Why do stink bugs come in your house and how to repel

Why do stink bugs come in your house

Stink bugs are insects that are native to Asia, Africa, and Australia. They were accidentally introduced into the United States in 1998 and have since spread throughout most of the country. They can be found on the outside of buildings and homes during the warmer months of the year, as well as inside during colder months. Stink bugs are attracted to lights so they often enter buildings in search of warmth, moisture, or food sources. In this article, we will find out why stink bugs come into your house and how to repel them.

Stink bugs have triangular bodies with a shield-like appearance and a pair of antennae at each end. The coloration varies depending on what type of plant they feed upon but most commonly ranges from brownish black to shades of green or grey with white stripes along their sides (known as bands). There are over 20 species found here in North America; however, only two species tend to invade homes: the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) which is more prevalent than the American green stink bug (Brochymena Decemlineata).

What is Stink Bug?

Why do stink bugs come in your house

Stink bugs are a type of insect. They belong to the Hemiptera order, and they can be brown, green, or gray in color. Stink bugs have shield-shaped bodies with antennae that are longer than their body. Their mouth parts have evolved to pierce and suck the juices from plants they feed on; unlike many other insects, they don’t chew through plant tissue before sucking out the juices inside them. Stink bugs have a stink gland on the underside of their abdomen that lets them emit an odor when threatened or disturbed by predators (or humans).

Where did stink bugs come from?

Stink bugs are an invasive species that have been in the United States since 1996. Stink bugs are originally from Asia and were first spotted in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have now spread to every state in the US and Puerto Rico, but they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Stink bugs don’t pose a threat to humans or animals, but they can damage plants if they are present in high numbers. If you see a stink insect on your property, it’s important that you take action quickly so that your garden doesn’t suffer any significant damage.

Important facts stinkbugs attracted to the home

Lots of light into the house

Why do stink bugs come in your house

If you are wondering why stink bugs enter your home, the answer is quite simple. They are attracted to light and heat. Stink bugs are drawn to the warmth of your home, as well as all of the light that comes in through windows, doors, and cracks in a structure. If you have a lot of lights on in different rooms at night or during the day, it can attract stink bugs and other insects like them.

Attracts moisture places

Why do stink bugs come in your house

If you have a problem with stink bugs in your home, it could be that there is too much humidity in the air. This can enter from several different sources. If there is water damage in your home, or if you have a leaky pipe or roof problem, this can lead to an increase in moisture levels and therefore attract stink bugs. If you live near the seashore or other areas where it rains often, this can also cause an increase in humidity levels that will attract these pests.

Seeking shelter in the home

Why do stink bugs come in your house

Stink bugs are seeking shelter. They are looking for a place to overwinter, lay eggs, or mate. Some stink bugs look for a place to spend the winter months and can be found outside homes in large numbers during the winter months. Stink bugs also enter homes when it is warm out because they are seeking shelter from the cold weather outside of the home and will enter through windows, cracks in siding, or underneath doors where heating systems cannot be used. Other types of stink bugs such as brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) seek warmth inside your home because they are trying to lay their eggs there and need warmth from your heating system or hot water heater so that their offspring can develop properly before reaching adulthood.

Open entry points are giving them easy access

how to repel stink bugs from your house

  • Open windows and doors
  • Unscreened windows and doors
  • Open vents
  • Attic access (this is a big one)
  • Basement access (another big one)
  • Garage access (another big one)
  • Pet doors

Scent attracts them

The stink bug’s pungent smell is used to signal a food source, so it’s not surprising that the insects are drawn toward homes. The smell attracts them, and they can’t help but investigate it further. Smells like sugar and fruit may also increase your chances of attracting these insects inside your home.

House is made of natural materials

how to repel stink bugs from your house

Stink bugs are attracted to the light and warmth of the home. They are also attracted to natural materials in the house, such as wood, paper, or cardboard. If you have these types of materials in your walls or crawl spaces, it is possible that stink bugs will take up residence there.

This is a big reason why they often enter houses during winter months—when their natural food supply starts to run out.

House is near a green space

how to repel stink bugs from your house

Stink bugs are attracted to green spaces such as gardens and yards because they like to lay their eggs in the soil. This is why stink bugs often invade homes that have a large amount of garden space around them.

