You probably encountered a stink bug if you accidentally stepped on a weird-looking bug and noticed a foul odor. They get their name from the smell they release from their abdomen when they feel threatened. Learn what attracts stink bugs and other essential facts, and ways to keep them out of the home and garden.
There are many insect species throughout the world. Some are parasitic, like ticks and bed bugs, and others, like the brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys), are agricultural pests. This type is an invasive species throughout North America, feeding on everything from ornamental plants to fruit trees and vegetables.
However, not all stinkbugs are bad. Some are beneficial, like the spined soldier bug. This predatory stink bug feeds on over 90 crop pests, from cabbage loopers to Mexican bean beetles. It’s helpful to understand which species you’re dealing with and what attracts them when performing pest control.
- Indoor and Outdoor Stink Bug Control
- What Are Stink Bugs?
- Are Stink Bugs Harmful?
- What Are Stink Bugs Attracted to in the Yard?
- What Attracts Stink Bugs Indoors?
- How to Attract and Kill Stink Bugs With Traps
- Using Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Stink Bugs
- Getting Rid of Stink Bugs With Neem Oil
- Eliminate Stink Bugs With Vinegar
- Repelling Stink Bugs With Essential Oils
- Make Stink Bug Spray With Garlic
- Using Chemicals to Kill Stink Bugs
- Easy Ways to Keep Stink Bugs Out of the Yard
- Keep Stink Bugs Out of the House
Indoor and Outdoor Stink Bug Control
Stink bugs are a nuisance, both in the house and outside in the garden. Learn what attracts these pests to your indoor and outdoor space and find tips for natural remedies to remove stink bugs from your home and prevent a stink bug infestation.
What Are Stink Bugs?
Unlike other insects, stink bugs are not known to bite and are not harmful to humans. Yet, they are a nuisance nonetheless. Discover what stink bugs look like, their habits, their life cycle, and how they are a problem in and around the home.
Stink bugs are roughly one-half an inch long, depending on the type, and are oval or shield-shaped. Their bodies are nearly as wide as long, and they have long legs on the sides of their bodies with wings that fold over their backs when resting.
There are over 200 stink bug species throughout North America. However, according to the National Pest Management Association, the brown marmorated stink bug was first discovered in eastern Pennsylvania in 1998 and has since migrated to other states like New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Are Stink Bugs Harmful?
There are three stages in a stink bug’s life cycle; egg, nymph, and adult. Adult stink bugs live between six to eight months and lay up to 400 eggs in their lifetime. While they are merely annoying in the home, they are a severe issue for the agricultural industry.
What Are Stink Bugs Attracted to in the Yard?
Are stink bugs bad for the garden? What are stink bugs attracted to in the yard? Find out what draws these pests to your outdoor living space to help you minimize their presence and keep their population under control.
Lights, scents, moisture, and reflective surfaces draw stink bugs to a specific area. They may be attracted to porch lights, fallen fruit, an attractive garden, light reflecting off shiny surfaces, or the smell of other stink bugs.
What Attracts Stink Bugs Indoors?
While we typically see stink bugs hanging out in a flower bed or vegetable patch, sometimes they make their way into the house. There are several reasons stink bugs find your home inviting. Learn the most common causes of a stink bug invasion.
Stink bugs find your living space so attractive because of its warmth. As the temperatures begin to cool outside, the stink bug seeks a warm place to shelter and hibernate during the winter – your house is a safe place that offers both.
How to Attract and Kill Stink Bugs With Traps
The simplest way to eliminate stink bugs is to lure and trap them, and you can set up a trapping system in the house or outside. Learn how to attract and kill stink bugs by setting up a bug trap.
To make an indoor stink bug trap, fill a large pan with soapy water, place a desk lamp near it, and turn on the light. The bugs are attracted to the light and jump into the water, where they drown.
To make a trap for the yard, cut a two-liter plastic bottle in half and wrap the bottom section with black tape. Place an LED light in the bottle, and set the top section into the bottom to form a funnel. Place masking tape on the bottom to give the stink bugs something to climb up, and set the trap outside to capture the bugs.
