Stink bugs stink, plain and simple. Getting rid of stink bugs is complicated, and your best defense against these pests is keeping them out of your home in the first place.
To keep stink bugs out of your house, you need to execute strategies that protect your home from outside intrusion. The best methods include caulking gaps around exterior doors and windows, replacing torn screens, and using an insect repellent around the exterior of your home.
The rest of this article will discuss a detailed list of ways to keep stink bugs out of your home (hopefully for good), things to consider when purchasing stink bug repellent, and our list of the eight best repellents for stink bugs.
10 Steps to Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House
The best way of handling stink bugs is to prevent them from entering your house in the first place. There are a variety of other methods of keeping stink bugs out of your home, including the ten steps we detailed below.
To comprise this list, we researched a variety of governmental sources to include the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Pesticide Information Center (a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency).
Likewise, we researched several academic sources to include the Michigan State University Extension, Rutgers University, and the West Virginia University Extension.
Before we go any further, we’d be remiss if we didn’t let you know about our nationwide network of pest control providers. One of the best ways to prevent stink bugs is to use an insecticide around the base of your home.
If you’re experienced in handling this, the more power to you. However, you may very well need an exterminator to handle the issue for you. If you’re interested, contact our partners today and we’ll connect you with a local exterminator in your area in seconds for free. That’s it!
Let’s get to it!
Sealing the Outside of Your House Keeps Stink Bugs Out
Entry can be significantly reduced or eliminated in older wood-frame houses by caulking and sealing crevices and cracks on the home’s exterior.
However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep stink bugs out of homes with vinyl siding because the siding and soffits are loosely nailed or hung to allow the panels to contract and expand with changes in outside temperature.
If sealing the outside of the home doesn’t prevent stink bugs from gaining entry into the house, try caulking around electrical outlets, switch boxes, heating ducts, and ceiling fixtures. Likewise, look for other openings in interior walls such as vents that might be the source of the infestation.
Using Light Traps Helps Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House
The University of Florida Extension reported that light sources attract the most common varieties of stink bugs. For that reason, installing light traps in attics and basements is a great way to capture stink bugs at night, solving your infestation problem before it can get started.
Researchers from Polytechnic Institute and State University along with participating citizen scientists concluded that aluminum water pan traps are the most effective traps tested for catching stink bugs.
Making your own aluminum water pan trap is as easy as one-two-three. All you need is a deep roasting pan, a lamp to attract the stink bugs (stink bugs use black light as a visual queue, so try this Gohyo 9 LED Blacklight), and some soapy water. It is best to use an aluminum pan so you can toss it in the garbage when you are done using it. After all, who wants to use a bug pan for preparing dinner!
Moving along, fill the pan with water and dish soap. Next, place the container in your attic, basement, or wherever else you think stink bugs might be entering the home. Then, point a lamp downwards towards the pan and get ready for some action.
When using light traps, be sure to put enough water in the pan as stink bugs can be rather large. Best of all, costs associated with making a light trap are nominal, and the study found that light pans are typically more effective than store-bought insect traps.
And, as a bonus, this trap will likely trap other insects at the same time it is taking care of your stink bug problem for you!
Rubbing Dryer Sheets on Your Window Screens Repels Stink Bugs
Yes, you heard that right. Good Housekeeping Magazine claims that rubbing fragrant dryer sheets can significantly reduce the level of infestation by stink bugs. Be sure to wipe the sheets across the entire surface of the screens to make sure the scent lingers.
Of course, there are many variables to using this method, but it could be a good stop gap for you while you work on a more permanent solution.
Use a Peppermint Spray to Repel Stink Bugs
Its main active ingredients include peppermint, spearmint, and rosemary essential oils which, should work pretty well to deter stink bugs as they dislike the scent and stay away from it.
Additionally, all MDX products are USDA certified.
Magma Home Pest Spray claims to control and repels a wide variety of pests to include stink bugs, ants, earwigs, fleas, mites, scorpions, silverfish, spiders, and more.
With its combination base of essential oils, this is another product that you should enjoy for its scent, let alone the repelling of stink bugs!
Minimize Lighting Outside Your House
Lights attract stink bugs and other pests. Turning off outside lighting when you don’t need it or replacing the bulbs is a great way to make your house less attractive to stink bugs.
Better yet, purchase some solar-powered motion sensor lights like this set of four lights made by Baxia Technology and save yourself a nickel or three on your electric bill.
Unless your using a yellow / red light, this will also help to decrease the traffic of mosquitoes and gnats outside your home as well.
