How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs: Repellent, Stink Bug Traps, Stinkbug Removal

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | March 28, 2024

Person with a bat wonders how to get rid of stink bugs in house and outside and if there is a stink bug repellent, stink bug spray for removing stink bugs, trap, and when to call exterminator for stink bugs.

Although stink bugs aren’t dangerous, they can be a nuisance, and when dealing with an infestation, many people wonder how to get rid of stink bugs quickly and easily.1

And, for farmers or people who grow vegetables, stink bugs during their full life cycle, can significantly damage crops.3

This is especially true if you’re on the Atlantic coast, where the invasion of these pests is presently the worst. Stink bugs prey on peaches, apples, pears, pecans, tomatoes, peppers, and sweet corn.

So, knowing how to get rid of stink bugs and any repellents that can limit their invasion of your home and garden, can be a benefit.

This guide outlines how to kill stink bugs and make the areas around (and inside) your home inhospitable to them, as well as when it’s time to call in a professional pest removal solution.

Stink Bugs Pest Control: How To Kill Stink Bugs

Since stink bugs are invasive pests, stink bug pest control is essential for farmers and those who have gardens in and around their homes.

There are a few different perspectives on how to kill stink bugs. Here are several tactics to consider:

  • Make a stink bug trap.
  • Mush a few to send a message.
  • Block common access points the bugs use.
  • Give your home’s exterior lighting a once-over.
  • Consider stink bug spray or stink bug repellent.

Make a Stink Bug Trap

One popular strategy you might consider if you’re trying to determine how to get rid of stink bugs is making proper stink bug traps. The bigger your infestation, the more “robust” your trap will need to be.

Agricultural situations may predict in-depth stink bug traps.9 Exterminators use traps specifically designed for these bugs indoors.10

You can likely put one or a few traps like this together on your own. These insects like light, and they like fruit.

Graphic that shows the stink bug prevention and removal guide.

Put foods that they’ll be attracted to in a Tupperware container surrounded by soapy water. The food will attract them, and the soapy water will kill them.

You could also wrap a stocking around the inside of a tube with a vacuum cleaner, using a rubber band to keep the stocking flush against the tube.11 The stocking catches the bugs so they don’t get caught in the filter of the vacuum when you turn it on.

Simply drop the bugs in a bowl of soapy water afterward to hasten their ejection from this dimension, and voila.

Mush a Few To Send a Message

If that doesn’t work, there’s a more dangerous method you could employ. Apparently, if you mush a few stink bugs, it sends a message to the others.12

Now, this is likely because of the odor emitted by the squashed bug, rather than some emotional intimidation from seeing their stinky brethren suddenly become two-dimensional. Even so, the effect seems to be the same.

It may be a bit of a “mafioso” approach, but if it works, it works. The drawback here is that you’ll have to contend with the smell if you go this route, and it will only discourage some of the pests, not all.

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs By Blocking Common Access Points the Bugs Use

Stink bugs tend to come indoors during the cold season, and they’ll enter any way they can, especially if your home emits odors pleasant to their buggy palate. Check how well your windows are caulked, look at sealing around doors, and check any attic or basement space for entry points as well.

Block off any areas a bug may use. Depending on how new your property is, this may or may not solve the issue.

Older properties tend to have more entry points.

Give Your Home’s Exterior Lighting a Once-Over

Similar to other insects, stink bugs tend to be drawn to illumination. If you’ve got a well-illuminated home, it is likely drawing them one way or another.

You can either switch to less visible lighting like sodium-vapor lights or eliminate it.13 Motion-activated lights could also help.

Consider Stink Bug Spray or Stink Bug Repellent

If you’re considering stink bug spray or stink bug repellent, before going to the store, check supplies at home. 2 cups of hot water, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of soap you use for your dishes, and a spray bottle could be a perfect non-toxic stink bug spray.14

Stink bug spray and a pair of gloves on a table.

(Image: cottonbro studio18)

Beyond non-toxic options, plenty of chemical pesticides are available, and for a serious enough infestation, they may be recommended.15

How To Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House

If you’re dealing with a stink bug issue, it’s best to tackle it head-on. But how do you keep stink bugs out of your house if you’re not there?

Well, seal doors and other entryways, like windows. Diminish incidental lures from light.

Set some stink bug traps up outside your home. If you’re away for a while and don’t have pets, you might put together some “toxic” stink bug traps indoors, being careful to remove them when you return.

If that doesn’t work, you may need professional help.

