Whether you’ve got stink bugs that have somehow managed to infiltrate the sanctuary and serenity of your home and turned it into a bastion for these critters, or whether you’ve got stink bugs swarming around outside of your house, loitering on the front and back porches and constantly clinging to your window screens, one thing is for sure: Stink bugs are unwelcome, unslightly, and underestimated! So when it comes to the question of how to respond to these little buggers, what are your options?
The first answer that automatically comes to most peoples’ minds is simply to squash them. But if you have ever tried to squash a stink bug before, then you might already be acutely familiar with the fact that when stink bugs are frightened, they release a repugnant odor into the air as a means of self-defense (somewhat like how a skunk does). And this odor can be very hard to get rid of, if it gets on your skin, your clothes, or your property.
So it goes without saying that squashing them outright may not necessarily be the ideal way how to kill stink bugs.
Realistically and logically speaking you really only have a fixed number of choices as to how to deal with stink bug problems:
Option #1: You let them be.
This option, the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” option, is not very likely to work too well unless you only have about one or two stink bugs hiding away somewhere in your house and you rarely, if ever see them. Now, on the other hand, if you happen to have several stink bugs in your house, more than you are able to count, and they somehow seem to be multiplying, then this option really is off the table for you. It is going to get annoying really fast, and if you happen to suffer from entomophobia (the fear of insects), then this can really do a number on your psychology. It simply will not be good for your mental state. Physically, stink bugs are harmless. They don’t bite. But if you can’t stand the sight of bugs, then you will need to do something about them.
Option #2: Release Them Into The Wild.
This option, the “mercy rule”, works best for those who, as much as they hate stink bugs, harbor a tinge of guilt toward the prospect of having to needlessly kill another living thing, no matter how scary looking it may be. They would rather let bugs out into the wild rather than kill them and flush them down the toilet (or vacuum them up).
Some might argue that releasing stink bugs back into the wild is a bad idea, as it does nothing to promote population control. By releasing them back into the wild, you are leaving open the possibility that they can mate and produce more offspring. While this is true, it is also true that releasing them into the wild is a lot better for you than for them to be killed in your home: When you attempt to kill a stink bug, if you go about it the wrong way (by smashing them, for instance), they will release their trademark putrid odor as an act of self-defense. This odor can stain your furniture, your walls, or your flooring (wherever the smashing took place). Furthermore, it is believed that other stink bugs might be able to detect the odor from afar and then, as a consequence, follow it, thereby infiltrating your home even more.
So from this standpoint, it makes better sense to release them into the wild. At least then there is a much lesser chance that they would end up drawing more stink bugs toward your home.
Now, if the stink bugs aren’t actually in your house but they happen to be swarming around it, then there are steps you can take in order to drive them away without killing them, as well.
Option #3: Kill Them
Well, duh! Killing them is one guaranteed way to deal with the problem of an infestation of stink bugs in your home, although, if you don’t do it right, you can actually make the situation worse. Whether you squash a stink bug or find some other way to kill it, you run the risk of it releasing its foul odor at the last second before it dies. In doing so, you might inadvertently invite other stink bugs to come to your home. It is believed that stink bugs will follow the odor, as it signals to them that another stink bug had managed to find a warm place to hide, before them. And they will naturally follow it, as stink bugs are attracted to heat and to light, particularly during the cooler months.
Not only is there the risk of attracting other bugs due to that odor, but there is also the potential risk that the odor-causing chemicals may stick to your walls, your flooring, or your furniture, causing the odor to remain embedded in your home permanently.
Therefore, the question arises as to how to kill stink bugs without having to deal with their blood and guts, and without having to squash them only to have them release that foul odor.
Option #4: Call A Professional Exterminator
When all else fails, and you aren’t able to deal with the stink bug problem on your own, either because there are simply too many stink bugs in your home and the problem is just way too overwhelming for you to be able to handle on your, or because you are reluctant to come in close contact with stink bugs, let alone kill them yourself.
A professional exterminator will have all of the tools, knowledge, skills and experience for the most effective way how to kill stink bugs.
Let’s take a look at some of the various ways how to kill stink bugs without having to squash them:
1. You can set up stink bug traps
While there are commercial stink bug traps readily available for you to buy, it is fairly straightforward to create one of your own: All you need is some duct tape, a light source that attracts stink bugs, and a fixture to wrap the duct tape around. Essentially, the way it works is that when stink bugs fly through the room (or through your yard if the trap is set up outdoors), they will be naturally drawn toward the light. Unbeknownst to them, when they approach the surface through which the light is emanating, they will become stuck to the duct tape and will be unable to break free. Depending on the size of the trap, you can potentially capture upwards of a hundred stink bugs with a single trap! Once the trap is full of these bugs, you can dispose of them by removing the duct tape and discarding it within an enclosed container.
