If you have a stink bug problem in your garden or home, don’t worry. These pests are not poisonous or harmful to humans or pets. That said, they can wreak havoc on our gardens and are especially damaging to edible plants like vegetables and fruits.
In fact, stink bugs have been known to eradicate crops and are becoming more and more problematic for farmers in the United States.
Unfortunately, stink bugs can also be a difficult pest to get rid of. Many of the usual insecticides that work for other garden pests don’t seem to work effectively for stink bugs. Furthermore, these insects reproduce rapidly and can quickly get out of control if not handled right away.
Today, we are going to talk about how to get rid of stink bugs in your garden, which products really work to kill and repel them, and how to keep stink bugs from entering your home in the winter.
Let’s get started.
What Are Stink Bugs?
There are a number of different species of stink bug in the US, but the brown marmorated stink bug is most common.
Also known as shield bugs due to their unique shape and appearance, stink bugs are an insect that belong to the Pentatomidae family.
Some stink bug species feed on insects while others feed on plants and vegetation. Stink bugs can be found all over the country, but they prefer warmer climates where they can reproduce all year around. In colder climates, stink bugs seek out shelter, which is when many homeowners come across stink bugs inside their homes.
Luckily, stink bugs are not harmful to humans and pets. They don’t bite or sting, and many can be beneficial insects that can help keep gardens healthy by providing a natural pest control option.
Stink bugs also provide an important food source to natural predators like bats, birds, and spiders.
That said, when a stink bug problem gets out of control, they can cause serious damage to gardens, fruits and vegetables.
But how do you get rid of stink bugs and how do you recognize a stink bug problem? Let’s learn about the damage stink bugs can cause.
Stink Bug Damage – How To Recognize A Stink Bug Problem
Stink bugs can cause damage to plants and fruits in gardens.
The signs of a stink bug infestation are different depending on if you are dealing with stink bugs in your garden or in your home.
Let’s take a look at the most common signs of stink bug infestations.
The most common signs of a stink bug problem in your garden include:
- Wilted leaves
- Fruits or vegetables that have black pits, spots, or are rotting
- Dying plants
- Yellow blotches on leaves
- Stunted plants that do not grow
- Misshapen fruits and veggies
- Seeing stink bugs in your garden
The most common signs of a stink bug problem in your home include:
- Large numbers of stink bugs in warm spots of your home
- A strong and unpleasant odor
- Damaged or dying houseplants
- Bug trails
- Dead stink bugs
Because the damage stink bugs can cause to gardens can be quite severe, it’s important to keep these insects under control and use the proper methods for removal.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular methods for how to get rid of stinkbugs below.
How To Get Rid Of Stinkbugs – The Most Popular Methods
There are a few different methods you can use to help get rid of stink bugs in your garden and home.
Stink Bugs are certainly a nuisance. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to get rid of because they are unaffected by a number of common insecticides and pest control remedies. That said, there are some remedies that work.
The most common methods for how to get rid of stinkbugs include:
- Natural Repellents
- Home Remedies
Let’s learn more.
Natural repellents are some of the most common and effective methods for how to get rid of stink bugs. Many commercial natural repellents that are designed to get rid of stink bugs also get rid of plenty of other garden pests like spiders, mosquitoes, caterpillars, wasps, and more.
Natural repellents are also safe to use around children and pets and are safe for the environment.
Since stink bugs reproduce so rapidly and can easily get out of control, it may be necessary to use insecticides to help get rid of them. While insecticides can be an effective method for how to get rid of stinkbugs, they can also be harmful to children and pets if not used properly and are not always good for the environment.
We love using home remedies for how to get rid of stinkbugs. Home remedies are effective because stink bugs tend to respond well to natural repellents like essential oils, vinegar, and plants like mint and garlic. We have listed some of our favorite home remedies for how to get rid of stinkbugs further down.
You will not usually need to call in a professional pest control expert to help you figure out how to get rid of stinkbugs in most circumstances. However, pesticides may be needed to handle very large infestations. If you need to use pesticides, a professional should be called.