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs: When To Call Exterminator for Stink Bugs

If you’re not sure when to call an exterminator for stink bugs or generally how to get rid of stink bugs, the following information can be quite helpful. Here’s a list of situations that may recommend contacting the pros:

  • If you have allergies or are sensitive to keratitis
  • For very large infestations that need to be handled quickly
  • If stink bugs have infested a difficult-to-reach area of the home
  • When your methods of stink bug control simply do not work
  • In the event, an infestation is known, but you can’t be there to address it.

Qualities To Look For in a Stink Bug Exterminator

There are many qualities to look for in a stink bug exterminator. Find someone who has established themselves in the local community as a trustworthy pest control expert.

Online reviews can be helpful; the more there are, the better. There should be a strong online presence that looks professional; this indicates a marketing budget, which will be absent for an operation that isn’t well-established.

Beyond online reviews, ask friends and family what works for them and who they’ve worked with. Contact multiple pest control experts, ask for pricing rates, and then compare and contrast what you find.

You may want an exterminator that only uses organic options, or you may want one that only uses chemical deterrents; which is best will depend on you, your property, and your budget. Weigh your choices and make an informed decision; don’t rush into it. You may also want to consider exterminator prices.

There’s no reason to rush. Stink bugs are a nuisance, but they’re not generally dangerous.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

(Halyomorpha Halys)

Image of the brown marmorated stink bug in an oval frame surrounded by green background.
  • Description: A small gray or brown insect preying on foliage.
  • Natural Habitat: Stink bugs like leaves, trees, and floral organic matter generally.
  • Locations: Native to East Asia, it has spread across the U.S., and it can be found in the West.

Image Credit: Keimzelle19

They seem to have been incidentally introduced to the United States and were first noticed about 25 years ago in Allentown, PA.4 If you’re not familiar, these bugs get to be a little over half an inch in length, and if alarmed, they emit a foul smell that has notes of rubber and coriander.

Stink bugs smell terrible when they’re threatened, and if you’ve encountered one, you know. It is not a good smell.

Though generally, it doesn’t pose a risk to humans, in at least one instance, somebody in Taiwan contracted keratitis from a stink bug emitting body fluids so near the person’s eye that an infection occurred.5 There may also be allergic reactions in some people to the organic substances stink bugs emit.6

So, though generally non-lethal, these pests certainly cause irritation, both to personal safety and to crops on your property. This guide explores how to deal with these invasive pests.

Stink Bugs in House, Stink Bugs in Garden—Everywhere!

Most insects are outdoor creatures that invade homes incidentally, not as a natural consequence of their genetic design. So if you’ve got stink bugs in the house, you likely first had stink bugs in the garden.

They can seem to be everywhere, and suddenly, too. Thankfully, there are numerous strategies for how to get rid of stink bugs indoors and outdoors.

A photo of a pair of stink bug on a small branch..

(Image: jhenning17)

They really like fruits, but these insects have a taste for ornamental flowers as well, and they’ll destroy vines if they can get them. Generally, if you’re a gardener, privately or commercially, and you’re in Iowa or somewhere east of that state, you want to watch for these insects.

While the bugs haven’t totally consumed the western United States yet, their numbers continue to grow. They’re worst from New York State to North Carolina, westward into Tennessee.7

Outside these areas, the bugs are mostly nuisances, and if you’re in Wyoming or South Dakota, finding a stink bug is very rare indeed and has yet to be reported in an official capacity. They’ve made their way to Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, and Colorado, though, so they’re likely in Wyoming and South Dakota already.

They like to “overwinter” indoors, and they can become numerous in your house when the weather gets cold, posing risks to those who have sensitive allergies or are prone to things like migraines from odors.8

Are Stink Bugs Invasive?

One thing to understand as you determine how to get rid of stink bugs is just how invasive they can be. Are stink bugs invasive?16

Absolutely. They came over, ostensibly, on their own, by hitching rides on trans-oceanic vessels.

As soon as they got here, they went after whatever foliage they could and started multiplying. Now they’re nationwide.

How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs: Keeping Your Premises Clear of Unwanted Aromatic Insects

If you’re trying to keep your premises clear of unwanted aromatic insects, you’ll have to take action. Stink bug traps, illumination management, non-toxic sprays, deterrents, and intimidation by selective squashing can help.

Additionally, sealing your home’s entry points and general extermination by professionals who know how to get rid of stink bugs are also fine ways to control this invasive pest.2


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17jhenning. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

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19Brown marmorated stink bug laying eggs Photo by Keimzelle / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped, Resized, Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 13, 2024, from <>