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As winter comes, along with holidays it can also bring some creepy crawlers looking for shelter and guide them towards your house. One of the creepy crawlers can be stink bugs. Although, they are not known for raiding pantries, ruin clothing or biting humans, they do tend to stinky as the name suggests.
The stink bugs release a pungent foul smell when disturbed, the smell is not that noticeable outdoors but if your house is infested by these bugs they can leave very bad odor around your house in places like carpets, indoor plants, etc.
Just like with other pests that can infest a household it is always better to prevent an infestation but there are many ways to deal with these pesky pests after they have infested your home.
The first thought that comes to mind when you see them is to squish these bugs, but you need to drown this urge. As we know stink bug releases a pungent odor when disturbed when crushed this smell can linger long after they’re killed.
You can use storebought solutions but they generally contain a lot of harsh chemicals. So this is a curated list of the best 11 ways to get rid of stink bugs. You would need to use a combination of these ways that are ideal for your situation to handle the infestation.
11 Ways to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
1. Sweep And Flush
An easy-peasy and a very obvious method to start with is the sweep and flush method. Use a broom and gently sweep the bugs (so you don’t crush them) into a dustpan and them flush them down the toilet. A lot of people use the vacuum but I would advise against it, as the pressured cleaning can crush the bugs leaving you with a stinky vacuum cleaner.
Tip – But if you do use a vacuum cleaner, you can clean the vacuum’s canister, hose, and filters with a solution made of baking soda and vinegar to get rid of the smell. And a bagged vacuum can work best for this method.
2. Soapy Water
It has been seen that the first reaction (other than to release that god-awful smell) of stink bugs to any threat is to simply dropdown.
Mix liquid dish soap with water and vinegar in a plate or wide-mouthed bowl. Move the bowl beneath the stink bugs and they will drop straight down into the bowl.
It is a tad bit tedious, it will work best if you see a group of stink bugs together and use this method to get rid of them. You can also fill a spray bottle with this solution and spray it over the affected area.
3. Stop the Pesky Pests from Coming Inside Your Home
We know that as soon as you see one bug, you can’t stop thinking about where they might be or from where are they entering inside your home. Before you start with methods to get rid of them it is very important that they do not increase in number. Some of the ways you can achieve this are given below.
Find small gaps and use caulk to plug those plugs.
Use vent/window screens to block the vents.
You can also use weatherstrip seals to cover the gaps around windows and doors.
In addition to these things, it has been noticed that rubbing dryer sheets on screens reduces the chances of bugs by 80%.
Something that these pesky pests and we have in common is the resentment towards the smell of raw garlic. You can either spread chopped up garlic in the places from where these bugs can enter the house or you can make a solution of garlic powder (preferably homemade) mixed with water and use a spray bottle to spray bottle near the entrance points of bugs.
I would suggest using this method only when things get really out of hand since garlic smell also lingers.
Tip – If you decide to use this method you can even use these methods to make natural air-fresheners for your home.
5. Sticky Traps
Sticky traps can be easily purchased from your nearby convenience/hardware store. Stick these on wall crack, window sills or any other entrance used by bugs. Make sure you keep them out of reach from children. These traps are easy to use, easy to clean, and you can see clear results.
6. Neem Essential Oil
Just like the smell of garlic stink bugs are averse to the smell of neem essential oil. I would prefer this method over the aforementioned garlic spray as it doesn’t stink up the house as garlic spray does. Just put together neem essential oil and water in a bottle having spray nozzle. Shake the solution together and spray over the affected area.
The fragrance of both Lavender and Mint essential oil can repel stink bugs. Mix 10-15 drops of Lavender/Mint essential oil with 16 ounces of water. Fill this solution into a spray bottle and spray over the affect areas.
7. Night Light Trap
In a wide-mouthed bowl mix together water and liquid dish soap. Use a small light that hangs over the bowl. Keep this contraption in the room with most stink bugs during the night.
The small light will attract the bugs to the bowl. And the soapy water will trap them and stop them from crawling outside the bowl.
8. Cedar and stink bugs
It is believed that the smell of cedar is repellent for some species of pests. One of the reasons why people build cedar cupboards. This may not get rid of heavy infestations of stink bugs but can work as a preventive measure.
You can use cedar blocks or spray diluted cedar essential oil using a spray bottle near the places you think will be attacked by the stink bugs.
9. Chemical Sprays
There are many chemical sprays available in the market to get rid of stink bugs. Spray these insecticides over entering points of the stink bugs. Although, one thing that you would need to keep in mind is that some of these insecticides may just affect the bugs temporarily.
And they may rise again after a few days. So once you use an insecticide on the bugs use the sweep and flush method to make sure they are completely gone.
Tip – If you have toddlers avoid using these insecticides or use them in places that are away from a child’s reach.
10. Spread Diatomaceous Earth
This natural pesticide will keep those stinky bugs at bae. You can even use this in your garden just make sure that it is not concentrated. Spread them near door, windows, and cracks on your wall where you think the bugs are entering from.
Tip – Just like the aforementioned chemical sprays keep it away from the reach of children.
11. Bait and Trap
Once you have sealed all the entryways, you can use the method of bait and trap to get rid of the stink bugs that are already inside. Stink bugs are said to be attracted to citrus food.
Cut any citrus food and keep it on a table/counter (preferably of light-colored so that it is easier to look for stink bugs), switch off the lights and leave a small light near the fruit (make sure all other food items are stored away). Wait for sometime preferable 2-3 hours then use a vacuum or broom to get rid of the bugs at once.
Some other things to keep in mind about stink bugs (and other pests as well)
Seal of all the entry points starting from cracked walls to gaps near doors and windows.
Stink bugs are attracted to light and come near illuminating things for warmth. Dim the exterior lighting to keep them away.
Seal all the moisture leaks like leaky pipes, leaky taps, and drains. Pest infestations bloom in the water so keeping a check on said points can go a long way in preventing infestations.
Exposed food products also invite pests inside your home. Use air-tight containers or cling wrap for storing food.