With spring and summer coming up, stink bug deterrent is a must. While stink bugs are not dangerous, they are not pleasant to have around. The moment you try to squash them or swat them they release a really foul smelling odor. This odor is released any time they are scared or killed.
Because they can’t generate heat, they usually hibernate during winter and find homes a good place to do that. They especially enjoy attics and can be found between clothes or stacks of paper. When it starts to warm up, the stink bugs then leave so that they can find food and lay eggs.
This is often when you see them around your home and garden. In the garden, if you have a vegetable garden or some fruit trees, you may find some of your fruit and vegetables ruined by hungry stink bugs.
What do Stink Bugs Look Like?
Stink bugs vary in appearance. They have striped legs and antennas, and range from green to brown to grey and have patterns on their wings. They are around a 3/4 inch big but some can be slightly bigger than that and their shape can be described as shield-like.
Stink Bug Remedies
Not all poisons are effective against stink bugs and the poisons that are can stink up your home anyway and is harmful to your family. These harmful chemicals should be avoided as much as possible. Read on to find a natural way to get rid of these pests that suits you.
1. Catch and Flush or Freeze Them
If you see one in your home, you can use a glass bottle to catch them and then close the lid. You can then either flush them or freeze them. If it’s still cold enough to freeze things outside, you can just throw them out.
Tip: You can also vacuum them up. Place a knee-length sock or pantyhose into the vacuum pipe, secure it with a rubber band, and then vacuum them up so that they don’t enter the filter and make your vacuum cleaner stink. Empty them into the toilet or a plastic bag and immediately close it so that you can dispose of them without any odor being released in your home.
2. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
While this powder is safe for humans and pets, it’s detrimental to stink bugs and some other insects. Sprinkle it around the entrances and windows of your home and their hideouts. You can also sprinkle it directly onto the stink bugs. Diatomaceous earth kills them by breaking down their exoskeleton and dehydrating them.
3. Soapy Water
Take a bucket of water and add a teaspoon or so of Castille soap. The soapy water traps and drowns them. If there are stink bugs on the wall, you can position the bucket below them and just knock them into the water. If you see any of their eggs on leaves around your garden, put them into soapy water too.
Tip: Take a wet towel and put it on the washing line overnight. In the morning you’ll find stink bugs all over it. Take the towel with the stink bugs still on it and soak it in soapy water.
4. Neem Oil
This method takes a while to work but not only does it eventually kill the stink bugs but prevents them from laying any eggs before they die too. Neem oil interferes with the hormones that control their eating habits and reproductive organs so they stop eating and stop laying eggs.
Mix neem oil and water in a ratio of 2 tablespoons of neem oil per half cup of water and spray along the windows, vents, and doors in your home. Spray all the plants around your home too. Neem does not harm your plants.
Catnip works almost the same way the neem oil does. You can buy it in powdered form and sprinkle it around your garden, windows, and doors or if you have a catnip plant already, you can dry the leaves and crush them to create a powder.
Pyrethrum is a purple flower that is poisonous to many insects. You can make your own stink bug spray using a tablespoon and a quarter of dried pyrethrum ground into a powder and mixing it with 3 quartz of water. Let it stand for 3 hours or more in a dark place. Then add a teaspoon of Castille soap and spray it around your windows, vents, doors, and garden.
Pyrethrum is safe to be used around cats and dogs, but care should be taken around birds and other small pets.
7. DIY Stink Bug Spray
If you prefer to deter or keep stink bugs away rather than killing them, homemade stink bug repellent is perfect. Despite being so smelly themselves, there are certain fragrances that they hate. Depending on what you have available you can make a very effective stink bug deterrent.
You may find that you don’t like the smell of some of these either, so here are a few to choose from:
- Peppermint essential oil and water (10-20 drops of mint oil per 16 oz of water)
- Garlic powder and water (4 tablespoons of garlic powder per 16 oz of water)
- Lemon juice and vinegar (1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup of vinegar)
For each recipe, just mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray around your doors, windows, vents, and garden.
Stink Bug Proof Your Home and Garden
These tips will help to sort out existing stink bug problems and prevent future stink bug problems too:
- Seal any cracks in the walls and the seals around the doors and windows. You can use caulk or silicone to do this.
- Install mesh screens or nets in the windows and vents, including the aircon. Repair any holes in any existing screens.
- De-weed your garden since stink bugs like weeds.
- Plant catnip, pyrethrum, and mint plants around your garden.
If you have any questions, pop them in the comment section.