8 Best Products to Get Rid of Stink Bugs and Keep Them Away
What's that unpleasant smell? It may be an infestation of stink bugs. We round up the best stink bug repellents to send these putrid pests packing.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
How To Get Rid of Stink Bugs
The brown marmorated stink bug/shield bug (also known as BMSB) is the most common species of its kind in North America. While damaging to agricultural crops, these voracious eaters are mostly a harmless nuisance to the average homeowner. They aren’t poisonous nor do they bite. But if you step on a stink bug, you’ll learn quickly how they got their name.
“If you’ve ever made the mistake of squishing a wayward stink bug that ran your way, you can probably remember the squalid stench that followed,” says Ed Spicer, general manager of Pest Strategies. “Stink bugs produce a pheromone when they’re injured or dying: a pungent odor which works to ward off predators and alert other stink bugs to the presence of the danger.”
Should you come across one or a band of these tough-shelled, foul-smelling creepers, here’s how you can get rid of them.
- Seal cracks and other entry points to keep them from sheltering indoors.
- Remove vegetation, compost and dry leaves from near your home.
- Vacuum up bugs on sight. Place the vacuum bag in the freezer overnight, then discard the contents outside.
- Use natural or store-bought repellents or insecticides.
- Make a DIY stink bug trap (instructions below).
- If all else fails, hire a professional pest control service to help manage the problem.
We’ve compiled a selection of the best stink bug repellents (and a few killers) to help you combat these foul-smelling bugs.
Best Organic Stink Bug Repellent
Dyna-Gro’s Pure Neem Oil is a natural and biodegradable product extracted and cold-pressed from the seeds of the Neem tree. Besides being an excellent leaf polish, it’s long been used by farmers and horticulturists to organically control stink bugs.
When mixed with water and applied to leaves, Dyna-Gro’s Neem oil works its way into the “tissues” of the plant to deter stink bugs from eating and mating. This natural insect repellent works on other garden pests, too.
Best Ultrasonic Device To Repel Stink Bugs
For a no-fuss and humane solution to your stink bug problem, out-smart ’em with the Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller.
Using three operational modes — bionic, electromagnetic and ultrasound technology — the Neatmaster quietly drives away stink bugs and other pests. No toxic chemicals, traps or sprays to worry about. Just plug it into a standard wall outlet and set the level of infestation — green for low, blue for medium and red for high. This repeller is effective for an area up to 1,200 square feet.
Best Stink Bug Repellent For Outdoor Activities
Create a barrier against stink bugs and other irritating pests with Sawyer Insect Repellent for clothing, gear, and tents. Containing permethrin, a compound derived from chrysanthemums flowers, it bonds to fabrics without stains or damage.
Safely spray on most fabrics. When the repellent dries, it’s completely odorless (unlike the stink bugs themselves). It lasts up to 42 days or six washings, whichever comes first.
Best Stink Bug Catcher
The BugZooka bug catcher vacuum provides a squish-free way to rid yourself of these odorous pests, while keeping your distance. The battery-powered, long-handled wand sucks the bugs into a removable tube. Then, once a safe distance outdoors, press the button to release the stinkers. It makes a great gift for someone who hates bugs.
One Amazon reviewer called the BugZooka their “secret weapon,” writing: “Not only are stink bugs the nastiest, creepiest creatures ever, they supposedly give off a horrid smell if you smush them. What to do? Happily, the BugZooka doesn’t smush them or activate their stink.”
Best Home Remedy To Repel Stink Bugs
Certain essential oils smell good to us, but not so much to stink bugs. Infusing water with clove oil, lemongrass oil, spearmint oil (or a combination of the three, called a ternary oil blend) has been shown to repel stink bugs.
To formulate a bug spray that’s safe around kids and pets, gather the following ingredients and supplies:
Place the funnel into the opening of an empty spray bottle and pour in hot water until the bottle is three-quarters full. Add ten drops of each of the three oils, screw on the trigger-squeeze top tightly and shake well to blend. Spray the solution wherever you suspect stink bugs may be hiding or entering your home — say, around windows, doors, cracks and unsealed voids.
Best DIY Stink Bug Trap
A team of researchers at Virginia Tech found a simple do-it-yourself solution to indoor stink bug problems. Craft your own stink bug trap using stuff you have around the house. You’ll need a roasting pan, water, dish soap and a desk lamp.
- Fill the pan halfway with water
- Add dish soap and mix thoroughly.
- Place a desk lamp over the pan and turn it on.
- Wait about 12 hours. You should find your pan filled with floating (and dead) stink bugs.
Best Indoor/Outdoor Stink Bug Killer
Ready to use, Harris Stink Bug Killer‘s odorless formula targets stink bugs and kills them silently and invisibly the minute it dries. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered for indoor or outdoor use, it contains deltamethrin, a long-acting insecticide that remains effective for weeks after the initial application.
It comes with an extended trigger sprayer that makes it easy to treat areas where bugs like to hang out, such as attics, basements, under furniture, inside ventilation grilles and more. It also does a number on kudzu bugs, the stink bug’s annoying cousin.
Best Budget Stink Bug Killer
Stink bugs can run, but they can’t hide from the affordably priced Terro Stink Bug Killer (about $10 for a 16-ounce can). It works on contact and lasts up to six weeks.
The aerosol may be used two ways. With the crack and crevice tool (included), inject the insecticide into holes, tight corners and places where bugs like to lurk. Or, to cover more ground, adjust the nozzle to emit a broad-spray application. Whichever way you go, the spray eradicates not only stink bugs but box elder bugs, Asian lady beetles and ants.