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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Summary: Stink bugs are nuisances that will invade homes looking for shelter. Learn how to get rid of stink bugs by using the right products at the right time.   Read more about these products here.

Have small, shield-shaped bugs flown into your house and emitted a gross
odor? These insects are called stink bugs because they possess a gland that releases an odor as a means of self-defense. There's nothing like a good dose of “stink” to protect yourself from being eaten by a bird or lizard.

Exterior insecticide treatments applied to the west and south-facing sides of homes will provide some relief if used properly. The most popular professional product for stink bug control is Talstar Pro. Mix one (1) ounce of the concentrate to one gallon of water. Apply with a pump sprayer.  Be sure to close down the nozzle so the material comes out in a fine, fan spray. You do not need to apply it to the point that it is running down the sides of the house. That's too much product. Treat the sides and pay special attention to window and door frames.

A more expensive product, but one that lasts longer in sun and rain and provides even more effective control, is Suspend Polyzone. This is the latest and greatest and it is said to last up to 90 days in outdoor conditions.


Insecticides break down in direct sunlight, so a reapplication of the pesticide may be necessary every seven to ten days. Retreating exterior surfaces on a regular basis, especially during peak stink bug migration seasons, will make these prevention measures more effective.

Remember to always read the product label.  If you are uncomfortable applying pesticides or lack the proper equipment you might consider having a licensed pest control operator apply the materials. When applied per label this product will not harm children or pets.

Exclusion is the key to avoiding stink bug invasions. Sealing your house by closing doors and windows will help keep them out of your home. If there are cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, behind chimneys, or other openings, good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk will help stop stink bug entry. I really like the exclusion product  Xcluder. It is easy and inexpensive to use. It does a great job of stuffing cracks and crevices and it won't break down when exposed to rain or snow.

For stink bugs that have amassed on walls and ceilings you can just vacuum them up. If they are in the attic you can use foggers or "bombs", as they are popularly known. But, pesticide "bombs" work best on exposed insects, rather than insects hiding deep in cracks. Readily available aerosol-type pyrethrum foggers like  PT 565 Plus XLO will knock them down, but the treatment will not prevent more stink bugs from emerging shortly afterwards. You would do a lot better simply doing a thorough inspection and using a vacuum to collect the bugs. Nuvan ProStrips are great for controlling stink bugs in enclosed attic spaces, slowly releasing a vapor over a four week period that keeps on killing them.

Replace ripped window and door screens and install screens on attic vents. Inspect entries to crawl spaces to make sure they are properly sealed.

Although stink bugs are primarily pests of crop fields, they can be found in meadows, fields, yards, or gardens and especially those with low shrubs. They are known to infest up to 70 different ornamental plants. Stink bugs are most active from spring through fall, but they usually become house invaders at the beginning of fall when temperatures start to drop. They sometimes hibernate on the outside of some south-facing buildings for warmth, but usually over winter in protected areas under dead weeds, stones, in the bark of trees or in your house.


The stink bug's eggs are yellow, yellow-red, white, or pale green in color and can be found on the underside of leaves in clumps of 20 to 30 eggs. Eggs are only found outdoors on plants because stink bugs do not reproduce indoors. Thank goodness for small favors. Crop plants are the primary source of food for stink bugs. They typically feed on fruit crops, but they enjoy honeydew, tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, peppers, cabbage, and any type of fruit, using their beaks to pierce and suck plant juice. This activity can cause major damage to gardens. If you discover stink bugs on your plants you can scoop them up using a pill bottle or other small container. This is time consuming, but the containers help you avoid the smell they emit.

Here's the part I know you will hate hearing. You just spent a ton of money installing outdoor lighting to make your home look warm and inviting. Or, you added lighting as a security measure. Well, these the stink bug is attracted to light. So, now your house is a beacon that shouts “Come to me all ye bugs looking for a home.” They are drawn to lights coming from your windows, too. I can't ask you to shutter your windows at night, but closing the shades will help. You may want to consider placing sticky glue board traps along window sills. The glue traps won't trap all the stink bugs, but it may help.

When stink bugs get into your home they often hide in dark attic spaces. Placing an insect light trap in these spaces will attract and capture some of the bugs. It won't eliminate them totally, but anything that helps in the stink bug fight needs to be mentioned.

If your home becomes infested, be wary before sucking stink bugs into the vacuum cleaner. Squashing them or vacuuming them will usually make the smell worse. Wear gloves if you need to handle stink bugs because their unique beaks are fully capable of biting humans. Although stink bug bites are not harmful, you will feel something similar to a sharp pinprick if you are bitten. Not fun!

