Stink bugs are common pests you see in many homes and gardens. Just as their name implies, they have an unpleasant odor that is quite difficult to eliminate. As disgusting as they are, they do not spread any disease and are ordinarily not harmful to humans.
However, their stench makes them unfit to harbor around living areas. Thankfully, there are a few things that repel them. We will discuss some in this article.
Among others, the following are some stick bug repellants:
- Essential oils like citronella, lavender, and peppermint.
- Insect-repellant plants like marigolds, lavender, and chrysanthemums.
Below, we will discuss six things that repel stink bugs and another five alternative ways to deter them. But before all that, let’s peek at some details about these tiny creatures, like how they smell and what attracts them.
What Do Stink Bugs Smell Like?
When stink bugs feel agitated, threatened, or under attack, they emit a strong smell from their abdomen. They are a part of the insect family that uses their smell as a defense mechanism.
This odor smells like a mixture of chemicals and herbs to the human hose. Trust me – it is unpleasant to perceive.
If you come across a stink bug, you should be careful when removing it. If not, it will release its stench and make it difficult for you to remove it.
What Attracts Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs love the smell of fruit, especially ripe ones. So, if you love to keep your fruits on the countertop, you are ignorantly sending an open invitation to the stink bugs around.
Since they also love to feed on leaves and plants, stink bugs will hang around the plants in your garden. Insects hate the smell of some plants like thyme, eucalyptus, lemon grass, etc., and stink bugs are not exempted from the list.
Besides these plants and a few more with strong scents, stink bugs are usually quick to feed on all other plants.
Finally, stink bugs love sunlight and warmth. They will look for a warm and cozy spot to hide when the temperature drops and everywhere starts to feel cold.
Stink bugs do not mind making their way into your basement, attic, or living room if there is an opportunity. They will easily find their way in and make themselves comfortable.
What Repels Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs are unwelcome pests you can’t afford to harbor in your home, garden, and other outdoor spaces. They are famous for their unpleasant smell and their ability to reproduce quickly.
Due to their high reproduction rate, they can cause an infestation in no time. Thankfully, there are quite a handful of things that repels them. Below, we consider some:
1. Insect Repellant Plants
There are many natural plants that insects steer clear of. This is because of the solid and overpowering smell they emit.
Certain plants, such as marigolds, lavender, and chrysanthemums, are natural repellants for stink bugs. Planting these around your home can help to keep the bugs away.
Besides deterring unwanted stink bugs, there is another good part to growing insect-repelling plants. Many of these plants have pleasant smells. So, as they frighten stink bugs and other household pests away, they also leave your environment smelling nice.
With this option, you kill two birds with a stone. So, this bug-deterring strategy is a win-win approach on all sides.
Garlic is a beautiful plant with a natural flavor for cooking. You probably know it as a food spice for preparing several dishes. If you have some bulbs in your pantry, that might be all you need to end the stink bug infestation in your space.
You may not know, but humans are the only ones that like the garlic smell. If you don’t mind the odor, you can add it to your deterrent strategy against unwanted stink bugs.
You don’t have to keep the garlic so close. Place a few cloves at your doors and windows, and you will be fine.
You can also grind and mix it with water and dish soap to make a garlic spray. Spray it around your home and pay attention to their entry points. The stink bugs will surely stay away.
3. Hang Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are cellulose fiber strips coated in lubricants, fragrances, and liquid. Typically, a fabric softener is for laundry purposes. However, it has other uses also, and this includes deterring bugs.
Since dryer sheets have a strong fragrance, their smell can quickly fill a room and keep insects away. To use against stink bugs, hang a few dryer sheets around the perimeter of your home.
4. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a white powder-like substance made from the remains of the fossils of diatoms. It is a natural insecticide that can help to repel these stink bugs.
Sprinkle the powder around the perimeter of your home and any plants that the stink bugs have affected.
You can go the regular route of using insecticide sprays to keep stink bugs away. If you have one in your cabinet, bring it out and apply it around the stink bug-infested areas.
Suppose you have none in the house. Check any grocery or pest store around you. You can ask the attendant to recommend one that works well against stink bugs.
Once you have the insecticide spray, follow all directions and safety precautions and apply it everywhere you have noticed stink bug activities.
6. Essential Oils
Applying chemical-based insecticide sprays is good. However, it can cause some allergic reactions like breathing difficulties, especially for people with asthma. With this in mind, using natural repellants will make a better alternative.
To create a natural repellant spray, you can use essential oils such as citronella, lavender, and peppermint. Mix a few drops of each with water in a spray bottle and spray around the infested areas and the perimeter of your home.
The scent of the spray will linger in your home and keep the little stinkers far away.
Alternative Ways To Repel Stink Bugs
Apart from the stick bug repellants listed above, you can still try other deterrent strategies.
Here are some of them:
1. Block All Entry Ways
Stink bugs are sneaky and will look for the easiest way to enter your home. They will look for cracks, open doors, or windows they can pass through.
Stink bugs can crawl through small cracks and crevices, so it is essential to block those off. Use a caulking gun to fill in cracks or gaps around windows, doors, and other entry points. This will prevent them from gaining entry into your home.
2. Remove Any Stagnant Water
Stagnant waters are breeding grounds for stink bugs and many other insects. If you have water sources like a gutter around your home, ensure it does not have stagnant water inside.
Remove any sources of standing water or moisture from around your home, as these are significant stink bug attractants. Make sure to repair any leaking pipes or faucets, and keep gutters and downspouts clean and clear of debris.
3. Maintain a Clean Environment
Another way to keep stink bugs and other unwanted household pests at bay is to keep your surroundings clean always. Most pests have one thing in common – hiding in dirty environments.
If you can keep your yard and home surroundings dirt-free, stink bugs will have no place to hide. So, keep your environment clean and free of debris besides blocking all stink bug potential entry points and removing stagnant water.
Piles of leaves, mulch, and other organic matter you leave lying around are sure to attract stink bugs.
4. Keep Your Outdoor Lights Off
Insects generally love bright lights, and stink bugs are no exception. They will swarm around it and try to hit on it. To keep them away, it would make an intelligent move to keep your outdoor lights off.
If you cannot do that, you can use yellow bug lights, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
5. Use a Vacuum Cleaner To Remove Stink Bugs
We have already established that stink bugs emit a horrible stench when they feel attacked or threatened. So, when removing them, you need to be extra careful.
Once you identify their hiding spots in your home, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. Make sure to empty the vacuum cleaner after each use to prevent the stink bugs from escaping.
But if a vacuum cleaner is unavailable, you can keep reading to learn other readily-available alternatives you can try out.
Stink bugs are a nuisance and can be challenging to eliminate. Above, we outlined some deterrent strategies we know can help frighten them away. Some options are natural, while others are chemical-based.
Regardless of your chosen method, ensure you are consistent. The result you desire lies in your consistency. Also, we advise you to apply multiple strategies at once for the best results.
If you have further queries, please read our answers to other common questions about handling stink bug infestations below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Stink Bug Bite Me?
Stink bugs do not bite. Ordinarily, they are not harmful and do not spread diseases. However, they can sometimes cause allergies, like a runny nose.
Do Stink Bugs Go Away at Night?
At night, stink bugs move toward lights. So, when it is dark, you will likely spot them flocking around bulbs or any other available light source.
Why Do Stink Bugs Like My Room?
Like most bugs, sting bugs infest homes primarily for warmth and shelter. When the temperatures drop, they gravitate towards warm areas, and your room could be one.