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 as they do not bite or sting people, they can cause damage to your crops.
They may go after tomatoes, corn, peppers, beans, and other vegetables in your garden. Stink bugs may also enter your home in cooler months to overwinter . 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 burnt tires. However, the unpleasant odor that the insect gives off is supposedly a defense mechanism against predators .
The adults might be green, grayish, or brown.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in the Garden Naturally
These are the top natural and organic approaches to keeping away stink bugs.
1. Kaolin Clay
Prepared in a spray solution and applied to plants, Kaolin clay 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 native to your area and how to attract them.
3. Trap Crops
You can use certain plants to trick these little green bugs, luring them away from your garden. Trap crops include sunflower, millet, soybean, buckwheat, 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 up to 3 hours.
Quickly pluck them off your tomato plants or whatever you find them on. Next, drop them into a bucket of soapy water to suffocate.
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 not kill adult bugs but it is very effective against young nymphs.
To use neem oil for stink bugs, mix 2 teaspoons with 4 cups of water. Spray everywhere you have the critters.
8. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth is an excellent remedy to get rid of stink bugs organically. Sprinkle it at the base of plants and on the leaves.
Alternatively, make a homemade stink bug killer spray by mixing one part DE with four parts water. Add to a spray bottle and use it to coat your plants and the bugs you spot.
You can also use DE to get rid of stink bugs in your house but be sure to use the food-grade type. Diatomaceous earth will dehydrate and kill the critters. It also works great against kudzu bugs.
9. Eliminate Weeds
Some stink bugs also feed on weeds and grasses, so eliminating these plants will cut out a major part of their diet. Getting rid of weeds will also destroy one of their potential hiding places.
10. Garlic Spray
Garlic spray is an effective home remedy for many garden pests, including stink bugs. This treatment is a mixture of water, organic liquid soap, and garlic.
Blend, strain, and spray on plants. The scent repels stink bugs.
Use this DIY stink bug repellent outside on plants. You can also use it on windowsills, doorways, and other entry points to your house.
11. Soapy Water
Make a soapy water solution and spray it directly on stink bugs. 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 vinegar concoction to spray those green stink bugs or whatever color they are. They will die shortly after.
You can also knock them off the plant into a bucket of plain hot soapy water where they’ll drown. It kills them almost immediately.
12. Hot Pepper Spray
Make a homemade spray for stink bugs by soaking 2 hot peppers in one quart of soapy water. The hot pepper solution will burn the bugs’ bodies when it’s sprayed directly on them.
13. Pest-Repelling Plants
Plants that repel stink bugs include catnip, marigold, garlic, thyme, radishes, and chrysanthemum. Plant these around your yard and garden to help keep the critters away.
14. Row Covers
Use floating row covers to prevent these and other bad bugs 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 mint, clove, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and lemon.
Mix 20 drops of oil of 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 Solution
Make a simple stink bug trap solution 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. They won’t have time to go anywhere — it will kill them instantly.
Azera is a natural insecticide for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and other insect pests. It combines Pyrethrins and Azadirachtin which both work against certain 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.
See also: Leaf-Footed Bug Natural Control.