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13 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Garden

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17 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in the Garden

Annoying little pests that produce an unpleasant odor when disturbed, plant-eating stink bugs cause damage by feeding on plant juices.

Though there is no need to fear these pesky insects, they can cause damage to your crops. You may find them on tomatoes, corn, peppers, zucchini, beans, and other vegetables in your garden.

Some stink bugs may also enter your home in the cooler months for warmth and shelter. So, it’s only natural that you may want to get rid of them.


The stink bug acquired its name because of the unpleasant odor it emits when disturbed or threatened.

Some people say it smells like cilantro; others say it smells like burned tires. However, the unpleasant odor that the insect gives off is supposedly a defense mechanism against predators [2].

The adult bugs might be green, grayish, or brown, depending in the species.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in the Garden Naturally

These are some of the best natural approaches to keeping stink bugs away.

1. Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay, prepared in a spray solution and applied to plants, coats fruits and leaves with a white film. This forms a barrier that prevents these pests from feeding.

It will also deter other pests.

2. Natural Predators

Attracting natural predators that hunt for insects is one of the best natural stink bug control methods.

Natural predators of stink bugs include assassin bugs, predatory stink bugs, bats, and some birds. Find out which of these natural enemies are in your area and how to attract them.

3. Trap Crops

You can use certain plants to lure these bugs away from your garden. Trap crops for some stink bugs include sunflowers, green amaranth, buckwheat, alfalfa, and sorghum.

Plant one or more of these nearby to keep BMSB and other flying stink bugs out of your vegetable garden.

4. Pick Them Off

The cheapest stink bug home remedy is to remove them by hand.

However, it’s best to catch them with gloves and a mask on. If they feel threatened, they will emit a foul odor that can last for hours, depending on the species.

Quickly pluck them off your tomato plants, pepper plants, blackberries, or whatever you find them on. Next, drop them into a bucket of soapy water to suffocate and kill them.

5. Hose Them

Use a spray nozzle on your hose and put it on a high setting to knock stink bugs off your plants. This DIY method may not kill them, but it will deter them for a while.

6. Sticky Traps

These make excellent stink bug traps! However, use them with caution, as they can catch beneficial insects as well.

Use sticky traps to safeguard both your garden and house from a stink bug infestation.

Make a barrier around your garden. You can also place the traps around your window sill if the bugs are finding their way inside your home.

7. Neem Oil

This natural pesticide can help control these stinky little bugs. It will also repel and/or kill other insect pests on your plants.

To use neem oil for stink bugs, mix 2 teaspoons of the oil with 4 cups of water. Spray everywhere you find these critters.

8. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Diatomaceous earth is an excellent remedy to get rid of stink bugs organically. Sprinkle it at the base of the plants and on the leaves.

Alternatively, make a homemade stink bug killer spray by mixing one part DE with four parts water. Add it to a spray bottle and use it to coat your plants and the bugs you spot.

You can also use food-grade diatomaceous earth to get rid of stink bugs in your house. It will dehydrate and kill the critters.

It also works great against kudzu bugs.

9. Eliminate Weeds

Most stink bugs will also feed on weeds and grasses, so eliminating these plants will cut out a major part of their diet.

10. Garlic Spray

Garlic spray is an effective home remedy for many garden pests, including stink bugs.

This treatment is a mixture of two cups of water and four teaspoons of garlic powder. The scent of this solution repels stink bugs.

Use this DIY stink bug repellent spray on plants outside. You can also use it around your balcony, windowsills, doorways, and other entry points to your house.

11. Soapy Water

Make a soapy water solution and spray it directly on stink bugs. It will kill them.

For this killer recipe, combine half a cup of organic liquid soap with one cup of vinegar and two cups of water in a spray bottle.

Next, use this soapy water and vinegar concoction to spray those little green stink bugs, or whatever color they are.

You can also knock them off the plant and put them in a bucket of plain, hot, soapy water, where they’ll drown. It will kill them almost instantly.

12. Hot Pepper Spray

Make a homemade spray for stink bugs by blending a few hot peppers with some water. After straining, you can also add a little dish soap.

The hot pepper solution will burn the bugs’ bodies when it’s sprayed directly on them.

13. Repellent Plants

Plants that repel stink bugs include catnip, marigold, garlic, thyme, and lavender. Plant these around your yard and garden to help keep the critters away.

14. Row Covers

Use floating row covers to prevent stink bugs and other insect pests from gaining access to your crops.

Cover your plants. Afterward, pick off the bugs that land on the covers and drop them in soapy water.

15. Essential Oils

Some essential oils work well to repel stink bugs naturally. Scents that will keep them away include rosemary, clove, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and thyme oil.

To make a homemade stink bug spray using essential oils, mix 15 to 20 drops of the oil of your choice in two cups of warm water. Shake well and use it to spray the bugs you see and areas where they frequent.

16. Vinegar Trap

Make a simple stink bug trap with a cup of vinegar, half a cup of dish soap, and two cups of hot water.

Shake it up in a spray bottle and use it to spray the critters. It will kill them.

17. Azera

Azera is a natural insecticide for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and other insect pests. It combines pyrethrins and azadirachtin, which both work against many harmful insects.

Use it according to the instructions that come with your purchase.


Stink bugs may not only infest your garden but also your home. Eliminating them before there is an infestation is the best course of action.

However, don’t mistake them for common squash pests. If you see stink bug-like insects on your cucumber plants, pumpkins, or squash, those are likely squash bugs on your plants.

See also: Leaf-Footed Bug Natural Control.

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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