Imagine this: you’re chilling on your sofa watching your favorite show. Suddenly, a stink bug zooms past you. Since you hate insects, you scramble to shoo the bug away or kill it, only to be hit by an unpleasant smell.
But what if there was an effective way to repel and deter these bugs from entering your living space? Well, this guide dives into the world of stink bug repellants, more specifically smells that these invaders hate.
So, stick with us here and unearth the secrets of keeping these unwanted guests at bay.
What Attracts Stink Bugs to Your Home?
Stink bugs are invasive pests, notorious for damaging crops and ornamental plants. Therefore, they may venture into your property in search of food.
If you have fruit trees and vegetables in your garden or backyard, they are vulnerable to these pesky pests. This holds, especially if the stink bugs are in their immature and adult life stages.
In fact, in the US stink bugs have become a menace for farmers. Put it like this; they can snack on over 100 species of high-valued crops, including:
- Green Beans
Besides apples, they can devour peaches, Asian pears, and nectarines.
But why do they venture indoors?
For shelter, of course. During the cold months, adult stink bugs usually make their way indoors through cracks and crevices.
But fear not, they are not there to breed or to damage your building. It’s also worth noting that stink bugs don’t bite humans or pests.
However, once a stink bug invades a home, it releases a signature scent that attracts other stink bugs. And within a short period, you can have hundreds of stink bugs, enough to fill a bucket. When this happens, they can become a nuisance to homeowners.
Even worse, these bugs produce an offensive odor when disturbed or squashed. The odors can permeate the air, turning your peaceful space into a nightmare.
How Do Stink Bugs React to Smells?
Unlike mammals, insects like stink bugs don’t have noses. But that does not mean these creatures don’t smell anything.
Stink bugs use their pair of antennae to detect chemicals in the air. Through these olfactory receptors, stink bugs can locate food, find mates, gather in groups, and evade predators.
Because of their acute sense of smell, these insects are sensitive to certain scents, like essential oils and herbs with fragrances. This is good news for farmers and homeowners because they can use these scents against them.
So, what are these smells that can deter stinks bugs? Stick with us, because you’re in for a trip.
Natural Smells That Repel Stink Bugs
1. Neem Oil
Derived from the seeds of the neem tree, neem oil possesses potent insecticidal properties. When sprayed directly on stink bugs or their habitat, neem oil disrupts their hormonal balance, impairs their feeding, and inhibits their ability to lay eggs. As a result, this organic solution makes an effective sink bug-repellant for home use.
Peppermint has a unique aroma that stinks bugs detest. That makes it a must-have tool for controlling stink bug populations on your property. Plant this herb around your home to create a scent barrier that can deter these invaders.
Additionally, you can crush dry peppermint leaves and sprinkle them around your garden. Or prepare a mixture of spearmint and peppermint oil with water and spray it on areas frequented by stink bugs.
Another smell worth highlighting is lemongrass. The citrusy aroma of lemongrass oil triggers a signal in stink bugs that tells them to stay away.
To use lemongrass oil as a stink bug repellant, apply a few drops of the oil to areas with frequent stink bug activities, like windowsills. The intense smell of the herb will keep the bugs at bay.
Alternatively, you can mix lemongrass oil and water and place the solution in a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture around potential entry points to establish a barrier that can deter stink bugs.
You can also take things a notch higher by using lemongrass oil in diffusers. The sweet fragrance will fill your space while repelling unwanted invaders.
Catnip is more than just a treat for your cat; it can effectively repel stink bugs. Sprinkle crushed catnip leaves around areas prone to infestations.
Alternatively, you can create a catnip-infused spray by steeping catnip leaves in warm water and spraying the solution on areas where stink bugs are active.
Additionally, avoid applying catnip directly to areas where your cat and dogs spend the most time, like their bedding.
4. Spearmint Oil
Apart from catnip, stink bugs cannot withstand the scent of spearmint. The plant’s invigorating aroma discourages these insects from nesting in your home.
The best way to use spearmint oil is to mix it with water and dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply the solution on doorways, garden plants, and windows to reduce the likelihood of an infestation.
