How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

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I’ll just cut right to the chase: Stinkbugs are disgusting. If you find yourself here because you’ve come across some stinkers in your own home and have been frantically searching the internet in a desperate attempt to get rid of them, then you probably already know that. So, let’s jump right into it with six tips ahead on how to get rid of stink bugs for good, as well as a few best practices to prevent them from making a return appearance (most of them will work for other unwanted pests, too!)

close up of brown marmorated stink bug

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Seal Entry Points

It’s probably difficult to figure out where exactly the little buggers are coming in, but that’s exactly why you should seal off any and all potential entry points. This can be a screen window or door, cracks in counters, or really anything because they can squeeze into really small spaces. According to Orkin, they most often sneak in through “cracks, crevices, gaps and holes in foundations, window and door frames, soffits, attics, and underneath siding.” So adequate sealing around any of these structures is a must. Pay extra attention to entry areas that are near fruit trees, sweeping gardens, or other agricultural hot spots, as this is where stink bugs are attracted.

Tidy Up the Kitchen

Rethink the way you store food. If you’ve just been using chip clips, you might want to reassess and switch to a more airtight food storage container. The goal is to make it harder for them to survive and thrive once they’re in your home so eliminating their access to food will lead them elsewhere.

jars containing spices and herbs in diy wooden rack

by Alfian WidiantonoGetty Images

Keep Moisture Levels Down

Whether this means investing in a dehumidifier or replacing any leaky pipes, super humid places with water build-up or poor ventilation are considered breeding grounds for stink bugs. You could also tape over any emergency drainage points if you think they’re coming in through the sink drains.

Get an Essential Oil Diffuser

These repel stink bugs, especially mint essential oil, but they won’t kill them. According to a research study published in the Journal of Entomology, “all the tested individual essential oils and a ternary oil blend showed significant repellency to both BMSB nymphs and adults.” The most effective were pure clove oil, lemon-grass oil, spearmint oil, ylang-ylang oil, and then a mix of some combination of the three. And then less effective though still helpful options include wintergreen oil, geranium oil, pennyroyal oil, and rosemary oil, which showed a 60 to 85 percent reduction in attraction to a bait trap.

a white oil diffuser humidifier in a domestic setting

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Turn Off Your Lights at Night

Like most insects, stink bugs are drawn to lights. So if you keep on your porch lights (or any light on for that matter once they get their way inside), they’ll flock to them. The simple answer? Just turn them off or put them on a motion detection timer so that they only turn on when someone walks by—that’s more energy-efficient and cost-effective, too, anyway.

Remove and Release

Instead of crushing stink bugs like you might be compelled to do with another creepy-crawly pests, refrain… Getting crunched is what releases their famously revolting stench. You can trap them in a cup and then bring them outside, or you can sweep or vacuum them away. If you choose the latter approach, make sure you replace the vacuum bag and throw the used one out right away.

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