Stink bug repellent – They hate this

The fall season in the US brings with it stalls of stink bugs that can wreak havoc on fields, gardens, and homes. Although these bugs are quite small and well-camouflaged, they emit an unmistakable smell when disturbed – a defence mechanism against potential predators.

If you’re in the midst of battling the early indications of a stink bug infestation, it’s natural to ask yourself questions like, “What do these stink bugs tend to hate the smell of?” and “Which colors repel them?” The good news is that there are several DIY solutions that will keep these pests from entering your home and garden without resorting to hazardous chemicals.

Acquainting yourself with their behaviour and learning how to identify them correctly are two key steps towards preventing a potential invasion. Let’s find out more:

homemade stink bug traps

Table of Contents

Stink bug repellent

Below you will find some of the most common stink bug repellents:

  • Essential oils – examples include lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil, patchouli, eucalyptus, clove oil, lemongrass and spearmint oil
  • Dryer sheets – wipe them on your window screens
  • DIY stink bug repellent – made up of water, dish soap and white vinegar
  • Kaolin clay – prevents them from laying eggs
  • Cedar spray – works best inside your home
  • Garlic – stink bugs hate naturally occurring vegetables like garlic
deter stink bugs

Stink bug behaviour

Stink bugs are a type of insect that can cause significant damage to crops and gardens. They are known for their odorous smell, which is released as a defence mechanism when they feel threatened.

Stink bugs have an omnivorous lifestyle and feed on both plants and fruits such as apples, tomatoes, and peppers. They reproduce quickly in warm climates, meaning that it can be hard to get rid of them once they start to become a nuisance.

Stink bugs move around often in search of food sources, which is why they end up entering buildings and homes. These bugs may also create nests by digging into soil or hiding under rocks or logs. When searching for food sources indoors, adult stink bugs also will typically congregate near windows where sunlight creates warmth.

keeping stink bugs

Essential oils

Essential oils are a great natural way to repel stink bugs. Some of the most popular essential oils to use for this purpose include lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, clove bud, and lemongrass. These oils can be diluted with water and sprayed onto surfaces where the bugs may enter your home.

The smell of these oils confuses the stink bug’s senses and prevents it from entering into your property. Additionally, many people find that when these oils are burned in a diffuser they create an even larger barrier against the pest. The scent of certain essential oils can help keep them away from your yard and patio areas as well.

Another great tip when dealing with stink bugs is to use citrus-scented products such as wipes or sprays. Citrus fruits have naturally occurring compounds that act as repellents for numerous types of insects including stink bugs.

Many commercially available insecticides contain citronella oil which has been found to be effective at deterring certain pests like the stink bug. Keeping surfaces around your home clean with citrus-scented wipes can also help get rid of stink bugs and reduce the number of these insects near your property.

lemongrass essential oil for stink bugs

Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are another popular homemade option for repelling stink bugs. These sheets work by releasing a scent that the insects find unpleasant, thus driving them away.

Dryer sheets can be placed in areas where the bugs typically enter your home, such as windowsills and door frames. Additionally, they can also be hung outside on trees and shrubs to keep the bugs away from your yard and garden.

Some people have even found success by placing them near trash cans or other areas where they may congregate. It’s important to note that dryer sheets will only work if you replace them regularly, so make sure you replace them when needed.

Another great way to use dryer sheets is to place several of them on the floor in various rooms of your home. This solution not only works for repelling stink bugs but also helps keep other pests like spiders out of your living area.

dryer sheets

DIY stink bug repellent

If you’ve tried sealing all potential entry points and reducing the amount of lighting, it might be time to look into chemical assistance to deal with your stink bug problem. Sprays that utilize deltamethrin, a pesticide known for eliminating these pesky bugs well, can be sprayed near common entryways or around windows, door frames or other places the insects are likely to hang out.

An easy solution to try when you’re dealing with stink bugs is a combination of hot water, dish soap and white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups of hot water, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of dish soap, then spraying the bugs directly should help kill them.

homemade spray

Kaolin clay

Kaolin clay is a non-toxic, natural mineral that is often used in organic gardening to create a protective barrier against pests. By mixing it with water and spraying it onto plants, the clay helps repel insects while also trapping them away from potential food sources. This helps reduce infestations of damaging bugs, such as stink bugs.