Using Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Stink Bugs
What are stink bugs attracted to, and what’s the best way to kill them? Stink bugs are drawn to ripe fruit. Spreading diatomaceous earth around a fruit tree or berry plant is a great way to prevent a stink bug problem. Use DE to eliminate shield bugs outside.
Fill an applicator with diatomaceous earth and put on a face mask so that you don’t inhale the powder. Apply the DE around your garden plants, house foundation, and other areas to get stink bugs off tomato plants. The pests crawl over the powder, causing dehydration and death.
Getting Rid of Stink Bugs With Neem Oil
Neem oil is a natural pesticide that eliminates many types of insects. It’s non-toxic, safe to use around children and pets, and effective against the stink bug. Find out how Neem oil will kill stink bugs in your garden by using this horticultural oil.
Fill a 32-ounce spray bottle with water and add two teaspoons of Neem oil. Spray the liquid along the entry points to your home, like window sills and doorways. Consider turning on the outside light to draw the bugs to the area and reapply the Neem oil spray as needed until the bugs are gone.
Eliminate Stink Bugs With Vinegar
Stink bugs have begun to show resilience to many pesticides, and white vinegar is a natural alternative for getting rid of these insects. Combine it with soap, and you have a simple bug killer for indoor use.
Mix two cups of hot water with white vinegar and a half cup of liquid soap. Shake the container gently and spray the stink bugs as you see them. Keep the bottle on hand and use it indoors and outside.
Repelling Stink Bugs With Essential Oils
What do stink bugs hate? These pests cannot stand the scent of lemongrass, spearmint, clove, and other essential oils. Using the right oil creates the perfect stink bug-repellent spray.
Mint often works best to deter stink bugs – add ten drops of mint essential oil to water in a 16-ounce plastic spray bottle and shake it well to mix. Spray the repellent around windows, doors, and any other area where you think stink bugs get into the house.
Make Stink Bug Spray With Garlic
Many critters hate the scent of garlic, and stink bugs are one of them. They avoid places they detect a garlicky smell, seeking better environments to hang out. Create a garlic spray to keep the brown marmorated stink bug at bay.
Pour four teaspoons of garlic powder into a spray bottle and add two cups of hot water. Close the container and shake it until the powder dissolves. Spritz the insects directly or apply the solution to all entryways in your home.
Using Chemicals to Kill Stink Bugs
There are various commercial insect sprays on the market if you’re not a do-it-yourself person. However, it’s vital to use the correct treatments for stink bugs and ensure they are safe for indoor or outdoor use.
Commercial Stink Bug Treatments
Various pesticides contain chemicals designed to kill different bugs. Some are good for bed bug control, and others are more suited for outdoor pests. Try to find one specifically for stink bugs or one that contains dinotefuran.
Follow your brand’s directions and apply them around the perimeter of your house or garden. Check the label for precautions if you have children or pets.
Easy Ways to Keep Stink Bugs Out of the Yard
It’s essential to keep the brown marmorated stink bug out of the yard to prevent stink bugs from destroying your plants, especially if you’re a gardener. Follow some simple ideas to keep this pest off your property.
Keep a tidy garden by cleaning up plant debris and mulch, and remove fallen fruit and berries as soon as you notice them. Turn off outside lighting whenever possible and store reflective items, like a metal watering can, inside the shed or garage.
Keep Stink Bugs Out of the House
While stink bugs are harmless, that doesn’t mean you want them invading your living space during the cold months. Explore some tips to keep these bugs outside where they belong.
Use caulk to seal cracks and crevices in the foundation, repair window screens, and apply weather stripping around doorways, ensuring that stink bugs do not have an easy entry point into your house. Close the blinds or curtains at night when you turn on indoor lights, and check potted plants for bugs before you bring them indoors.
Though not all stink bugs are a problem, some are destructive. It’s vital to take the necessary steps to keep brown marmorated stink bugs and other harmful insects from ruining your crops and becoming an infestation. Luckily, many simple home remedies help keep the stink bug population in check.
Now that you understand what attracts stink bugs and ways to get rid of them, why not share our stink bug elimination and prevention tips with your family and friend circle on Facebook and Pinterest?