This video further discusses why stink bugs can be so difficult to get rid of and a few proven methods that work.
Now, as you may have just seen in the above video, sometimes natural products are the best method for how to get rid of stinkbugs. Let’s talk about some of our favorite natural products below.
How To Get Rid Of Stinkbugs – The Best Natural Repellents
Because stink bugs are garden pests, using natural repellents is important to many people.
Stink Bugs can be tough to get rid of and are impervious to a number of different types of insecticides. Luckily, there are plenty of natural products you can use that are safe for the environment and safe to use around people and pets that work well to rid your garden and home of stink bugs.
Some of our favorite, all natural products for how to get rid of stinkbugs are listed below.
One of the reasons we like Diatomaceous Earth so much is because it’s so effective to get rid of not only stink bugs but also a number of other hard-to-handle pests like roaches, spiders, Asain beetles, centipedes, and more.
You can use this product for how to get rid of stinkbugs by sprinkling it around your garden and even around the perimeter of your home to keep stink bugs from entering your house.
Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use around children and pets as it is a natural substance made from fossilized algae that penetrates an insect’s exoskeleton, dehydrating it from the inside and killing it.
It is safe to use around edible plants as well. However, you will need to reapply this product after rain or snow because it works best when dry.
Mdxconcepts Organic Home Pest Control
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This is another organic and natural pest control spray option we like for how to get rid of stinkbugs because it is not only effective, but safe to use indoors and out.
Since these garden pests will often make their way inside during winter seeking shelter and warmth, it’s good to have a spray you can use safely and confidently indoors and out. Because this product is made with all natural ingredients, it is safe to use around children and pets and safe to use in gardens.
Boric Acid Pest Killer
Boric Acid is a natural insecticide chemical that is found in rocks, water, and plants. Similar to Diatomaceous Earth, Boric Acid is an effective powder-like insecticide that works for how to get rid of stinkbugs naturally.
You can use this product in your garden, and while it is primarily safe, it can cause irritation and illness to pets and children if ingested in large amounts, so use it with caution.
Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Spray
Like many pests, stink bugs hate the overwhelming scent of mint. You can make your own mint spray (which we will discuss below) or you can purchase the product above, which is specifically designed to control pests like stink bugs.
However, while this product is all natural and safe to use around children and pets both indoors and out, we should note that it only repels stink bugs and will not kill them. That said, this is a great preventative tool.
Bonide Neem Oil
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One of the best natural pest repellents that work for how to get rid of stinkbugs is Neem Oil. This is an organic and natural way to help protect your garden and the perimeter of your home from these damaging and stinky pests.
It works to get rid of stink bug eggs and adults, and can be used to also get rid of other pests like spiders, mites and flies. Best of all, you can use Neem Oil on edible plants like herbs, fruits and vegetables, and even use this spray on indoor plants as well.
Wondercide Natural Pest Control Spray
We love Wondercide because it uses all natural ingredients to help get rid of a number of pests from mosquitoes to roaches to stink bugs.
If you are also looking for how to get rid of stinkbugs indoors, you’re in luck. You can purchase Wondercide products for both indoor and outdoor use. The order above is our preferred method for stink bug control in gardens. It is also safe to use on edible plants and around children and pets.
How To Get Rid Of Stinkbugs – The Best Insecticides
If you have a severe stink bug problem, insecticides may be required.
Most of us don’t enjoy using insecticides to get rid of stink bugs because we know they can be harmful to the environment and use harsh chemical ingredients that can be toxic to our families and pets.
However, sometimes using an insecticide for how to get rid of stinkbugs is necessary, especially if you have a large infestation of stink bugs in your garden.
The good news is that, when used properly, insecticides can be an effective method for stink bug removal. Let’s take a look at some of the most highly recommended insecticides for how to get rid of stinkbugs below.
