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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs Naturally

Stink bugs can be an eyesore and a constant assault against your sense of smell. They can cause mild damage to your garden but become an especially aggravating nuisance once inside your home. Chemical insecticides can come with a range of unpleasant consequences, but thankfully, stink bugs can be removed using natural means. Here are some suggestions about getting rid of stink bugs naturally.

Method One of Three:
Natural Pesticides
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  1. 1
    Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth. Spread this chalky powder both outside and inside, focusing on entryways like windows and doors along with other areas where stink bugs seem to gather.
    • Diatomaceous Earth is a natural sedimentary rock. It contains silica, alumina, and iron oxide.
    • The powder is used as a pesticide against a variety of insects, including stink bugs. It works by breaking down the waxy protective layer on an insect's exoskeleton, essentially causing the insect to dehydrate.
    • Look for Diatomaceous Earth that has not been heat-treated, since it tends to lose effectiveness as a pesticide when it is treated.
    • You can also dust any stink bugs you see with the powder directly, in addition to spreading the powder out in areas where stink bugs gather.
  2. 2
    Make a garlic spray. Mix 2 cups (500 ml) water with 4 tsp (20 ml) garlic powder in a spray bottle. Spray this solution onto plant leaves, windowsills, and other areas stink bugs frequent.
    • Stink bugs do not like the potent odor of garlic and generally stay away when garlic is nearby. It only repels the insects instead of killing them.
    • You can also chops several cloves of garlic and spread the pieces around stink bug hide-outs.
  3. 3
    Keep stink bugs away with mint. Mix 2 cups (500 ml) of water with 10 drops of mint oil in a spray bottle. Spray the solution around possible entryways and hide-outs.
    • Like garlic, mint only acts as a repellent rather than a poison. The strong odor is often successful in keeping stink bugs away, though.
    • Instead of mint oil, you could use 2 tsp (10 ml) ground mint leaves.
  4. 4
    Use catnip. Sprinkle catnip powder around your garden and home, focusing on areas that are prone to stink bug infestation.
    • Catnip is another repellent that scares stink bugs away rather than killing them.
    • Catnip is an herbal plant, and you can grow it in your garden instead of buying it if you have the time and are interested in having a long-term defense against stink bugs.
  5. 5
    Spray the stink bugs with soapy water.[1] Mix 32 oz (1000 ml) hot water with 3/4 cup (180 ml) mild dish soap. Spray this solution directly onto stink bugs or in areas where stink bugs gather.
    • Soap kills stink bugs by breaking down their protective exterior and dehydrating them.
    • Antibacterial soap can be used, but it contains more chemicals than non-antibacterial soap. Mild dish detergent is generally considered the safest, most natural option.
  6. 6
    Use neem oil. Combine 32 oz (1000 ml) warm water with 1 to 2 tsp (5 to 10 ml) neem oil in a spray bottle. Coat leaves, windowsills, and other potential entryways or hiding spots with this solution.
    • You may need apply a week's worth of neem oil before you notice any changes. Neem oil works by disrupting the eating and mating instinct of insects. As a result, adult stink bugs that are exposed to it will gradually starve themselves and will not lay any eggs.
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Method Two of Three:
Physical Removal
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  1. 1
    Vacuum the bugs up.[2] Suck the stink bugs up using an industrial vacuum or a vacuum cleaner with a bag. Remove and discard the bag immediately.
    • After vacuuming up the stink bugs, your vacuum is likely to smell foul for several weeks or months. For this reason, you should not use a bagless vacuum that you use at home.
    • Empty the bag's contents into a large garbage bag and seal the bag tightly.
    • Alternatively, you can wrap a knee-high stocking around the vacuum tube. Secure the stocking with a rubber band and push it inside the tube. As long as the stocking remains secure, the stink bugs should be caught inside it instead of entering the vacuum filter. You can remove the stocking, holding the end closed, and dispose of the stink bugs from there.
  2. 2
    Knock them into a container of soapy water. Fill a 1-gallon (4-liter) bucket 1/4 full with water. Mix in 1 tsp (5 ml) dish detergent or liquid soap. Position the bucket beneath climbing stink bugs and flick them down into the solution using a gloved hand.
    • The soap will make it difficult for the insects to move, and they will ultimately drown in the water.
    • As far as stink bug elimination methods go, this is probably the closest to a “stink free” option since the bugs are killed relatively quickly.
