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 will cause damage to your crops.
They will go after tomatoes, corn, peppers, beans, and other vegetables in your garden. Additionally, stink bugs may enter your home in cooler months to overwinter . So, it’s only natural that may want to get rid of them.
The stink bug acquired its name because of the unpleasant odor it emits when disturbed or threatened.
It’s said to smell something like burnt tires or cilantro. However, the unpleasant odor that the insect gives off is supposedly a defense mechanism against predators .
The adults might be green, grayish, or brown in color.
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
Kaolin clay is a naturally occurring mineral. When prepared in a spray solution, you can apply it to plants, especially the undersides of leaves.
This natural remedy irritates insects. It will also deter them from laying eggs.
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, damsel bugs, soldier beetles, birds, and green lacewings.
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.
But, 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 the plant or whatever they’re on inside your house. 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 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 will get soaked up by the exoskeleton of these stinky little bugs and begin to interfere with the way they behave. It doesn’t kill them instantly but in the end, they do die.
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 it indoors. However, use food-grade DE to get rid of stink bugs in your house.
Diatomaceous earth will dehydrate and kill the critters.
9. Eliminate Weeds
Stink bugs also feed on stems and leaves of weeds and grass. So, eliminating these will cut out a major part of their diet.
Getting rid of weeds will also destroy one of their 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 smell will deter stink bugs.
11. Soap and Water
Make a plain soapy water solution and spray it directly on stink bugs. It will get soaked up by their bodies which will later dehydrate and kill them.
For this killer recipe, combine half a cup of organic liquid soap with one cup water into a spray bottle. Next, use the solution to spray those green stink bugs or whatever color they are.
You can also knock them off the plant into a bucket of hot soapy water where they’ll die shortly after.
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, lavender, and chrysanthemum. Plant these around your yard and garden to keep the critters away.
Azera is a natural insecticide for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and other insect pests. It combines Pyrethrins and Azadirachtin which both work against harmful insects.
Use it according to the instructions that come with your purchase.
15. Row Covers
Use floating row covers to prevent these and other bad bugs from gaining access to your crops. Cover your plants, especially as harvest time approaches.
Afterward, pick off the bugs that land on the covers and drop them in soapy water.
Stink bugs will not only infest your garden but also your home. Therefore, eliminating them before there is an infestation is the best course of action.
See also: Leaf-Footed Bug Natural Control.