Stink bugs: How to Get Rid of These Smelly Culprits

When autumn comes, stink bugs start to arrive. These are common bugs found all over the United States. They often stay in gardens, but wander into homes on occasion. Their name is because of their defense. They release a lingering odor to ward off predators. You may have an issue with these bugs during the autumn months. Below are some things you need to know to repel them.

Stinkbug Basics

Stink bugs on a finger
Stink bugs on a finger

Stink bugs emerge during the warm months. They might be looking for food during autumn in preparation for their winter hibernation. Females start to lay their eggs in every plant they see. The adult and larvae feed on plant juices, including vegetables and fruits. Beans, tomatoes, corn, and peppers are common food items. The damage you see will have pinpricks inside a green or yellow color.

Why Stink Bugs Enter the Home

Cold temperatures motivate stink bugs to search for places to hide and hibernate. Autumn is the right time to do this. They may hide underneath mulch or tree bark. They may even enter your home and pike into crevices or cracks by the hundreds or thousands. Stink bugs are attracted to warm places like a bed, toaster or couch. They can even bump into things as they fly into these warm spots.

These insects can stay in your garden
These insects can stay in your garden

Diapause is the cause of this confusion in stink bugs. This state makes them behave like zombies. These insects experience the winter warmth from inside the house, thinking it is spring. Instead of going outdoors, they go indoors. The positive thing about this is that they do not eat, reproduce or fight indoors. They will mate or even eat just a little. If you see a few, then there are likely more of them coming. These bugs walk along the top parts of walls, in tight spaces ad upper floors. Their favorite places are garages and attics.                                                                                                           

Repelling Stink Bugs

You can repel these bugs with the following:

Neem oil

This is a natural insecticide from plants. It may take about a week or so to take effect. It blocks the bug’s inherent behaviors. Mix two teaspoons of neem oil in 32 ounces of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and use it to spray doorways, windowsills, and other entry points.

Garlic spray

Make a mixture with four teaspoons of garlic powder and two cups of water. You can also use a handful of crushed garlic cloves. Spray this garlic water on entry points.

Place diatomaceous earth

Woman trying to fight off the bugs
Woman trying to fight off the bugs

This is an organic pesticide powder. It is made from natural rock. You can place some in entryways inside and outside. It breaks down the protective skeleton of stink bugs. The bugs die of dehydration later on.

Sticky pad

Get a mop head and cover it with a sticky sheet of lint remover. The mop becomes a long stink bug catcher. You can use this to catch climbing stink bugs.


Using a vacuum to keep the bugs under control can be effective. The vacuum must have a collection bag. Throwing the full dust bag will help prevent re-infestation.

Soapy vinegar water

Get a wide-mouthed jar and fill it with soapy water. Add some vinegar to it. Place this jar underneath some stink bugs. They will fall one by one into the solution and drown. You can also place it in a spray bottle and spray entry points in the home.

Protection in and around the home

Caulking crevices and cracks can help prevent stink bugs from sneaking into your home. Placing a mesh over your air vents can keep bugs from entering as well.

Night light trap

Place a night light in an area with a large population of stink bugs in your home. Place a wide dish of soapy water underneath the night light. The stink bugs will go to the light and then fall into the suds.

Dryer sheets

These bugs can enter your home i the fall and winter seasons
These bugs can enter your home in the fall and winter seasons

The odor of dryer sheets is offensive to stink bugs. You can rub these dryer sheets on entry points and window screens to keep these bugs away.

Stink bugs can be a problem during the autumn months. Repelling way is the most optimal way to keep your home stink bug-free. Just remember not to handle them with your bare hands or squish them. This will keep your hands and your home from stinking.