  3. 3
    Use an insect electrocution system. Set this up in an attic or other dark space according to manufacturer's instructions. Turn it on at night and sweep up or vacuum any dead bugs in the morning.
    • Insect electrocution systems, also known as "bug zappers," attract stink bugs and other insects by drawing them in toward a bright light. As the insect approaches, it gets a sudden shock that is strong enough to kill it instantaneously.
  4. 4
    Spread fly tape along entryways. Place sticky fly tape along windowsills, doorways, cracks, vents, and any other notable entryways into your home. Check the tape every day, discarding it as it fills up and replacing it as necessary.
    • Since this is not a quick death, trapped stink bugs may give off their trademark odor after being caught.
    • If you do not have fly tape, you can also use double-sided tape.
  5. 5
    Flick them into an empty water bottle. Take an empty water bottle and place the open bottle close to the stink bug.
    • Use the bottle to collect the stink bug or bugs.
    • Cap the bottle very tightly.
    • Freeze the bottle with its offensive inhabitants in a freezer (preferably not one in which you store food). Overnight should be enough time to do them in.
    • Once the stink bugs are frozen to death empty the bottle into the garbage or outside and use again.
    • Alternately, add a small amount of dish soap to the empty water bottle and reuse the bottle to catch as many stink bugs as you can. Catching the stink bugs on a vertical surface is easily accomplished by placing the water bottle opening over the stink bug. Once the stink bugs come in contact with the soap, they will suffocate.
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Method Three of Three:
Keeping Stink Bugs Out
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  1. 1
    Seal your doors and windows.[3] Seal any cracks or gaps in your window and door trims with caulk.
    • The most common entryways for stink bugs include windows, doors, baseboards, and ceiling lights. Filling gaps or correcting loose seals should significantly decrease the number of stink bugs roaming through your home.
  2. 2
    Place protective screens over air vents. Use mesh fence screening to cover dryer vents, air vents, chimneys, and other open areas connecting the outside of your home with the inside.
  3. 3
    Patch up any holes.[4] Holes that are larger than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter should be patched up.
    • Instant adhesive and epoxy should be enough to patch small holes in screens. Specially designed patch kits come with the tools you need as well as instructions on how to complete the task.
  4. 4
    Rub window screens with dryer sheets. Take an ordinary dryer sheet and rub it against any window and door screens on a daily basis until the stink bug problem is fixed.
    • Dryer sheets with an especially strong odor may work better than those with no perfumes or mild scents. The point is to deter stink bugs from entering the home by assaulting their sense of smell with a potent odor.
    • This is thought to reduce the stink bug population by up to 80 percent within a week or two.
  5. 5
    Collect the bugs on a damp towel outside. Hang a wet towel over a lawn chair outside at dusk. In the morning, a large number of stink bugs from your yard should be gathered on the towel.
    • You can drape the towel over a deck railing, empty planter, tree branch, or any other surface in your yard. It is better for the towel to drape vertically than to be spread out horizontally, though.
    • Exterminate the stink bugs on the towel by quickly dunking the entire towel, bugs and all, into a large bucket of soapy water.
  6. 6
    Kill a few bugs outside. Squash a few bugs with an old pair of shoes or a stone.
    • Prepare for a stench. Once killed, stink bugs will give off a very strong odor.
    • The odor given off upon a stink bug's death sends a warning to others in the area, telling them to leave.
    • You should only kill stink bugs outside since it will be easier to air the smell out afterward than it would be inside.
  7. 7
    Control your weeds. Remove or thin heavily weeded areas in your garden.
    • Stink bugs tend to be attracted to weeds. Reducing the amount of weeds present in your yard or flowerbeds will make the area seem less appealing to stink bugs, so fewer will come. Fewer stink bugs in your garden also means fewer in your home.
  8. 8
    Attract stink bug predators. Natural predators include parasitic flies, wasps, birds, toads, spiders, and praying mantises.
    • Grow wildflowers and herbs. These attract parasitic flies and wasps.
    • Attract birds, toads, spiders, and praying mantises with perennial herb and flowers.
    • You can also buy praying mantises in garden supply catalogs. Minute pirate bugs, which eat stink bug eggs, can also be bought from garden supply catalogs.
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Community Q&A

