How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Dabney Frake
Apr 14, 2015
(Image credit: kurt_G/Shutterstock)

Stink bugs emerge this time every year, shaky from their deep winter sleep, to migrate to their summer homes in trees outdoors. They are just one of the many creepy crawlies you might encounter at home, and come with their own guidelines for getting rid of the suckers and preventing more. Here's what you need to know:

If they don't bother you, just leave ‘em alone. They don’t bite, eat clothing, or damage your home. They prefer to eat tree leaves, veggies, and other plants and organic materials. They are just living their little bug life, trying to get by and do right by their bug families as they move outside.

If you don’t want to know where they got their name, don’t squash them, or even pick them up — if you think you can smell fear, you’d be right. When crushed or bothered they’ll let loose a nasty odor that’s like a tiny little bug skunk in training.


If you don’t want them around (for that smelly reason alone) try squirting them with soapy water in a spray bottle, or flick them (with something other than your hand) into a bucket of soapy water. Don’t vacuum them up as the foulness will linger inside, unless you empty the canister or change the bag immediately.


Preventing stink bugs from getting into the house falls, for the most part, under regular home maintenance. You deter them the same way you do other bugs and household pests: sealing up your home the best you can.
  • Keep screens on all your windows and doors.
  • Rub dryer sheets on the window screens and dryer vents; the smell is a reported deterrent.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices to keep them from entering the home.
  • Either move or don’t plant trees known to harbor stink bugs — like maple, ash and black locusts.
  • Make sure you don't have any gaps underneath your exterior doors.
  • Swap out regular lightbulbs for yellow bug safe ones instead.

For the record, you can expect another stink bug migration in the fall, as they shut up their vacation homes and seek shelter indoors again.

Can’t get enough of household bugs? Here’s more info on common pests you might encounter at home:

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