Spray Around the Perimeter of Your House With Insecticide or Repellent
Spraying the exterior wall of your home with a suitable insecticide or repellent is a great way to prevent stink bugs from gaining entry into your home. The repellent should be applied around September when bugs typically begin congregating on your walls, looking for a warm place to live.
If you have others in your home, make sure you read the labels on products before using them. Better yet, take a look at our list of repellents towards the bottom of this article and start your research based on that.
Again, if you aren’t experienced in doing this yourself, your best bet may be to hire an exterminator to spray insecticide around the base of your home. You can contact our nationwide network of pest control providers to find a local exterminator near you in seconds!
Install Door Sweeps or Weatherstrip Entry Doors
Weatherstrip and door frames showing light around their perimeter. Likewise, install door sweeps if you can feel a draft or if any light shines beneath any doors.
Door sweeps are super helpful as they can help to keep dust and debris out of your home as well, leading to less sweeping and vacuuming on your end too!
Repair or Replace Any Torn or Damaged Outside Screens
It sounds obvious, but not everyone takes the time to fix or replace torn or worn out window screens. Likewise, repair or replace any screen covering outside vents if they appear worn or damaged.
This one is kind of a big one. One summer, I was getting some pretty rough bug bites INSIDE my apartment. Come to find out, I had a massive rip in my window screen that was always left open.
While stink bugs don’t bite (I was getting bit), they’re still able to get through wide open windows pretty easy.
Cap or Screen Chimneys or Any Heating Vents on the Roof
Stink bugs have no problem getting up to your rooftop. For that reason, make sure you install caps or screens on any chimneys or heating vents you have protruding from your house’s roof.
This is also a best practice method for any potential bats that may want to nest in you chimney during the cooler months as well. Best to make sure the fireplace is capped if you don’t plan on using it.
Remove Any Debris From Around Your House’s Foundation
Stink bugs love debris and vegetation pushed up against your house’s foundation. Break out a rake, and edger, or a lawnmower and clear out any overgrowth or rubbish accumulated over the years. Likewise, you might also consider contacting an exterminator to spray any plants growing next to your house.
Next on the list, we’re going to talk about actual stink bug repellents/insecticides.
How to Select the Best Stink Bug Repellent
Choosing the best stink bug repellent depends on a variety of factors.
First and foremost, that means looking at the safety of the product. You’ll want to make sure you read the product label very carefully and the directions for use in it’s entirety and if it’s proper to have around your home.
One simple and often very overlooked way to make sure that excess product isn’t lying around is to purchase only the amount of repellent needed for the current season as that eliminates the need for storage.
Next, you should consider the amount of coverage in the container, followed by how long the product lasts. Protecting your entire house from outside intrusion by stink bugs typically requires a significant amount of product.
Last, you should consider the product’s ease of use and whether another purchase, like a sprayer bottle or pressure sprayer, is recommended or required.
For further information, you can click here to go to a comprehensive web page published in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Oregon State University.
If you plan on using one of the recommended insecticide solutions below, you’ll want to MAKE SURE you know what you’re doing with these, as some are heavy duty insecticides.
If you don’t have experience applying insecticide, we recommend contacting our nationwide network of pest control providers where we’ll connect you with an exterminator in your local area in seconds.
How Big of an Area Does the Container Cover?
Concentrated liquids typically offer the best coverage for insect repellents, particularly if your goal is creating a barrier around your entire home. Additionally, you should consider whether or not the coverage area slopes downward towards any sensitive areas or near any fruit or vegetables you are growing outside.
You don’t want either location contaminated by insect repellents of any kind.
How Long Does the Repellent Last?
The persistence level of insect repellents varies greatly depending on brand and type. Some products offer short-term protection, while others last longer.
For example, powdered repellents can last for as long as a year. On the other hand, liquid pesticides typically last for only a few weeks or months. It is up to you to decide which product better suits your particular situation.
Not all pesticides are the same. Some offer long-term protection, while others offer a shorter period of control. Ultimately, the decision is up to you which road to take when purchasing repellent to keep stink bugs out of your home.
Is the Repellent User-Friendly?
Powdered repellents are lightweight and typically don’t require the purchase of any special equipment. Inversely, liquid repellents are more cumbersome, and usually require additional equipment like high-pressure sprayers. Again, if you don’t have experience in this regard, it may be best to leave it to the experts.
The decision is ultimately up to you. However, it is best to err on the side of caution if you have any doubts regarding the safety of a particular product.
