How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in your Backyard

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It is five in the morning, you have woken up early and want to enjoy your early morning tea in the backyard amongst the sweet melody of the birds and the aroma of the growing pumpkins and the flowers.

You open the doors, enter the backyard, and take a deep breath, and Ewwww, that’s not a flower and pumpkin smell.

You panic, you run into the backyard for closer inspection and you see these smelly, weird bugs all around.

Guess what, your backyard is infested with Stink Bugs. Just like termites and other pests, these can be difficult to cope with (especially since they stink up the whole place). But don’t worry, we at YardSurfer have you covered.

Here are the best ways to get rid of stink bugs in your backyard and house.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs?

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Keep your backyard spic and span

Whether in your yard or indoors, if you aren’t keeping any corner of your house clean, you are inviting not just stink bugs but pretty much every bug on the planet.

But let’s stick to Stink Bugs for now.

Stink bugs are mostly attracted to decaying plants and decomposing. Plus, you can also find them around dead leaves, weeds, and overgrown plantings. You’ll also need to remove any boards, boxes, etc. that are cluttering in the yard.

So if you haven’t cleaned your backyard in a long time and fall season is around the corner, buck up, or your backyard is about to be taken over.

In case you have firewood in your backyard, you’d want to keep it at a distance of 25 feet from the house and on a heightened platform (5-6 inches, to be precise).

Plant ‘Smelly’ Plants

Plant ‘Smelly’ Plants

If you have read our posts on companion planting, you’ll know that plants with strong odor help keep pests and bugs away, and yes, as much as they may stink themselves, stink bugs hate foul odor as well.

So make sure you have some Garlic, catnip, lavender, and thyme in your garden. These plants herbs are great companion plants for most plants and thus, should not hinder their growth either.

Radishes are another smelly plant well-known for their bug-repellent properties. But if not that, consider marigold and chrysanthemums.

Call in the reinforcements

Call in the reinforcements

They say an enemy of an enemy is my friend. And that’s just about true in the case of stink bugs.

Parasitic wasps are one of their worst enemies and the best way to attract them into your backyard is by planting buckwheat or purple tansy. Don’t believe us; here’s a study that proves it.

By placing their eggs around the stink bugs eggs, these wasps hinder the growth of stink bug and since the wasps are small (really small) and don’t have a foul odor, they aren’t harmful to humans or your pets.

Love having birds in your backyard? There’s good news for you. Cardinals and bluebirds love to snack on stink bugs. You can read all about attracting them into your yard here.

Set up Bait or trap Plants

Set up Bait or trap Plants

You can also set up bait or decoy plants like sunflowers, okra, and sweet corn away from the main plants which will attract the pests, in turn, keeping your main crops hearty and healthy.

Once you see the bugs flocking onto these plants all you have to do is pluck them out, put them in a garbage bag and leave them out in the sun to dry before being thrown away.

Similarly, there are various trap plants as well which will entrap the bugs ultimately killing them. You can grow these plants around sturdy trees or shrubs.

To protect the furniture like your lawn chairs from these bugs consider placing damp towels on them. As the stink bugs sit on these they can be washed away in soap water, thus eliminating the stink bugs.

Spray repellents

Spray repellents

This is one of the easiest ways to keep stink bugs out of your yard and home.

Now, you can get a neem oil spray bottle from Amazon. A few sprays around the yard and on the plants and its strong smell will work like a charm or if you are looking for something on the cheap side, this DIY spray should work equally well.

All you will need is some garlic (4-6 cloves) and some water. Chop the gloves and let add them to boiling water (about a gallon). Once it drains, you can add the mix to the spray bottle and spray it on the vulnerable plants.

In case you do not have room for garlic or radish plants in the garden, this is the way to go.

Most people might suggest you use insecticidal soaps as well but results with them are fluctuating and thus, it is best avoided considering how well the DIY and Neem Oil spray work.

Diatomaceous Earth

get rid of stink bugs
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A naturally occurring, soft rock, Diatomaceous Earth is available in powder form and can be purchased from Amazon or other outdoor-specific sites.

Packed with the goodness of silica, alumina, and iron oxide, it kills the bugs by absorbing the cuticular lipids. Due to this, the bug loses its ability to regulate and retain water in the body, ultimately leading to death by dehydration.

Though make sure that the Diatomaceous Earth you purchase mentions that it has been heat-treated.

This is great for both outdoor and indoor bug infestations. Just leave a few rocks around the plants and all the entry points of your house.

A measure of last resort

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Not something we’d recommend you do but if you think the stink bug infestation is beyond your control and none of the techniques above are helping, it is time to take out the nuclear weapon in the arsenal, a chemical called Sevin.

Please note, that this chemical has been reported to be carcinogenic (something that can cause cancer) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and thus, should only be used by experts in the absence of children and pets.

It is highly effective in eliminating not just stink bugs but pretty much any bug you will find on plants (even the good ones like ladybugs).

Once sprayed, make sure you sprinkle a good amount of water on the plants and anything near them to wash it all away.

The one thing you do not want to be doing with stink bugs is:

SQUISH THEM. Especially if you are indoors. That is because it releases the foul odor they are so known for.

Stink Bugs: FAQ

Q1: Are sting bugs harmful?

If you are wondering whether stink bugs bite or not, don’t worry, they don’t. Plus, they don’t reproduce when indoor, unlike roaches that multiply in weeks. To top it all, they are seasonal and only come into the home and yards during the fall and spring. It is only the smell that’s intolerable.

Q2: Should I kill sting bugs

The best mode of action would be to ensure they do not enter the home or the yard by spraying repellents, ensuring cleanliness. Squishing or vacuuming them can result in them releasing the bad odor. But that’s pretty much all they do. They do not cause any physical or structural harm.

Q3: How to get rid of stink bugs

If they stink bugs are in the yard, we’d suggest spraying a repellent like a garlic spray that can be prepared at home or you can also buy neem oil spray and spray it over the plants. If they are in the house, keep the lights off. Also, make sure you remove any food items they are feeding on and declutter the area. Also, repellents can help.

Q4: What do stink bugs hate?

From radishes, garlic, catnip to herbs like mint (best for indoors), thyme, lavender, stink bugs themselves hate smelly plants and repellents. You can also go with marigolds and chrysanthemums, and other plants that stink bug enemies love.

Q5: How do stink bugs look?

Stink bugs are larger than roaches, i.e. about 2 cm in length and width, and come with a shield-shaped back that differentiates them from the other bugs and insects. Also, their legs extend wide which makes the adult stink bugs look bigger. As for their color, it can vary from green, brown to gray.

Q6: Should I use chemicals to kill stink bugs?

Absolutely not. That is because most chemicals are carcinogenic and thus, can cause cancer in humans. To eliminate stink bugs, go with organic repellents or grow smelly plants in your backyard.


And those are all the ways of how to get rid of stink bugs!

Nobody wants their backyard stinking, right? And that is exactly why stink bugs are unwelcome guests but during the fall season, them visiting you might be inevitable.

With the above-mentioned tricks, you should be able to get rid of stink bugs before they completely take over and make your yard and make it inhabitable for both you and your plants.

If you have found any other effective way of keeping these bugs out, do let us know in the comments section below. You can also send in your queries if you are having stink bug troubles.

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