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  • Would peppermint oil work?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes. Peppermint oil is usually cheaper than Diatomaceous Earth, and smells better.
    Thanks! 41 7
  • Why do stink bugs enter the home when it gets colder?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Stink bugs, box elder bugs, cluster flies and similar insects escape from winter in the wall voids of homes because these voids are similar to voids in trees where they would naturally go into stasis.
    Thanks! 36 7
  • Is a specific type of mint required for this?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Use organic cotton balls soaked in therapeutic grade 100% peppermint oil throughout the house.
    Thanks! 47 11
  • Do stink bugs breed in a house and can they fly?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They breed outside and can fly. They make a very loud sound when they fly.
    Thanks! 60 20
  • What do stink bugs look like, and what color are they?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They look like little dark khaki tanks, very angular bodies, and they walk high on their legs. They're almost uniformly 5/8" long by 3/8" wide.
    Thanks! 40 13
  • Were do I get mint leaves?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Check the organic area of the vegetable section of the grocery store. You could also find them in a greenhouse or plant nursery, or at a farmers market.
    Thanks! 25 7
  • What time of the year do stink bugs go away?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • They generally stay outside until mid to late September. Once the weather starts to cool, they begin looking for a place to stay for the winter. Usually, it is inside your house.
    Thanks! 55 21
  • Will sprinkling baking soda around my window sills and carpet keep spiders and other bugs out?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No. You have to use diatomaceous earth, which is available at hardware stores and online. Be sure to get the garden version and not the pool version. Also, you might want to wear a mask and keep the pets away while you're applying the DE; it is a dust and it will irritate your lungs and eyes a little. You'll have to re-apply this whenever it gets wet, for example after it rains.
    Thanks! 43 17
  • The dish soap and water mixture seems to work well. Will that harm the plants that I spray it on?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • It will not harm the plant, but be careful how much gets on the soil because it can change the pH level of your soil if used excessively. You can also use a mixture of 1/2 cup canola oil to a gallon of water and a squirt of soap. This will kill any stink bug you find. The soap dries them out and the oil smothers them.
    Thanks! 63 31
  • What kind of cleaner will remove black spots left by stink bugs on my sheets?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • I've never seen black spots left by stink bugs, but I have seen black spots left by bed bugs. It's usually dried blood from their excrement.
    Thanks! 52 30
Show more answers
  • Live in rented modular home, with covered crawl space, old floor heat registers. I have cats concerned about toxicity. Like idea of mint spray, dryer sheets. What are pet-friendly preventions?
  • Does stink bugs inhabit north of England?
  • How about an electronic ultrasonic device which apprentice seem to cover more than 50 m2 of area?
  • Does anyone here know anything about using a pure castile soap and water mixture in a spray bottle? I've heard it works really well and doesn't hurt the plants.
  • Do cacti and aloe vera plants attract stick bugs? And if so I do I keep my plants with out the stink bugs?
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VideoEdit

WarningsEdit

  • Do not squish a stink bug indoors. The stench they leave can stay for quite a long time, and you may come to regret your action rather quickly.
    117 Helpful?  31

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Garlic powder or cloves
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Mint oil or crushed mint leaves
  • Catnip
  • Dish soap
  • Neem oil
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Knee-high stocking
  • Rubber band
  • Bucket
  • Bug zapper
  • Fly tape
  • Caulk
  • Mesh screens
  • Instant adhesive or epoxy
  • Dryer sheets
  • Towel

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About This Article

1,129 votes - 93%
Co-authors: 21
Updated:
Views: 1,414,473

Reader Success Stories

  • JuliusH

    Sep 23, 2017

    "Illinois is currently suffering a stinkbug infestation. I had looked into making a stinkbug trap, but did not have the light source needed. Pushing the stinkbugs into a cup of soapy water was very effective. I used a popsicle stick."..." more
  • A

    Anonymous

    Jan 20

    "Always looking for the least-expensive, easiest and most effective method to take care of any problem."
  • A

    Anonymous

    Dec 23, 2017

    "I took a small mason jar, added about 2" water & some household kitchen surface cleaner. I've used a gloved hand to drop them into jar & then putting the lid back on tightly. They are dying quickly! Will try the mint oil also."..." more
  • A

    Anonymous

    Dec 6, 2017

    "How to prevent stink bugs from coming inside your house helped."
  • PC

    Pat Chambers

    May 18, 2016

    "I tried the garlic cloves and they really do work. If you have an attic filled with these stink bugs, peel one whole clove of garlic and cut it up into small pieces. Throw it all around the room. The next day, all bugs are gone. That's the truth."..." more
  • DT

    David T.