8 Repellents That Will Keep Stink Bugs Out of Your House
With more than 300 varieties, stink bugs are an invasive pest that thrives throughout the United States. Although they pose the highest risk to gardens, they are also a nuisance to people because they feed on indoor plants.
Additionally, they seek shelter indoors during the winter months inside houses, apartments, and other buildings. Fortunately, stink bugs are only mildly toxic and do not bite. However, when disturbed or stepped on, they release an unpleasant odor.
The effective use of insect repellents is a sure-fire way of combating this problem. Below is our list of nine repellents to use to keep stink bugs out of your home.
We selected these nine insect repellents by researching the best-selling brands. Additionally, we considered the reputation of each product, its ease of use, price, and overall reviews.
Oof, this is a good one.
HARRIS is one of the pillar producers of all things pest control, and their liquid spray to take out at home pests is no different.
This non staining and odorless formula was created not only with stink bugs in mind (they’re on the cover) but also was formulated to work against ants, roaches, spiders, fleas, mosquitos, scorpions, flies and others.
Unlike some of the other products on this list, Harris’ spray comes with a built in sprayer with the package of insecticide.
To add, the product is claimed to be registered with the EPA (No. 3-11) deemed for indoor residential use.
After thoroughly reading through the instructions and setting up, you’ll want to hit those hard to target cracks and crevices on both the inside and outside of your home.
Hopefully after a few uses, no more stink bugs for you!
One of the great things about BUGGSLAYER is that it’s product marketing is pretty explicit about repelling stink bugs.
I mean, they have a stink bug listed right on the front of the label.
Basically, BUGGSLAYER is a protective barrier repellent that is meant to be both a protective barrier for your home and a contact insecticide.
BUGGSLAYER insecticide is designed to take out Stink Bugs, Asian lady beetles, box elder bugs, and many other insects. Better yet, this highly regarded insecticide claims to be both waterless, odorless, and non-staining while not washing out after application.
To explain a bit more how this works, once you apply this insecticide to the foundation of your home (or windows, doors, cracks, crevices, etc.,) it will take care of any of the controlled pests that come into contact with the barrier you’ve placed down.
If applied correctly, it should last up to several weeks, even without washing away.
Of course, you’ll need a pump sprayer and protective equipment to apply this. Just make sure if you have any questions, go ahead and contact a professional to help assist with the problem at hand.
Unlike Temprid FX, this is a more user friendly product where you don’t need a sprayer. Plus, it’s derived from natural ingredients.
This liquid repellent is another best-selling repellent that works on a wide array of insects to include stink bugs, ants, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, earwigs, spiders, and other everyday insects.
Made with all-natural ingredients, Colton Naturals’ main active ingredients include peppermint and geranium essential oils. The product promotes itself as being safe to use around kitchens with food out on the counters as well.
Better yet, its even reported that this prodcut has a heck of a nice scent!
This insect repellent is one of the best options available if you want an all-in-one solution. Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control is effective at controlling and repelling all sorts of insects, including stink bugs, ants, cockroaches, spiders, flying insects, and more.
However, for the best results spraying the exterior of your house every two to three days is recommended.
Made from all-natural ingredients, its main active component is naturally derived essential peppermint oil from the Pacific Northwest Region. Best of all, peppermint oil is safe to use around small children and animals, making it an excellent option for safety-minded consumers.
While it’s easy to use, the smell can be quite strong but good.
If you’re good to go, arm yourself with a spray bottle and spray around doorways, windows, vents, and anywhere else you think stink bugs might be able to get inside your house.
This insecticide is a top-selling product with a wide range of applications, including the perimeters of commercial buildings, greenhouses, animal housing buildings, playing fields, and residences. Likewise, Cyzmic CS is safe for indoor use to include food-handling areas.
The active ingredient in this product is lambda-cyhalothrin and is micro-encapsulated, making it pet safe when used as directed.
Target pests include a massive list including stink bugs, ants, bees, beetles, cockroaches, beetles, mosquitoes, spiders, wasps, and much more. (Please see the product label for a full list.)
Additionally, this product is a low odor, quick knockdown with lasting residual benefit, and can be reapplied indoors at 21-day intervals.
Consumers liked this product, praising its ease of use, value for the money, and persistence. Additionally, several customers praised Cyzmic’s ability to prevent insects from getting into their homes. On the negative side, a few customers complained that it took several applications to eliminate bees and spiders.
This fast-acting repellent is one of the best repellents available on the market these days, particularly for the price.
Formulated especially for use in the home, Colton’s Naturals was designed to stop home-invading insects in their tracks to include stink bugs, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, mites, scorpions, silverfish, spiders, and more.
