Eeew! What is that smell?
Well, if it is fall, then you probably have stink bugs lingering around your home. I live in the south where we have a terrible problem with them. They were brought in because our area once had too many ladybugs.
So someone in a place of authority thought it would be a great idea to get rid of them by adding a predator. Guess who the predator was?
Yep, stink bugs. Now they are everywhere, and we are left to deal with their annoying smells and boldness when they move into our home each fall and winter.
But do you have to just put up with them or can you do something about it?
Well, I have a few solutions that you might want to try. It might not wipe them out completely, but you will hopefully have a little peace.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
Here are the suggestions:
1. The Trap
The first time we had a terrible problem with stink bugs was about 5 years ago when we had just moved to our very first homestead. We lived in the woods, and I guess the bugs just thought we’d share our home.
So we lived with them at first, but finally, my mother-in-law was over one night and had seen an abundance of them. She said, “We’ve got to do something about these stink bugs!” Which led her into researching how to get rid of them.
Well, she and my husband concocted this trap. They used an empty 2-liter bottle. Then they cut it in half.
Next, they attached an LED light to the outside bottom of the bottom part of the 2-liter. Then put a small amount of water in that section of the bottle with some Dawn dish liquid.
Then they took the top part of the bottle and pointed the spout downward so it was inverted when attached to the other half of the 2-liter. The bottle was then taped together.
So you ended up with a funnel of sorts that the stink bugs would fall in (or be knocked into). Then they would drown in the soapy water because they couldn’t crawl back up the tiny nozzle of the bottle.
In my opinion, this works well, but it is also rather tedious because you have to go around knocking them into the trap, or make a bunch of traps to catch them all.
But it did work so there is hope to rid your home of these pests. Here is a great tutorial with pictures to help you along with the process of building this trap.
2. Dryer Sheets
If you have screens on your windows, then you might want to invest in some of the strongest smelling dryer sheets that you can find. For whatever reason, stink bugs do not like strong smells. Isn’t that odd considering they produce a strong smell?
But I digress. You’ll want to rub the dryer sheets all over the outside of your window and door screens. The stink bugs won’t like the smell and stay away from those areas.
So you know the more you can deter them from your home’s entrances, then the less likely they are to actually make it inside your home.
Again, this may not be an end-all solution, but it will definitely keep some of them at bay and hopefully lessen their impact within your home.
3. Squishy, Squishy
Like many animals and pests, if they smell their own scent, stink bugs will stay away because they know that it is either someone else’s territory or that a predator has squooshed them to where their odor has been released.
So if you have a lot of stink bugs outdoors, you can catch a lot of them and then squoosh them. You can catch them by hanging a wet or damp towel outdoors over a lawn chair at night.
Then the next morning you should have quite a few that were attracted to it.
Next, you’ll squoosh the stink bugs and drop them in a bucket that you leave outside of your door. This will produce an odor that warns others to stay away.
You can purchase store bought insecticides to use in an effort to deter stink bugs from the perimeter of your home.
However, you should not use these insecticides inside your home. This will only leave dead stink bugs everywhere within your home and actually attract other pests that will then feed on their carcasses.
So if you use insecticides be sure to spray your perimeter outside of your home to kill them outdoors and spread the odor that tells the others to stay away from your home.
5. Seal It Up Tight
If you have bugs or pests within your home the first thing any pesticide company tells you to do is to seal and waterproof your home.
If pests have a way in, they’ll come in. If there is a water source, they’ll be able to live so they’ll stay.
So you need to be sure that all of your doors and windows are sealed up tight. Make sure everything is caulked as it should be. You’ll also want to check under your sinks to make sure there are no leaks and no cracks to the outside world that would be a potential entrance for any pests…including stink bugs.
Once you have secured your doors, windows, and sinks you’ll need to check the rest of your home. Do you have any cracks where your house has settled and now you can see light coming in? If you see light, then you see a potential entrance.