Remember to apply the solution regularly to maintain the potency of the scent.
5. Garlic spray
Prepare a garlic spray by mixing crushed garlic cloves with water and dish soap in a container. Let the solution sit for a while to allow the potent garlic compounds to infuse the water.
After that, strain the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle for easy application. Spray your solution on plants infested with stink bugs. You can also apply the solution to the area where these insects enter your home to keep them off.
Chrysanthemums flowers contain a natural compound called pyrethrum, which is a strong insect repellent. Having chrysanthemum plants in your garden can help you deter stink bugs and other unwanted insects.
Their lively colors and delightful scent also make an appealing addition to your garden while providing you with a natural barrier to keep insects away.
Who would have imagined a simple herb like thyme can make an effective stink bug deterrent? Its aromatic leaves have a distinct fragrance, which repels stink bugs.
To keep the stink bugs away, plant thyme in your garden or place small pots at your home’s entry points to create a barrier that stink bugs will not dare to cross.
Rosemary, known for its culinary uses and fragrant aroma, also possesses properties that stink bugs find displeasing. The powerful scent of rosemary acts as a natural repellent, deterring stink bugs from invading your space.
Consider planting rosemary in your garden or using rosemary essential oil to create a stink bug-repellent spray. Not only will your garden benefit from this aromatic herb, but you will also have a natural defense against stink bug infestations.
9. Ylang-Ylang Oil
Ylang-ylang oil, derived from the Canaga tree, is arguably the best natural insect repellant. It makes a great alternative to chemicals such as DEET.
Ylang-ylang oil has a distinctive smell that’s nearly 100% effective at repelling stink bugs and other insects like mosquitos.
The oil is also used in aromatherapy. So, you can use them in diffusers to fill your house with a pleasant smell while kicking out stink bugs.
Additional Ways You Can Deter Stink Bugs
1. Home Maintenance and Prevention
- Seal Cracks and Gaps: Stink bugs can get indoors using tiny cracks and gaps. So, seal these entry points and deny these insects access to your house.
- Caulk and Weather Stripping: Consider reinforcing vulnerable stink bugs’ entry points with caulk and weather stripping. Seal any gaps and cracks near utility pipes and doors. Install weather strip to seal opening around moving components like doors and operable windows.
- Window Screens: Make sure your window screens are well-fitted and without any tears or holes to reduce the chances of stink bugs getting into your home through them.
- Crawl Spaces and Attics: You should regularly inspect crawl spaces and attics for any potential openings where stink bugs could infiltrate and eventually find their way inside.
2. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sand extract also known as DE. While it’s safe for humans and pets, it is lethal to bugs.
3. Homemade Traps
You can use readily available materials to create DIY traps to attract and trap stink bugs. Standard homemade trap varieties include:
- Light traps: Use a simple desk lamp or flashlight light source to attract stink bugs and capture them in a vessel.
- DIY bottle traps: Cut an empty plastic bottle, so you have two pieces. Place the top part of the bottle upside down inside the bottom section of the bottle. The trap allows stink bugs to get in and stay there (they can’t escape).
- Sticky traps: Place an adhesive material, such as sticky paper or double-sided tape near windows, doors, and other areas frequented by stink bugs. Once the insects come in contact with the sticky surface, they will get trapped, preventing them from entering your peaceful environment.
Attach a hose to your vacuum cleaner, and vacuum all the stink bugs you spot indoors. Later, empty the bag to get rid of the unpleasant odor.
5. Stink Bugs Repellents
There are numerous commercial products or pesticides on the market you can use to get rid of stink bugs. However, you need to consider the safety of the product before using it indoors. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maximum effectiveness.
Stink bugs can be a real bother. Not only do they cause damage to the garden, but also ruin the peace and tranquility of your home.
But that should no longer be a problem. As you can see, we have explored several smells that repel stink bugs and how you can maximize their effectiveness.
Now, all you need to do is to harness the power of these potent scents and create a natural barrier to keep these insects at bay.
Good luck, and if you have questions, let us know!