7 DIY Ways to Prevent and Get Rid of Stink Bugs
By: Rita Stadler
There is one bug homeowners never want to kill and that’s the stink bug. If you brazenly swat, squash, or step on this household pest once, you’ll never make that mistake again! These invading insects believe a strong offense is the best defense, so they release a foul odor if threatened or squished.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is considered an extremely invasive species in North America, particularly, the United States. Thankfully they won’t bite or eat through your clothing, however, they can do harm, like causing $37 Million in damages to farmers.
These pests are sensitive to changes in temperature and once it starts to get cold, they will seek shelter in a warm place. They prefer to eat and live outdoors but when the seasons change, they make their way indoors during the fall and winter months to look for the perfect place for hibernation.
Getting rid of stink bugs is easy once you know what to do, so take a deep breath and find out how to make your home a bug-free haven. The best approach is to take steps towards preventing an infestation before it even begins.
How to Keep Stink Bugs Away from Your House
Unlike other household pests that are looking for a free meal when they invade your home, these insects prefer to dine outdoors. During colder months, stink bugs and beetles come inside to overwinter. That is just a fancy way of saying they will try to find a sheltered place — usually in attics or wall voids — where they can wait out the cold in a dormant state. During the warmer summer months when the weather is temperate, stink bugs prefer to be outside among the trees and brush.
You can help keep stink bugs outside where they belong by getting rid of their hiding spots around the exterior of your home.
1.Trim trees and branches so they don’t touch your home
Start by trimming the tree branches around your home to make sure they don’t come in contact with the exterior. Stink bug eggs are typically found on the underside of leaves, so keeping these away from your home helps with prevention.
Trimming your branches and keeping your backyard weeds and brush under control will go a long way into naturally eliminating a stink bug problem from occurring in your home in the first place.
2. Plant your shrubs away from your house
If you have a garden in your backyard or decorative shrubs and bushes, you’ll want to leave space between those and your house. Stink bugs are attracted to fruits, vegetables and plants in general, so the more distance between your home and your plants the better.
3. Improve your firewood storage
Similar to your shrubs, firewood offers a perfect place for these insects to hide. You’ll want to store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home, and 5 inches above the ground.
Once all the outdoor maintenance is taken care of, next you’ll want to make sure they can’t get in — no matter how hard they may try. The next few pest control tips will help prevent almost any rodent or insect from getting inside your house. Plus, they’ll help make your home more energy-efficient so you’ll save money too.
4. Repair or replace damaged door and window screens
When it comes to insects, they can enter your home through the tiniest tears and holes. Replace any section of torn window or door screen or use a screen patch kit for a small hole.
5. Install door sweeps and weather stripping near entry points
Eliminate any gaps around your exterior doors by installing door sweeps and weather stripping.
6. Fill in spaces where openings form
Fill in open spaces where utility lines come through walls. Spray-foam insulation will stop most bugs, but steel wool and silicone caulk offer the best protection from all pests — even rats and mice. Inspect the outside of your home for holes, cracks, or crevices. Pay special attention to areas around siding, chimneys, soffits, dormers, and dryer vents. Once again, silicone caulk is the best material for repairs.
7. Use a scent-based repellent with essential oils
Ironically, the best way to keep stink bugs away, while avoiding harmful chemicals like pesticides, is with a scent-based repellent. Fortunately for you and me, a savory blend of essential oils — primarily rosemary — is a scent that will work to repel stink bugs. Stay Away® is specially formulated with botanical ingredients to create an invisible barrier no bug will cross. Made up of plant fiber and essential oils, Stay Away® is safe to use inside your home around pets and children, when used as directed.
All you need to do to get rid of stink bugs and other household pests is place a pouch wherever beetles or bugs may enter, such as a window sill or doorway, and the scent will send them back outside. Replace the pouch whenever the scent has diminished, usually every 30-60 days, for continued protection.