Also, if you have a basement, is it sealed? If not, then you have a definite entrance point for stink bugs and other pests.
Finally, check your baseboards. Make sure they are cleaned and sealed. Animals will find one little crevice and use your baseboards as a highway system into your home. If they can’t come up through the floor, then they are trapped and will eventually die.
Though this sounds terrible because you have stinking carcasses, you can clean really thoroughly and seal your home so you hopefully won’t have other problems. Definitely use the sealing method along with some other methods listed here such as the insecticides outdoors.
So that way once your home is sealed off, if you have dead stink bugs within your home, the outdoor insecticides will kill anything that tries to enter your home in order to feed on them.
Then you can just do a deep clean and get the dead stink bugs out of your home to have a pretty thorough solution.
6. What Works for a Roach
This is one I found on my own, but I think it really works. In our old house, prior to ripping out our kitchen, we had a bug problem. The house we bought had basically been condemned, and we worked tirelessly at first to make it livable.
Then we worked tirelessly again (for years!) to completely remodel it debt free. It was a journey.
However, during this journey, we fixed the kitchen enough to where it was functional and sanitary (or so we thought.)
Then one day I went into the kitchen and saw a roach. The kitchen became the next project on the list very quickly. We found the cabinets were completely rotten on the backside which unfortunately had drawn bugs…even roaches.
So after we ripped out our kitchen, remodeled it, and sealed it up tight I was so afraid bugs would still somehow infiltrate my new kitchen. Which led me to set out roach traps on our counters, under the counters, and anywhere else I thought they might be.
Thankfully, remodeling seemed to fix the roach problem, but I found the roach traps also fixed my stink bug problem. The stink bugs were drawn to the traps, and they died. Which in turn alarmed the other stink bugs in the area, and they left. That was actually our best year for stink bugs.
So if you feel overwhelmed by stink bugs, get a few of those subtle roach traps, set them out where you usually see the stink bugs, and see if it doesn’t draw a few. It worked very well in our situation.
7. Swat Them!
Now, we are going to fast forward a little over a year from our kitchen remodel, and we have now sold that homestead and moved to a larger one.
But as great as this place is, the stink bug situation still haunts us. So much so, that I was sitting at my kitchen table one Saturday just working away on the blog, and I had stink bugs flying over my head, crawling on my leg, and I could hear them hitting the windows behind me.
Needless to say, I lost it! I got my trusty fly swatter and went on a hunt. I killed every stink bug I could find that day. I literally had a pile when I was finished. I swept them up, put them in the trash, and then I had to do some serious deodorizing of my house. If you’ve ever smelled them, then you know why.
But I will say, I haven’t had hardly any stink bugs since that day. Spreading their odor around must have sent a strong message to their buddies that this house was not the place to be.
So if you are just at your max with stink bugs and totally fed up, I say you just go stink bug ninja on them all and show them whose house this really is! Hey, it worked for me, and I felt better after I got some aggression out too!
8. Stink Bug Vacuum
There are some people that will actually purchase a shop-vac with the sole purpose of vacuuming stink bugs with it.
So when they see a stink bug, they suck it up. The bugs go into the bag of the shop-vac, and when it is full, they seal the bag and take it out to the trash. If you have a shop-vac on hand that you aren’t using, then you might want to try this.
Or if you have a regular vacuum cleaner you don’t mind using to suck up bugs, then do the same. Just be sure to empty it into a garbage bag, seal it, and dispose of it or your house will stink like stink bugs.
Well, it is my hope that out of these 8 ideas, you may have come up with some sort of action plan to defeat stink bugs in your home.
But now I want to hear from you. Do you live in an area that is plagued by stink bugs? If so, what do you do to evict them from your home every year? If you don’t live in an area where they are a problem, where do you live so we can all come visit you over the fall and winter months while our homes are being invaded? (Just kidding!)
It is always great to hear from you guys so please leave us your thoughts below.