By creating such a barrier, potential food sources become unreachable for the pests, which prevents them from laying eggs in those areas. Kaolin clay is also known to be safe for humans and animals, making it a preferred organic treatment against pest infestations.

Furthermore, kaolin clay offers long term protection as it can stay effective up to two weeks after application. This makes it advantageous when compared to more traditional chemical treatments that may require multiple applications.

Kaolin clay is easy to apply; simply mix the powder into water, apply with a sprayer or brush and ensure proper coverage of the affected area.

Kaolin clay

Cedar spray

Cedar spray is an effective method of naturally deterring pests from invading gardens and crops. Made from the oils of cedar wood, this type of repellent possesses a strong scent which repels insects away from plants and garden areas. The pest-deterring properties of the spray are long lasting, with some studies showing that it can be effective up to three months after application.

Cedar sprays can come in different forms such as an aerosol or powered form to ensure proper coverage on plants and hard-to-reach areas. It also does not require any additional equipment for its application – making it a convenient option for gardeners and farmers alike.

Furthermore, this natural solution presents no harm to humans and animals when used correctly, allowing for a more sustainable form of pest control compared to more traditional chemical treatments.

Cedar spray


Garlic is a powerful natural pest repellent that can provide effective, long-lasting protection against insect infestations. It has a strong scent which deters pests away from plants and garden areas, while also acting as an insect growth regulator which helps to reduce existing populations. Garlic sprays are easy to use and safe for people and animals alike when used correctly – making it a great sustainable solution to chemical treatments.

To keep stink bugs at bay, create a garlic solution by mixing 2 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of garlic powder in a spray bottle. Directly apply the solution to plants and leaves, as well as around windowsills, doorways, and other spots where you observe the insects gathering.

garlic spray for stink bugs

Other ways to prevent stink bugs

Here are some other things you can do to kill stink bugs and help prevent stink bugs from thriving in your garden or coming into your home:

Keep garden clean

Stink bugs often congregate in gardens containing piles of leaves, dead plants, and other vegetative debris, which provides them with food and shelter. Regularly clean up your garden to remove potential nesting sites for the pests.

Close off any entryways

Inspect your home for any potential entry points that could be allowing the bugs to get inside, such as cracks around windows and door frames. Seal off these areas with caulk or weather-stripping to prevent stink bugs from entering.

Trim foliage away from house

Trim back shrubs and trees that are too close to your home’s exterior walls—this will help keep stink bugs away and reduce the chances of them getting in through open windows or doors.

Plant pest-resistant flowers

Certain flowers can act as natural repellents against stink bugs, including lantana, marigolds, lavender, lemon balm, and chrysanthemums. Planting these near your garden or along the perimeter can help keep stink bugs away.

keeping garden clean


So now you’ve learnt about some of the natural pest repellents that can help keep stink bugs away from your home and garden. Natural solutions such as kaolin clay, cedar spray, and garlic sprays are a great way to manage pest infestations without the need for harsh chemicals. Moreover, preventive measures such as keeping the garden clean and trimming foliage back away from the house can help deter pests in the first place.

People also ask

Are stink bugs harmful to humans?

Stink bugs are not typically harmful to humans, although they do release a foul odor when disturbed. They are considered a nuisance pest and can cause damage to crops and ornamental plants if left unchecked.

What are the dangers of stink bugs?

Stink bugs are not known to cause structural damage in the home, and they do not bite people or pets. Although they do not carry diseases or pose a physical risk, some people may be sensitive to allergens released by these pests.

What does stink bug smell like?

Stink bugs emit an unpleasant smell, similar to cilantro when disturbed or crushed. This odor can be quite strong and can linger for some time.

Is it bad to touch a stink bug?

Generally speaking, it is not harmful to touch a stink bug. However, some people may be sensitive to the smell emitted by the odor gland of these pests and may experience an allergic reaction after coming into contact with them.

Why is it bad to squish a stink bug?

When you squish a stink bug, special pheromones are released into the air. These chemicals can act as an attractant for other stink bugs and can lead to an infestation in your home if not addressed quickly.

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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

I hope you enjoy reading some of the content and ideas from this site, I tend to share articles and product reviews on a daily basis, so be rest assured… you won’t run out of things to read!

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