Once your home has been invaded by stink bugs it is very likely you will see the bugs during the winter months. As outside temperatures drop, stink bugs move away from cold exterior walls and towards warmer interior walls. Often, they emerge inside your living spaces. If that happens you should consider treating the attic rafters. You'll need a good flashlight and an extension mirror to locate all stink bug hiding places.

Okay! You are armed with just enough information to do battle. Go out and fight a good fight!

By David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ [CC-BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

photo credit: <a href="stevendepolo">stevendepolo</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

photo credit: <a href="adamentmeat">adamentmeat</a> via <a href="photopin">photopin</a> <a href="cc">cc</a>

Ask Rick A Question


12 Jan 2014, 16:05
Yes, the weather has been crazy in Pittsburgh, feel so sorry for FedUp-agree with ATE, stink bugs have been there, warmer weather has brought them out. Knock on wood I have only seen one in house since October of last year. How many more years until DOA decides to release parasitic wasps? Enough already - stink bugs are truly a drag😩
nancy masterson
29 Jan 2014, 22:43
I live in northeastern Indiana & we are being invaded by these creepy bugs!!! They our in are home during cold weather & out sunning in warm weather ! I had one in my bed & it got me on the face before I could catch hurt & left a big sore! I hate these things & have been using alot of insectides to kill them ! This site has been a great help to me & I want to says " Thanks so much ! ", Happy Stink Bug Killing Everyone ! Nancy M.
06 Mar 2014, 11:22
Last couple winters I've had these gross stink bugs. We live in eastern CT and started looking for ways to prevent these bugs from getting in the house but I think I to have to learn to live with them. I have a fireplace with glass doors and I think they are getting in either through the chimney or the vents in the attic. The house is over 60 years old with original windows so we have drafts, etc. I try to caulk windows after the a/c's are removed but they still get in. All of a sudden I will be sitting on the first floor and one will dive bomb my reading light next to my chair. Scares the heck out of me but it doesn't survive long. Gross but what can we do. I'm not big on chemicals with pets.
Lola b
10 Mar 2014, 08:12
Yuck. I'm in Fairfield County, CT and I've found dozens of these this winter.
I have a big garden with over 150 Japanese Maples. I hope these stinkers stick to fruit plants and skip the ornamentals. These things are gross. And I had no idea that they bite but now I understand why my 3 yr old has a big big bite on his thigh.
24 Mar 2014, 11:25
Talstar P absolutely works. I start spraying late august and continue thru october, spraying the attic and outside perimeter about once per month. While we sweep them up dead by the dozens in the attic, we no longer find any alive in the house... not one.
12 May 2014, 21:43
I am having a breakdown because of stink bugs! I can't stand them anymore.......I HATE STINK BUGS ALSO.
17 May 2014, 08:47
I have found the method of setting a lamp over a pan of soapy water moderately successful. The configuration is set up in the attic. For stink bugs found around the house, I just grab them with my hand and either wash them down the drain or (outside) throw them at a hard surface. At least half emit an odor, but I'm so accustomed to them now and so driven to kill any I see that I don't mind all that much anymore. To comment on a statement in the article, I have never been bitten by a stink bug and have handled by hand some number that is now certainly in the thousands.
Kleenex squisher
24 May 2014, 18:35
Hey, have a problem with some kind of bugs. Look like stink bugs, are in the attic like stink bugs, but don't smell. Are they stinkbugs? Live in CT. and haven't ever had this problem.
01 Sep 2014, 22:54
Cover air conditioner vents with a screen(s) also bathroom exhaust fans - use removable masking tape where needed . Everywhere .
02 Sep 2014, 08:23
@ Kleenex Squisher... The stink bugs we have do not have an odor either, even when killed... I'm in Danbury Ct.
03 Sep 2014, 10:49
so far this season I haven't seen any stink bugs - until today. It like they have all decided to let their presence be felt today. They seem also, to be rather large. The numbers have been so low, even non existant I debated last week whether or not to spray. So glad I did. I knew it was too good to be true.
03 Sep 2014, 11:52
@dawnthesbkiller... they started late for us too...
20 Sep 2014, 19:31
OMG just from this am arrived home 4pm central time left back door open, my garage is swarmed by these commies, I am totally petrified. I appreciate the other comments, I will definitely try some of the products mentioned. We live in Illinois been here over 13 years, they arrived last year.
21 Sep 2014, 12:37
I was sooo hoping this past winter would have killed most of these buggers off, I actually got happy not seeing any all month, but that was short lived. They have now arrived again =( started seeing them yesterday (Sept 20) it's gonna be hell for the next few weeks.
22 Sep 2014, 00:09
Saw the first ones today in central Maryland, swarming on the screens on my open windows. I was like CJ thinking they may have bypassed the area this year because last year they had arrived earlier.

