaces. You want to leave enough room in those areas to ensure that the stink bugs don’t find the area favorable for their living.

Once you have that sorted, spray the area with some chemical or non-chemical insecticides and see if that helps keep these bugs away from your home.

11. Use Dryer Sheets

Dryer Sheets

This might come off as a surprise, but much like how we don’t enjoy the smell of stink bugs, these bugs don’t appreciate the smell of the dryer sheets.

So, if you want to prevent them from entering your home, the most effective remedy would be to rub a few dryer sheets around the entry points, like window sills, doorways, cracks, attics, etc.

You can also apply a few sticky pads around these entry points to catch and trap these bugs so they can’t enter and escape.

12. Avoid Squashing Them

Unlike other bugs, squashing a stink bug is the last thing you want to do. Just their presence inside the house is enough to stink up the entire place.

Now, imagine the degree of bad odor it will emit when you squash the insect entirely. The bad stench not just multiplies, but it also ends up leaving the smell for a prolonged period in the room where you squash the insect.

The thing you use to squash the insect with will also leave an awful stench, making this even more difficult to manage. So, before you think of swatting a stink bug, we’d recommend you think twice.

13. Look Out for Food Scraps

Like any other insect or pest, even a stink bug comes into your house to lure themselves some food. This means that not only do you need to be mindful of the food that you are eating, you also need to be mindful of the scraps that you are likely throwing out. Sometimes, insects and pests like the stink bug can come around in your trash before you can even realize it.

In such cases, maintaining optimal hygiene around the house is crucial. You can take the trash out daily, avoid throwing food wrappers and scraps here and there and ensure that you always clean up after yourself. Sometimes, all you need to do is be a little careful.

14. Check and Dust Before Entering

Since the stink bugs are outside, the chances are that they can come into your home with you and your belongings. This is where you need to keep an eye on things. Instead of letting things run wild, ensure that you dust your clothes and bags before you step inside your home. Ensure that you keep a check on the sides of the grocery bags, too, since they can come around from fruits and vegetable stalls. 

Also, if something smells off when you step inside your home, it is always better that you wash everything more than once under running water to eliminate any threats.

Also read: How to Get Rid Of House Flies | Do Your Own Pest Control

And that’s all you need to know about how to get rid of stink bugs from your home. If you are tired of these bad and stinking insects entering your home, we’d recommend that you take control of things and try out these tips we have shared in this article. Try out a few different ones if one isn’t working.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the fastest way to get rid of stink bugs?

The fastest and simplest way to get rid of stink bugs is by using a combination of hot water, vinegar, and dish soap. It works effortlessly and kills the bugs immediately.

What keeps stink bugs away?

Strongly scented oils like peppermint oil, spearmint oil, etc., are effective in eliminating or preventing stink bugs from infesting your home.

What attracts stink bugs to your house?

Stink bugs enter people’s homes in search of shelter and warmth. If your house has those favorable living conditions, they will be attracted to stay.

Are stink bugs easy to get rid of?

Sting bugs are easy to detect in the house since they emit a terrible stench. Vacuuming them is the easiest way to find and remove them from your house.

Are stink bugs harmful?

Stink bugs aren’t harmful in the sense that they don’t bite and are not known to damage furniture. It is just that their smell is horrible.

What happens if a stink bug bites you?

Stink bugs don’t bite, nor do they spread any disease. So, that’s something you won’t have to worry about if they infest your home.

Can stink bugs make you sick?

Stink bugs aren’t poisonous, but when squashed, they release a liquid that has a foul smell, which can make people nauseous to the point of vomiting.

How long do stink bugs live?

Adult stink bugs have a longer life span, where they can live up to six to eight months in total.

How dirty are stink bugs?

It is not that the stink bugs are dirty. It is just that they release a chemical from their body, which emits a foul smell, which makes people think that they have horrible hygiene or are always dirty, which isn’t the case.

Why are stink bugs so smelly?

Stink bugs have a special gland in their thorax region, which contains a cocktail of chemicals responsible for producing the foul odor that we know of.

Should I be killing stink bugs?

If you are squashing the stink bugs to kill them, be assured that they will release an awful stench in the surroundings, which can be challenging to get rid of.

Can stink bugs fly?

Yes, adult stink bugs have a very potent flight, which allows them to traipse through the surroundings.

Are there Chemical Repellents for Stink Bugs?

Various chemical repellents are available for stink bugs that you can consider buying if nothing else works.

Do Dryer Sheets Help Keep Stink Bugs Away?

It has been found that the strong smell from the dryer sheets has potent benefits in getting rid of the stink bugs from your house. So, rub them all over the entry points.

By James Edwards

James Edwards is a writer & editor with almost 15 years of experience from Murphys, California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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