10 Ways to Fend Off Stink Bugs

Find out how to trap them, drown them, and generally make your home an unfriendly target for the critters.


You've probably seen them crawling on your screens or fluttering around your house. You can't crush them, because they expel a musty scent when frightened, a defensive technique that has earned them their name—stink bugs.

Stink bugs, which have a brown, shield-like body, were first discovered in Allentown, PA in 2001, according to a University of Maryland entomology bulletin. They feed on fruit trees, ornamental plants, vegetables and legumes, and are common throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially in the fall, according to the bulletin

Although stink bugs are not known to present any harm to humans, according to UMD, they are a major nuisance.

Here are ten ways to get rid of them:

1. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs - UMD Bulletin.

2. Cut the top of a half gallon or gallon jug, fill it with soapy water and use a piece of cardboard or a napkin to whisk the bugs into the water, which will drown them - UMD Bulletin.

3. Seal up cracks around windows and doors with caulk or weather stripping. - UMD Home and Garden Information Center.

4. Take out window-unit air conditioners; stink bugs can easily get through these. - UMD HGIC.

5. Plant or move fruit trees and vegetable gardens, especially tomato plants, away from your home to prevent stink bugs from landing on the exterior of your home. - UMD HGIC.

6. Squish stink bugs outdoors--the odor warns other stink bugs to flee. - Bayer Advanced insect control.

7. Hang a stink bug trap outside your house to catch them. - UMD Bug Guy, Mike Raupp, YouTube.

8. Hang a damp towel outside your home overnight. In the morning, stink bugs will blanket the towel, and you can use a vacuum or knock them into a jug of soapy water to kill them. - Bayer Advanced

9. Although most insecticides are ineffective against stink bugs, some do work, but the bug must be clearly on the label. Insecticides are never to be used indoors - UMD HGIC

10. Check your attic for holes or gaps and close them up. Stinkbugs often enter through attics - Mike Raupp, UMD Bug Guy, YouTube.

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Lori H. May 14, 2014 at 07:00 PM
I agree with Chrissy. The whole idea of using a vacuum is just stupid. Their stink will fill the house and probably be hard to get rid of in the canister. Also, I've read MANY times over that the stink attracts more of them, so killing them outside (#6) will do nothing but draw more to the area.
Jean Marie Wiesen May 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Good tips, b/c I've been finding these critters and tossing them back outside, not knowing what they were. Not many of them, but enough. Good thing I didn't squish them! I'll plant some marigolds, the deer don't like them either.
Kim Lotarski Szabo May 26, 2014 at 07:34 PM
Pick them up with a tissue and flush them down the toilet. Gone without any odor.
Dawn Engelhardt May 29, 2014 at 11:06 AM
We have a vacuum cleaner just for stink bugs. There are too many to flush down the toilet. I just take a plastic water bottle and scoop them up in the house. The vacuum is used in the garage and camper. As far as outside, good luck way to many to eliminate. And the hotter the more there are so I don't know about the Fall theory. I would pay anything to eliminate them completely. Whoever comes up with a solution will be rich in my neck of the woods.
Erin J Barlow June 11, 2014 at 02:33 PM
I was never finding 100's a day but i was find atleast 20-30 on my son and daughters bed room windows and some in the game room and in the kitchen after i moved into my new home. The kids would not even sleep in their rooms ( i dont blame them because neither would I) I have done several things to get rid of and prevent SB's from coming back. Ive done research upon research to figure this out as I was ready to move out right after moving in..LOL I think the first thing i did was wipe dryer sheets over every single window and door way in the house as I heard SB's dont like them and I needed to make do with items I had on hand at home already. This seemed to have worked a bit then i sprayed the windows and doors with dish liquid and water, seen even less of them. I read that 100% Tea Tree oil (can be bought at GNC) worked because SB's dont like 100% oils as well as many other insects, after doing that I think i had found few but I didnt want to keep spraying the tea tree oil because the smell is not very pleasant. I decided to try 100% peppermint oil mixed with water about 5 drops per cup of water, sprayed all over house every window and door I have, smells great too. After spraying I decided, because it seems to be working so well. I put a cotton ball with 3 drops of peppermint oil added to it in every window I have...and I hate to do this to myself but I have not even seen 1 bug in atleast a week now. I have been waiting to add my comment until i knew it was working. I hope this helps anyone out there. If your like me and my children we were about to LOOSE it!! FYI 100% oils are great for alot of things more so than just getting rid of bugs :) GOOD LUCK!!


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