How to Get Rid of Brown Stink Bugs

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Close up of a brown stink bug inside someones home

You should consider yourself lucky if you’ve never encountered a brown stink bug. Not only are they annoying, but their odor is also pretty terrible.

Unfortunately, these pesky insects can get themselves just about anywhere. And when there’s one, there’s sure to be more that join them soon.

Today, we’re sharing how you can eliminate brown stink bugs and their stench from your life. Let’s get started!

What Are Brown Stink Bugs?

While the official name is “brown marmorated stink bug,” most people shorten it to stink bug. These winged insects are an invasive species in the United States. Experts believe sometime during the 1990s, these insects hitched a ride in a shipping container from overseas. 

They’re typically just over half an inch in length and have a shield-like shape to their bodies. Much of their body has a marble-like appearance with dark patches. 

As you might expect, their name comes from the fact that they can omit an odor as a defensive mechanism.

Like many insects, brown stink bugs can reproduce quickly and are incredibly resilient. Once they find their way into a space, they’ll get comfortable and invite their friends. It doesn’t take long before you have a stinky situation on your hands.

Where Do Brown Stink Bugs Live?

Brown stink bugs are a native species to East Asia, primarily China, Japan, and Korea. However, they’ve become an invasive species worldwide due to their ability to endure harsh conditions and reproduce quickly. 

In addition to the United States and Canada, they’re common in many European and South American countries.

Why Do You Have Stink Bugs in Your House?

Just like humans, stink bugs need a safe place to call home. Once the temperatures drop, they get more determined to find somewhere to wait out winter. Unfortunately, houses, garages, and storage spaces make the perfect environments for them to hibernate.

They look for vulnerabilities in a structure to sneak their way in and make themselves at home. Gaps in windows, doors, utility pipes, and vents are common entry points for various pests, including stink bugs. 

However, they also have no problem coming through windows and doors left open without screens.

Can You Touch Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs?

While brown marmorated stink bugs pose no serious health risks to humans, you should avoid touching them. Their defensive mechanism releases an unpleasant odor when threatened or disturbed. Some individuals have experienced skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Wear gloves or a tissue or paper towel if you must handle them. Also, wash your hands as soon as possible after dealing with them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

What Is the Lifespan of a Brown Stink Bug?

These bugs typically live somewhere between six to eight months. Their lifespan can significantly depend on the environmental conditions and their access to food or shelter. 

While they have a relatively short lifespan, they can reproduce very quickly. It’s not uncommon for several generations of stink bugs to be born in a single year.

A brown stink bug on a flower

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs 

If you want to eliminate stink bugs, you can’t procrastinate. They’re likely not going anywhere until you evict them. Let’s see some things you can do to expel these stinky insects.

Remove Them As You Find Them

The first thing you need to do is remove any stink bugs you find when you see them.

Wear gloves or a napkin or tissue to avoid getting their stench on your hands. This can be time-consuming, especially if you have a more extensive infestation.

It is possible to use a vacuum to suck them up. However, you don’t want to use a bagless vacuum. If you do, the odor will remain behind long after you’ve emptied the canister. 

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Seal All Entry Points

Simply removing all of the critters won’t work well enough. You need to prevent them from coming back in the future. Find where or how they enter your space and seal the entry points.

Look for cracks around doors and windows. Because they’re small, these entry points don’t have to be very large. You can use caulk and weather stripping to seal off these spaces. This will prevent stink bugs and other pests from getting in.

Check Window Screens

One of the great things about dropping temperatures is that you can open the windows and let in some fresh air. However, stink bugs and insects can easily find their way into your space if your window screens have rips, tears, or holes.

We recommend regularly inspecting window screens for any potential issues. If you discover an issue, address it immediately. A tiny hole can become a bigger problem the longer you wait.

Repairing a small damaged area is more manageable than completely replacing the screen.

Use an Insecticide

If you want to take your defense to the next level, use an insecticide. You can find various products available, but one of the best is Ortho Home Defense. However, no matter which product you choose, you’ll want to apply it regularly.

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It’s best to take a proactive approach to your defense. You don’t want to wait until you have a problem to take action. While these products typically claim to offer a year of protection, it doesn’t hurt to apply them on a more frequent basis. 

Using an insecticide three or four times a year can help you create a formidable defense against stink bugs and other insects.

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Decrease Lighting

Stink bugs love a bright light and will swarm to it anytime they see it. While you may enjoy illuminating your porch or entryway, you could invite stink bugs and other insects into your space. 

Instead of leaving a light on continuously, consider investing in motion-detecting lights. This will reduce the chances of attracting insects and help reduce your monthly utility bill.

If you insist on having your light on, consider switching to a yellow bug light. These lights put off considerable light but are less attractive to insects. 

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Try a DIY Trap

Another effective method for removing stink bugs is making a DIY trap. All you need to do is fill a metal pan with a soap-water mixture. Place the pan under a light and let it work its magic. The light will attract the stink bugs, and they’ll eventually find their way into the mixture and drown.

While this may sound a bit morbid, remember they’re invasive. They pose a nuisance to you and cause severe damage to plants and vegetation across the country.

Encourage Natural Predators

Humans aren’t the only predators out to get stink bugs. Various birds, bats, and even spiders will make a meal out of them.

These predators will come around when they know there’s a source of food and shelter. By creating a hospitable environment for them to stay, you can increase the chances they’ll hunt the stink bugs.

Installing bird and bat houses around your property may take effort, but they are great long-term solutions. These make effective ways to ensure brown stink bugs don’t return once you’ve succeeded in eliminating them.

A brown stink bug on a flower

Whatever You Do, Don’t Smash Them

Trust us; the worst thing you can do is smash them. Crushing them will release the skunk-like scent even more. The chemical will linger in the area, and you’ll instantly regret your decision.

In addition, smashing a stink bug can result in a yellowish stain on walls, fabrics, and upholstery. Getting this stain out can be very challenging. So you’ll have an odor to deal with and a stain.

Additionally, the pheromones that a stink bug releases can attract more stink bugs to an area. You could create a more significant problem by incorrectly addressing the initial issue.

Win the Battle Against Brown Stink Bugs

Being victorious against brown stink bugs will require some effort. It requires you to take proactive and preventative measures.

If you let your guard down, they’ll take advantage of the opportunity to sneak into your home or other space. Hopefully, these tips can help you win the battle and the war against brown stink bugs.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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