D-Fense SC Deltamethrin
D-Fense SC with Deltamethrin is one of the insecticides proven to work against stink bugs and other pests. It is meant to be used outdoors and in gardens and lawns, and you can also use it around the perimeter of your home to help keep stink bugs at bay.
However, remember this is an insecticide and can be dangerous to use around children and pets if not used properly.
Cyper WSP Insecticide
This is a concentrated insecticide you can use against 30 different types of pests, including stink bugs. It is meant to be mixed with water and can be used in the yard and garden and around the perimeter of the home.
However, keep in mind that while this is an effective method for how to get rid of stinkbugs, it is also an insecticide that uses harsh chemicals and can be dangerous to use around children and pets.
Cyzmic CS Controlled Release Insecticide
We also like Cyzmic CS for how to get rid of stinkbugs as it is one of the few effective methods that works. It uses the active ingredient Lamda Cyhalothrin and leaves no odor or stench. It can also help get rid of flies, spiders, termites, fleas, mosquitoes, and wasps.
Again, this is an insecticide that can be harmful to children and pets and should be used with caution in areas where kids and animals play.
Drione Insecticide Dust
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Drione is another insecticide that effectively kills stink bugs on contact. When used properly, this insecticide can also be safe to use around people and pets. However, it can be harmful to the environment and especially to aquatic life.
Refrain from using this product around ponds or lakes, and use it with caution around kids and animals.
How To Get Rid Of Stinkbugs Using Home Remedies
Plant flowers like marigolds to help keep stink bugs from your garden.
Stink bugs are a serious nuisance and can cause lots of damage to gardens. Luckily, there are plenty of natural and safe home remedies you can use for how to get rid of stinkbugs effectively.
- Garlic Spray
First on our list of home remedies for how to get rid of stinkbugs is garlic spray. You can puree garlic or use garlic oil, mix it with warm water and let it sit for at least 24 hours before spraying it around your garden, on indoor plants, and along the perimeter of your home.
Since this garlic spray is natural, it is safe to use around children and pets and safe to use on edible plants like herbs, veggies, and fruit. Although garlic spray will not kill stink bugs on contact, it will repel them. This spray works best when reapplied often.
- Essential Oil Spray
Along with garlic, stink bugs are also repelled by strong-smelling essential oils. Some of the most effective essential oils you can use include neem oil, mint, lemon, eucalyptus, lavider, and catnip oil.
Drop one teaspoon of the oil of your choice per every two cups of warm water. Mix the solution well and spray it around your garden, on indoor plants, and along the perimeter of your home. Just as with the garlic spray, this solution won’t kill stink bugs on contact but it will repel them.
- Dish Soap, White Vinegar, and Warm Water
You can use dish soap, white vinegar, and warm water to kill and repel stink bugs and keep them from returning.
Use one cup of white vinegar mixed with two cups of warm water. Then you can add ½ a cup of dish soap. Mix the solution well and put it in a spray bottle. You can use this to spray directly on the stinkbugs to kill them on contact and spray around your garden to repel them.
- Use Deterrent Plants
One of the best ways to help repel stink bugs and keep them from your garden is to use plants that repel them. Marigolds, garlic, and mint are three plants that effectively work for how to get rid of stinkbugs in the garden. Stink Bugs are also repelled by catnip.
- Dryer Sheets
The scent of dryer sheets will also work to repel stink bugs. You can rub dryer sheets along the perimeter of your home or leave them at entry and exit points. You may also leave dryer sheets in your garden.
- Crushed Eggshells
Since birds are natural predators to stink bugs, leaving crushed eggshells along the perimeter of your home and in your garden will help you not only keep stink bugs at bay but will help keep other pests away as well.
How To Get Rid Of Stinkbugs – When To Call A Professional
Stink Bugs reproduction quickly and can quickly overtake gardens.
For the most part, you likely won’t need to contact a professional to help you get rid of stink bugs. However, these insects can reproduce quite quickly and overcome gardens and homes if they are not controlled early on.
