How do you deal with stinkbugs?

Written by: Lars Nyman

How do you deal with stinkbugs?


Gardening is a great way to get out in nature and enjoy a hobby. The joy of gardening can however be quickly taken away when an unwelcome pest shows up, like the notorious stink bug. Stinkbugs not only pose a risk to the plants, but they have an unpleasant odor that can linger long after they’ve gone. Luckily, there are ways to deal with stinkbugs and keep your garden pests-free. In this article, we’ll discuss what stinkbugs are, why they are in your garden, and how you can deal with them.

A Stinkbug Cheatsheet

1. Prevention:

🚪 Sealing cracks & gaps
🌿 Removing weeds & debris
🌸 Planting repellent flowers

2. Natural Deterrents:

🔥 Garlic spray
🌶️ Chili pepper solution
🌱 Neem oil

3. Manual Removal:

🧤 Wear gloves & pick them up
🧹 Use a vacuum cleaner with a sock over the nozzle
🛄 Dispose in soapy water

4. Traps and Barriers:

🪤 DIY traps with light & soapy water
🛑 Sticky barriers to prevent entry
🕷️ Encourage natural predators

5. Professional Help:

🦟 Call a licensed pest control
👨‍🔬 Seek advice from agricultural extension services

6. Staying Positive:

🌞 Remember stinkbugs don't transmit diseases
🍅 Protect crops with fine mesh netting
💪 Share tips with friends!


Every seasoned gardener knows that a tranquil afternoon toiling in the soil can quickly take a frustrating turn with the arrival of insects. You've lovingly tend to your plants, only for these pesky critters to swoop in, undeterred by your efforts. One notorious culprit in my own gardening adventures is the seemingly innocuous, yet highly destructive and aptly named, stinkbug.

Understanding Stinkbugs

Before you can effectively tackle any pest, it's important to understand them. For me, this involves a bit of insect espionage. Stinkbugs are aptly named due to the foul odor they emit when threatened. They're usually brown or gray, shield-shaped, and just under an inch in length. Hardy fellows, they're unfazed by winter and quite prolific, laying up to 400 eggs at once. In my garden, these aggressive bugs have feasted almost unchecked on fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals.

Step 1: Handpicking Stinkbugs

If you have a small infestation, as I did initially, you might succeed in handpicking the bugs. As unappealing as this sounds, it can be strangely satisfying. Just ensure you wear gloves - remember the smell! I'd place them in a solution of soapy water to eliminate them.

Step 2: DIY Stinkbug Traps

When handpicking became too much, which it inevitably did as they multiplied, I turned to homemade traps. These work by attracting stinkbugs with the warmth of a lamp and trapping them in a soapy solution. It was overwhelmingly effective, and somewhat therapeutic watching them drift towards the light.

Step 3: Drawing in Natural Predators

For a more natural approach, I’ve found it helpful to invite stinkbug predators into my garden. Birds, toads, and several other insects like ladybugs and praying mantises are eager to tuck into your stinkbug problem for you.

Bonus: Stinkbug Repellent Plants

Integrating plants that repel stinkbugs into my garden was yet another tactic I have used. These include marigolds, chrysanthemums, tansy, and mints, all of which I found aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully fragrant. Well, to us humans at least!

Professional Help

If your stinkbug problem persists, don't be ashamed to call in the pros. Some infestations are simply too large to handle alone and require the aid of experienced pest control services.

Remember, the goal isn't to eliminate every single stinkbug, but to keep their numbers under manageable control. This will allow your plants to thrive while maintaining balance in your garden ecosystem.


1. How do I get rid of stinkbugs in my garden?

Remove stinkbug eggs **before they hatch** and use a combination of **handpicking** and **insecticidal soap** for control.

2. What plants do stinkbugs prefer?

Stinkbugs are attracted to various fruits, vegetables, and crops like **tomatoes**, **peppers**, and **corn**.

3. How can I prevent stinkbugs from entering my garden?

Implement **barriers** like fine mesh screens, and maintain good **garden hygiene** to deter stinkbugs.

4. Any natural remedies to repel stinkbugs?

Try using **neem oil**, **garlic spray**, or **diatomaceous earth** as natural deterrents for stinkbugs.

5. Are stinkbugs harmful to humans?

While stinkbugs are not known to transmit diseases, their **foul odor secretions** can be unpleasant.

Stinkbugs may present challenges for gardeners, but thankfully with the right knowledge and tips, these pests can easily be managed. With the proper identification, preventative measures, and appropriate pest control methods, any gardener can take back control of their garden and enjoy the summertime fruits of their labor!

Want to know more about Stinkbugs? Check out these posts:

Further reading:

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