Guess not. I like the idea above of an aerosol bomb in the attic. I'll wait until December or so when they're all tucked away and let it rip.

Green Eyezzz
26 Sep 2014, 03:46
Hi i live in Milford Ohio and these pest drive me INSANE! I hate them so much. Been dealing with them at my apartment for 3 years. Ive used every spray from store ¬hing works although Raid i bought indoor outdoor& it said kills stink bugs. The trigger ws so powerful i was able to spray my second floor windows. It actually worked but only for 2-3 days but nuce brake lol the sun and we had a heavy rain then they was back.
26 Sep 2014, 12:05
mary b
26 Sep 2014, 20:33
Pittsburgh news 2 days ago said stink bugs are less plentiful this year. I live in Uniontown which is 50 miles south of Pgh.
Thus year is worse than ever! There are litterally thousand on the the south side of my house. If I stand in my back yard they swarm like bees bouncing off every part of my body.
mary b
26 Sep 2014, 20:35 next door neighbor has none! What gives?
26 Sep 2014, 23:12
New to the central PA region from CA and holy cow these things are a nuisance! I have some Demand Cs on order through Amazon as well as a few Pest Strips for the attic. The flock is hitting front porch was covered in them and they were all heading up towards the roof of this old house we're living in. I was also having a problem with the kitchen window as it's an original window and has 4 different sliding panes (including a screen). The bugs were just sliding through the weather stripping on it. I finally went outside and had to go back inside as the west facing wall of our house was crawling. Literally crawling with them! My vacuum stinks from sucking them up and I'm tired of wasting water flushing them in the toilet! I also heard that Deep Off Woods bug spray can work on the screens as can dryer sheets. I'd try a flame thrower but we're just living in the house we're in and I don't want to light it on fire. LOL
27 Sep 2014, 17:34
Seeing a lot of them today in Pittsburgh, they are flying all over the place. Numbers are still pretty light compared to years past - this warm spell we are having not helping much though. I long for the days when I could open the windows and doors and enjoy a breeze. Every year, August 1st the air conditioner stays on, everyone in the house knows not to open windows and get in the door as quickly as possible. The only winners seem to be the stinkbugs and the electric company. This sucks :(
28 Sep 2014, 16:35
Well another warm day and these things have made their presence known, yet again. Loving the dish soap method, they are dead in like 30 seconds, I have actually noticed Palmolive kills them faster then dawn, so you guys may want to try that.

Lol Dawn I feel your pain, we pretty much go by the same rules here, no windows open and get in the door asap. I have actually put duct tape around all the screens on the inside of my window for when it gets cooler, lil buggers are not getting in my house.

I will be glad when this warm weather is gone. Doesn't it suck how we cannot enjoy the weather outside because of some stupid bug?
01 Oct 2014, 08:57
I'm confused as to why you are all having such issues... buy talstar p, spray everything you can... problem solved.
05 Oct 2014, 15:22
I live in Ridgefield WA and am having my first experience with swarming stink bugs...and it is not good! We usually have the windows open and love fresh air but have had to close up the entire house! Last night there were bugs swarming in all the windows and our sliding door. I didn't know not to squish them initially and there is a horrible stench! I feel like I am in a horror movie. I am going to go out and buy something to spray the entire outside of my house with but in the meantime looks like I need to get out my dawn soap and a big bucket. Too bad I can't just burn down the house and move. I'm sure my landlord would frown on that.
15 Oct 2014, 08:46
Has anyone else noticed another type of shield bug coming around with these stinkbugs now? I looked them up and they are called Western Conifer seed bugs. They resemble stinkbugs a little, except they have some orangish markings on their back and the body and back legs are much bigger...they don't stink, but they are just as bad a pest as a stinkbug. Also i have been noticing big, black, beetle type bugs (more so than other years) after researching those, they actually go after stinkbugs, not sure how beneficial they are, so i have been killing those too. It will never end with stinkbugs (and the new ones they have now attracted)
15 Oct 2014, 09:08
Dani - use Talstar, it works wonders. By far the best product for stinkbugs. No odor and it does not stain surfaces. Also a great residual effect.
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