Best of all, this product is easy to use with its included spray attachment. Users can simply spray around the outside of the house, paying particular attention to doors and windows. Additionally, this repellent is fast-acting with a near-immediate effect.
Colton’s Pest Repellent contains all-natural ingredients and claims to be safe for use as directed.
Customers liked this repellent praising its ease of use, scent, and value for the money. For example, one customer wrote that the product was well worth the price after only one application. On the negative side, a couple of customers complained that its effects didn’t last very long.
This insecticide is one of the best-selling products available on the market, particularly regarding its diversity of surface area applications. For example, this product is excellent in cracks and crevices, around building interiors and exterior, buses, non-commercial greenhouses, railcars, aircraft, pet kennels, hospitals, and more.
Additionally, other areas of use include non-food areas of food handling establishments, lavatories, entries and vestibules, and much more. (You can click here to see the manufacturer’s full list of specs.)
Cyonara 9.7 controls and repels a large number of pests to include stink bugs, ants, bees, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, wasps, and more.
Customers liked this product, praising its ease of use and value for the money. Additionally, one customer suggested wearing a face mask or respirator when using this product indoors to protect sinus cavities from mild irritation. Similarly, a few customers complained about the product’s unpleasant smell.
This insect repellent is one of the best insect repellents available on the market these days, particularly in regards to customer satisfaction.
Per the label, Temprid FXis effective at controlling a variety of other pests to including but not limited to brown marmorated stink bugs, bed bugs, scorpions, and spiders.
At the very least, you’ll most certainly need a pump sprayer to spray the solution, as is with any insecticide. We recommend wearing safety gloves and protective overalls as well.
To learn more about Temprid FX, check out domyown.com and their great breakdown of the product.
What We Learned Today
We covered a lot of information today regarding the best way to keep stink bugs out of your house. The choice is up to you as to which method you use.
Essentially, stink bugs are a bothersome pest to deal with because if you deal with them in your habitual manner (to squish them) you’ll immediately regret it.
The best way to keep stink bugs out of your home is to use PREVENTATIVE methods. Make sure your house foundation is free of cracks, don’t leave wide open rips in screen doors or windows, keep the doors closed, use a light trap or even spray an insecticide.
You may find it most useful to hire an exterminator once a year to spray the foundation of your home. This is a fairly common and effective way to keeping bugs out of your home as professional treatments generally last longer than DIY ones.
However, the tradeoff is that the cost is much higher, but you do get added piece of mind. The choice is yours!
You might consider taking a moment and bookmark this page for future reference as stink bugs tend to return from time to time (typically in the summer.)
Thanks for reading, and stay stink free!
Buffington, M. L., Talamas, E. J., & Hoelmer, K. A. (2018). Team Trissolcus: integrating taxonomy and biological control to combat the brown marmorated stink bug. American Entomologist, 64(4), 224-232.
Kawada, H., & Kitamura, C. (1983). The reproductive behavior of the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha mista Uhler (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) I. Observation of mating behavior and multiple copulation. Applied Entomology and Zoology, 18(2), 234-242.
Krall, B. S., Bartelt, R. J., Lewis, C. J., & Whitman, D. W. (1999). Chemical defense in the stink bug Cosmopepla bimaculata. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 25(11), 2477-2494
Morehead, J. A. (2016). Efficacy of organic insecticides and repellents against brown marmorated stink bug in vegetables (Doctoral dissertation, Virginia Tech).
Inkley, D. B. (2012). Characteristics of home invasion by the brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of entomological science, 47(2), 125-130.
Rice, K. B., Bergh, C. J., Bergmann, E. J., Biddinger, D. J., Dieckhoff, C., Dively, G., … & Tooker, J. F. (2014). Biology, ecology, and management of brown marmorated stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 5(3), A1-A13.
Leskey, T. C., Short, B. D., Butler, B. R., & Wright, S. E. (2012). Impact of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), in mid-Atlantic tree fruit orchards in the United States: case studies of commercial management. Psyche, 2012.Journal of applied entomology, 138(7), 490-499.
Schneidmiller, R. G., & Zhang, Q. H. (2013). U.S. Patent Application No. 13/661,217.
Zhang, Q. H., Schneidmiller, R. G., Hoover, D. R., Zhou, G., Margaryan, A., & Bryant, P. (2014). Essential oils as spatial repellents for the brown marmorated stink bug, H alyomorpha halys (S tål)(H emiptera: P entatomidae).