    Jun 22, 2017

    "The article gave easy methods to try to control stink bugs. I will try the soapy water today. Hope it works, because they are biting the produce on our vegetable plants! Thank you for this easy-to-read and informative article. "..." more
    Rated this article:
  • A

    Anonymous

    Sep 23, 2017

    "I will try diatomaceous earth and will try using dryer sheets on the screens. Currently, I am killing close to 100 bugs per day by flicking them into soapy water. I am finding them mainly on the screen to our patio door."..." more
  • LT

    Lynette Talbert

    Oct 8, 2017

    "I tried 2 different bug killers and they did nothing. The bugs walked away even though I wet them good. Tried soap and water, which did a lot of good. Once they are on their backs, they can't seem to turn over. Thanks!"..." more
  • CM

    Cherie Moran

    Oct 10, 2017

    "My neighbor and I were just discussing these critters today. My neighbor tried the dryer sheets. She has more than me. I just pick them up with tissue and flush. This gives us other options."..." more
    Rated this article:
  • TW

    Teresa Watts

    Mar 24, 2016

    "I tried the soapy water in a small plastic bottle to catch stink bugs inside our home. Works great and seems to kill them fast. I plan on trying the garlic idea but haven't done it yet."..." more
  • ML

    Margaret Linquist

    May 15, 2017

    "Garlic powder and water or dish soap and water work the best around your window seal and around the window air conditioner. I hate them in my bedroom, and so far, so good."..." more
  • SS

    Shirlee Smith

    Sep 25, 2016

    "Thanks so much for these helpful suggestions. I will be giving several of them a try. We have at least several hundred outside and many get inside every day. "..." more
  • A

    Anonymous

    Feb 7, 2017

    "Tried the vacuum. Regretted that, as my vacuum doesn't have bags to remove. So I'm going to try capturing them in a bottle of soapy water."..." more
  • LJ

    Lyric Johnson

    Jul 18, 2016

    "This article helped me write a report for my class. It got me a B+ and I learned more about killing stink bugs without the hassle!"..." more
  • A

    Anonymous

    Oct 2, 2016

    "The article was informative because it made me aware of several different and inexpensive ways to get rid of stink bugs."..." more
  • SD

    Shawntee Day

    Sep 25, 2017

    "I like the cheap, quick ideas on how you can use everyday items to get rid of stink bugs without using chemicals."
    Rated this article:
  • EK

    Erin King

    May 30, 2016

    "Very useful information. Fortunately I have items in my home that can help me eliminate my stink bug problem."
  • KO

    Kathleen O'Reilly

    Sep 26, 2017

    "Being able to use items I have and a variety of different ways to solve stinkbug problem helped. "
    Rated this article:
  • KS

    Kitty Sue

    May 23, 2017

    "The remedies were easy to follow. I also had so many of the needed ingredients close at hand."
    Rated this article:
  • DP

    Donna L. Platt

    Sep 23, 2017

    "The soapy water worked the best, along with the wet towel and bucket of water. Thank you."
    Rated this article:
  • ES

    E. Smith

    Jun 19, 2017

    "Learned some new things, but also, how to prevent stink bugs coming down the chimney."
    Rated this article:
  • Kerry Fernwalt

    Apr 30, 2017

    "I have a big stink bug problem, and now have a few remedies to check out."
  • A

    Anonymous

    Apr 19, 2017

    "The pet/kid safe suggestions were awesome. Hopefully some of them work."
  • SS

    Sara Snow

    Jan 24, 2017

    "Our house has tons of stink bugs! The mint tip really worked, thanks!"
  • A

    Anonymous

    Feb 19, 2017

    "Everything is helpful! Now I can clear all the stink bugs, thanks!"
  • CJ

    Callie Johene

    Mar 30, 2016

    "Stink bugs are so gross, now I will get some mint and garlic."
  • GD

    Gail Davison

    Apr 27, 2016

    "Very helpful. I'm going to try some of the ideas in here."
  • PK

    Paula Kenealy

    Sep 25, 2017

    "It gave me many ideas on how to get rid of stink bugs."
  • A

    Anonymous

    Oct 23, 2017

    "The soapy water solution to be rid of them helped. "
  • A

    Anonymous

    Feb 12, 2017

    "The garlic spray worked like a charm."
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