Another variation of a stink bug trap would be to use a chemical that is lethal to stink bugs, rather than duct tape.
In both cases, stink bugs will not be frightened and will therefore most likely will not emit that foul odor that they do.
This solution does not require you to actively seek out and kill the bugs. They will just naturally flock toward the trap.
2. You can vacuum them up.
Unlike the stink bug trap, using a vacuum requires active effort on your part. You can use any regular vacuum, with the floor attachment. Or, preferably, you could invest in a hand vac, and keep it ready, so that you can quickly suck up the stink bugs and suffocate them within the vac. And then you simply dump out the stink bugs once they die, into a trash receptacle. Using this method, if you would prefer to release the stink bugs into the wild rather than letting them die through asphyxiation and starvation, you could just as easily dump the hand vac’s contents outside in an open area.
3. Use dishwashing detergent.
Forget about spending money on some kind of bug spray. It has been proven that stink bugs can be killed through exposure to various common household chemicals, such as highly concentrated dish washing detergent. All you have to do is fill up a container with a mixture of dish soap or dish washing detergent and a little bit of water. When you spot a stink bug, some how lure it into the detergent solution, and it will die within seconds, if not minutes. Alternatively, you can also fill up a spray bottle with liquid dish washing detergent and spray it at the stink bug. Make sure that you target the bug’s underbelly. It will literally paralyze the stink bug in their tracks. If you spray a stink bug that was on a window, it will literally fall down without a struggle.
You can also experiment with other chemicals, perhaps including soda or alcohol as well.
4. Power Wash Your House
While this may not necessarily kill stink bugs, power washing your home with the right type of detergent soap can help to repel any stink bugs from approaching your home, and it will also work to uproot any stink bugs that are clinging to your home. In fact, it would be a good practice to power wash your home on a regular basis, to keep the stink bugs away.
5. Spray your doors and windows.
Similar to #3 and #4 above, you could use a dish detergent solution and spray it on the insides and / or outsides of your windows, window sills, screens, and doors, as a deterrent for any stink bugs that try to make their way through.
6. Caulk any cracks in the window sills.
Stink bugs are notorious for their uncanny ability to squeeze through the tiniest of cracks and somehow gain entry into your home. (Now that’s persistence!) Therefore, by sealing any cracks between the outside and inside of your home using a caulking gun, you can not only prevent more of them from getting into your home, but you might be able to trap and suffocate any stink bugs that may be using the cracks as a means to travel within the walls of your house.
7. Sick natural predators on them.
This is perhaps the least practical advice you will ever receive, but it is worth mentioning here, so that in case you ever do come across a situation where you can get one of the stink bugs’ predators in a room with them, you might be able to sit back and watch the fun.
If you have pet cats at home, sick ‘em on those pesky stink bugs. Your cat will most likely pounce on the stink bug with its quick reflexes, chew it up, and kill it, thanks to its feline hunting instincts. Wasps are another insect that preys not necessarily upon stink bugs themselves, but are avid eaters of stink bug eggs. So you can cut off their posterity and prevent them from multiplying. Not that you would want to release wasps into your home.
Bats also eat stink bugs… but let’s obviously not go there.
8. Flush Them Down The Toilet
Rather than releasing them into the wild, suffocating them, or exposing them to lethal chemicals (lethal to bugs but not humans), you can always go the low-tech route and just scoop them up with a piece of paper or a paper towel, and then just shake them off of the paper / paper towel into the toilet, and flush them down the drain. Stink bugs will not release their foul odor in this situation, since you are merely drowning them slowly in water.
9. Call A Pest Control Professional (An Exterminator)
When all else fails, and you are unable to achieve any type of measurable success in your War On Stink Bugs, sometimes you just might have to bite the bullet and call a pest control professional (more commonly known as an exterminator) to come to your home and address your stink bug problem more thoroughly. Pest Control Professionals are equipped with all of the tools (the actual physical tools), the knowledge, and the skills that you would need in order to be successful. So sometimes, rather than trying to figure things out on your own, you might find it better worth your time and energy trying to solve stink bug problems to have an expert in the field do the job for you.
People say that there is more than one way to skin a cat. And there is definitely more than one way how to kill stink bugs.