How do I get rid of stink bugs?
If you have ever found stink bugs in your house then you know how frustrating it can be. These little brown/green bugs are known for their ability to sneak into your home through the tiniest of cracks. But their real claim to fame is the lasting smell they leave behind when you squish one.
The good news is, there are some simple things you can do to get rid of stink bugs and prevent them from ever coming back. The first step is to understand how they got into your home in the first place.
Why do I have Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs live their life in a cycle. Throughout the year they move in and out of your home according to the seasons. They move into your house when it's cold and into your yard when it's warm. This means that if you want to kill and prevent stink bugs from ever coming back, you will need to break their cycle. This moving target might sound complicated, but in reality, it is pretty simple. You just need to know what season it is, and where they are.
At the beginning of Fall, when the days get shorter and the temperature decreases, stink bugs seek shelter. They need somewhere safe and quite to hibernate. This is typically the time you will start to see stink bugs entering your home from cracks and windows. Once a stink bug gets into a structure, it releases a pheromone that attracts many more. It's also why you might start to see them show up quickly and without warning.
During Winter hibernation, stink bugs will find a safe and quiet area of your home to rest. Their favorite hibernation spot is in your attic. They won't technically be asleep, but it can look that way. They won't move, and the female stink bugs will no longer lay eggs. For the most part, they won't be very visible during the winter months, and they are not interested in leaving your house until it is time for them to mate in the Spring.
When Spring comes, the stink bugs come out of hibernation and slowly start to move around your house as they get ready to leave and mate. You will probably notice a significant increase in stink bugs as soon as the days start to get warmer. This is a perfect time to use an indoor trap. The best spot to place one is in the attic, and if you can put one near a light source you will be much more effective.
As Summer starts the stink bugs that were in your house will mostly be outdoors. But they haven't gone far. They tend to stay very close and feed on the trees and shrubs in your yard. This provides an excellent opportunity to trap them outdoors and spray a perimeter barrier of insecticide around the base of your house. The goal for the Summer months is to trap them outside. Then, when Fall arrives, the bugs won't be able to enter your home to continue the cycle.
In general, homeowners tend to report stink bugs the most during the Fall and Spring months. This is the time when they are the most visible. However, they never go away. If you know what you are doing you can kill or trap them any time of year. Once you know where they are, you can easily break the cycle and get rid of your stink bugs for good.
How to Prevent Stink Bugs?
As a rule of thumb, you want to trap stink bugs when they are moving and kill stink bugs when they are hibernating. We are going to go over some products that are great for each season, but the first step is to make sure you have sealed up all the cracks and crevices that would allow them in your house in the first place.
- Look for any gaps inside and outside of your house. You may find cracks and crevices in your windows, siding, door frames, water spigots, and underneath wooden fascia boards. If you find any openings, seal them right away. A great tool for sealing up these gaps is Great Stuff Insulating Foam, but there are other similar products you can use as well.
- If you don't already have one, get a tight-fitting screen to fit in your roof vents. This is one of the most common ways for stink bugs to get in, and it is often one of the most overlooked fixes. A simple role of Insect Screen Mesh will let you seal up all of these vents easily and quickly.
- If you have a fireplace be sure to close the flu when not using it as it is essentially a giant hole that lets stink bugs and all kinds of other insects in your house.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs?
If you are daring enough and don't mind your house smelling terrible, you can just squish stink bugs as you find them. Unfortunately, this doesn't permanently solve the problem, and it will release an awful smell that will probably convince you to never do this again.
We always recommend that you solve your stink bug problem by killing or trapping them based on where they are in their life cycle. Here are some well tested and reviewed products that will help you solve your stink bug problem the right way.
BuggSlayer Insect Killer
- Great for Spring, Summer & Fall
- It kills a large population of bugs with one application
- Can be applied to dry or wet surfaces
- Easy to use
- This product kills other flying or crawling insects as well
- It is expensive, but it works
Formulated specifically for outdoors, BUGGSLAYER multipurpose insect killer is made of microscopic crystals and binding agents that lets it stick to all kinds of outdoor surfaces. It can control stink bugs and prevent them from re-entering the site for a long time. This product also contains 1.0% deltamethrin, which is an insect killer agent resourced from chrysanthemum flowers.
Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer
- Great for Summer & Fall
- Great for Indoors & Outdoors
- It does not kill bugs instantly and takes some time
- Not effective in the Winter months
Ortho Home Defense spray provides protection from stink bugs for months at a time. Simply set the nozzle to either the indoor/outdoor setting and spray around the base your walls. The comfort wand sounds like a gimmick but it is really helpful. It saves you from the hassles of bending and pumping and it keeps you from hurting your back as you spray the whole house. Home Defence Insect Killer dries fast, leaves no stain, and is an odorless product that should keep Stink Bugs out for a long time. Pros
Bite-Lite Stink Bug Trap
- Great for Fall & Winter
- The UV light makes this a perfect trap for dark places like an attic
- Attractive looking
- Hides the bugs as it catches them
- Larger spaces may need multiple Bite-Lites
- Needs to be cleaned out when it gets full
The Bite-Lite may cost a little more than some traps but it is well worth the money. This innovative little trap attracts stink bugs to its UV light and catches them in its hidden glue trap.
Bite-Lite is easy to use and comes with a six-foot electric cord. You will also get a one year warranty. Plus, the sleek and modern design is great for residential and as well as commercial settings. You can also hang it on the wall or let it stand in any corner of your room; it works well in both ways.
Terro Stink Bug Spray
- Great for Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter
- Kills stink bugs instantly
- The adjustable nozzle comes in really handy
- Won't leave a stain on floors or furniture
- A large home might require 2 bottles
This convenient aerosol spray comes with a two-way spray nozzle which allows you to target either a small or large area. TERRO stink bug killer can be sprayed into any gap, crack or crevice that you find. It will kill any stink bug that comes in contact with it. Its potent formula can be used on interior or exterior surfaces and it has no smell or odor.