If you feel you have a large stink bug infestation, you may need to use pesticides in order to control and eliminate them. The use of pesticides should be used by professionals, especially if they are being used in areas where people and pets live.
Most local pest control experts will be able to assist you in stink bug removal. Once you have gotten rid of stink bugs, the next step to take is prevention. Using the proper preventative methods will help keep stink bugs from returning.
But in order to prevent stink bugs, you first need to understand them. Let’s take a moment to learn a few facts about stink bugs below.
Fast Facts – Everything You Should Know About Stink Bugs
Stink Bugs cannot harm people, and do play an important role in the environment.
Stink bugs may be a nuisance, but they are also interesting insects who play an important role in our environment. Let’s learn a few facts about stink bugs you may not have known.
Stink Bugs Are Known For Their Powerful Stink
The stink bug comes by its name naturally. These little insects emit a foul odor when threatened or crushed, which is one of the main reasons it’s recommended you don’t crush them at all.
But why do they stink? A stink bug’s odor is the insect’s natural defense against predators. It is produced from a gland in their abdomen and while many stink bugs simply emit the chemical in small doses around them, some species of stink bug can spray the chemical up to several inches.
Stink Bugs Aren’t All Bad
While stink bugs can wreak serious havoc to plants and crops, they can also be beneficial by playing the role of a natural insect repellent to other pests. Some species of stink bugs are natural predators for pests like beetles, caterpillars, and sometimes even other species of plant-eating stink bugs.
There Are Over 200 Species of Stink Bugs In North America
However, the most common stink bug you’ll likely come across and that has likely been driving you nuts is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. This is a plant-eating stink bug who feeds on fruits, veggies, and plants and has been known to devour numerous crops. They are especially frustrating pests for farmers.
Stink Bugs Do Not Bite
These insects are annoying and even stinky, but they don’t bite or sting. They also don’t cause any structural damage to homes. Their biggest threat is to plants and vegetation, and usually to crops.
Stink Bugs Only Reproduce Outdoors
They lay clumps of about 20 to 30 eggs at a time and a female stink bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. During winter, stink bugs seek shelter from the cold. This is when you usually find stink bugs in your home.
How To Prevent Future Stink Bug Problems
You can keep stink bugs under control in your garden by inviting their natural predators, like birds.
While stink bugs are generally harmless to people and pets, they emit a foul odor when crushed and can cause damage to gardens and plants. They can also reproduce in record numbers and infest our homes during the colder months.
Once you have figured out how to get rid of stinkbugs, you’ll surely not want to have to deal with them in the future. Let’s talk about the best methods you can use to prevent a future stink bug problem from occurring.
- Plant Repellent Plants
Like many pests, stink bugs aren’t fond of certain scents. Some of the best plants you can use to get rid of stink bugs and keep them from returning, as we mentioned above, include mint plants, garlic, marigolds, and catnip.
- Invite the predators
Stink bugs have a number of natural predators that are not only bad for them, but great for you and your garden. Some of the best predators for how to get rid of stinkbugs include bats, larger spiders, and birds.
- Reduce Lighting At Night
Stink bugs are attracted to light, so turn porch lights off at night. If you have landscaping lights around your garden, consider moving them to help keep stink bugs from returning.
- Keep gardens clean and tidy
This is one of the most effective ways to help keep stink bugs from returning to your garden. Remove any debris like fallen leaves, sticks, logs, and dead plants. Stink bugs use these debris to hide and lay eggs, so keep your garden as tidy as possible.
- Continue using repellent methods
Just because you know how to get rid of stinkbugs using repellents doesn’t mean you should stop using these repellents once the stink bugs have vacated. Continue using stink bug repellents around the perimeter of your home and in your garden to help keep them and other pests from returning.
And remember, while stink bugs are annoying and can cause damage to gardens and plants in large numbers, they are harmless to people and do play an important role in our environment.
That said, the best method of removal for stink bugs is prevention, so as long as you keep up with the above preventative measures, you will not only be able to keep your garden and home free of stink bugs, but also of other unwanted pests.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.