How to Get Stink Bugs Out of My Home


The brown marmorated stink bug first showed up in the United States in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s. Since then, its habitat has spread throughout the continent, in states as far away as California. Stink bugs do not bite, but most people find them unpleasant when they are noisily flying about in a residence or releasing their characteristic odor. They are about three-quarters of an inch long and release what some consider an unpleasant smell if irritated or crushed. Since they create an odor if they are swatted, removing them from a home can be a delicate matter.

  • Check the areas around the windows, doors and vents in your home for cracks or openings where a stink bug could enter.

  • Caulk or stuff with foam strips any openings you find to keep the bugs from getting into your home. Foam strips, purchased at any hardware store, are ideal to fill gaps in windows with air conditioners, where you likely will not want to use caulk.

  • Locate the stink bugs in your home. You can look for them by moving about the curtains and looking through hanging clothing. Listen for the sound of their wings when they fly about -- they are noisy when they fly. Also, if a stink bug has been irritated, you can smell it as well.

  • Remove the stink bugs without smashing them. You can vacuum them into a powerful hand-held vacuum. You can also hold a box or jar near the bugs and brush them inside gently with a lid.

  • Dispose of the stink bugs. You can dump them outdoors, or you can freeze the stink bugs if you have placed them in a jar. Freezing them will kill them, and then they will not come back into your house, which they are likely to do if you simply throw them back outside. As long as the jar has a screw-on, airtight lid, the smell should not spread inside your freezer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember that if the stink bug gets on you, it will not hurt you, although you may find it unpleasant to have it walking on your skin.
  • If you crush a stink bug, it will release what many consider to be an unpleasant odor. It can also release its smell when it is irritated. Be very careful when removing them to not upset them.

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