The best idea to keep stink bugs out of your home is to clean up any vegetation that’s in your yard or near the perimeter of your house. If you have plants nearby, try moving them further away from the house so that stink bugs won’t be able to get inside them easily.

Are stink bugs harmful?

Although they are not harmful to humans, they can be a nuisance. Stink bugs don’t bite or sting and are not dangerous to pets or plants. They also don’t transmit diseases or damage structures like homes or cars.

Stink bugs don’t damage food items in your home, but they may contaminate them if they crawl on them while they’re still outside your home.

Tips to get rid of stink bugs in the house

Seal the entry points

how to repel stink bugs from your house

To seal the entry points, you can use caulking to fill cracks and seal openings. You can also use weather stripping around windows and doors to keep stink bugs out of your home. Another option is to install screening over vents on the outside of your home so that they cannot gain access through these areas. If you have an attic, you can use fly tape or glue traps to catch any stink bugs that may be hiding in there as well.

Use a vacuum

how to repel stink bugs from your house

A vacuum is a good way to get rid of stink bugs in your house, but you should avoid using it for other purposes. Don’t vacuum up anything else inside the vacuum bag, otherwise, you risk sucking up the stink bugs instead of just sucking them up into the bag. Also, don’t put that bag in the trash because they could still be alive. If any are still alive when you empty out your vacuum cleaner, they’ll escape and start causing a stink all over again.

To keep from having to use a broom or brush at all (which might disturb their eggs), consider getting an outdoor/insect-proof dustpan and brush set made especially for this kind of problem.

Use insect zapper

how to repel stink bugs from your house

A bug zapper is a tool used to kill flying bugs. As the name suggests, it looks like a lamp but contains an electrical circuit that attracts minor insects and then electrocutes them. Insect zappers are usually placed outside on patios or near windows, though some can be hung inside near entryways as well.

To use one of these devices, you simply plug it into an outlet (or batteries) and turn it on. Then all you only need to sit back and watch as tiny creatures trap flocking towards their death. The best time for this type of activity occurs at night when most insects are out looking for food or mates.

Reduce moisture places

how do stink bugs get in the house

The best way to cut down on the number of stink bugs entering your house is to eliminate moisture sources. Stink bugs are attracted to moisture and will seek it out in order to survive, so keeping the house dry is important.

  • Avoid leaving water standing in sinks, bathtubs, or other containers.
  • Keep your kitchen sink clean so they don’t have any access to food scraps or dirty dishes.
  • Use a drain cover that fits over drains and prevents insects from entering them (such as these).
  • Make sure there are no leaks in the roof, walls, or pipes that could be causing moisture problems inside your home.

Use pesticide

how do stink bugs get in the house

You can also use pesticides to treat your home for stink bugs. Spray the bugs directly, as well as where they hide and their entry points. If you can’t use this, you may want to consider hiring an exterminator.

If you need to kill the bugs in the yard and garden, treat plants with a pesticide such as rotenone or pyrethrum (commonly used for killing mosquitoes). Be sure that what you’re using is labeled safe for use on food crops before spraying it on your garden—most insecticides are not labeled for this use.

Use essential oils

how do stink bugs get in the house

Lavender and peppermint essential oils are natural deterrents for stink bugs, but lemon oil is particularly effective. Add 10 drops of lavender, peppermint, or lemon oil to a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small bottle and shake well. Apply liberally on your body—it won’t stain clothes like DEET does—or add it to water in a spray bottle and spray down clothing before going outside. You can also use the mixture in an essential oil diffuser, which releases a scent into the air that may repel the insects from coming near you at all.

Turn off lighting

how do stink bugs get in the house

  • Turn off the lights. If you want to prevent stink bugs from coming into your house, turn off the lights at night.
  • Keep light out of rooms that are not being used. If you have a room or area of your home that is rarely used, try keeping the lights off in those rooms as well. This will prevent stink bugs from making their way into these areas of your home and causing damage while they’re there.

Don’t keep food open

how to repel stink bugs from your house

To prevent stink bugs from entering your home, don’t leave food exposed. If you have leftovers on the counter, cover them with a plate or something else to keep them from attracting insects. Don’t leave your trash bags sitting out in the open or uncovered (they can go in a closed garbage can). Finally, if there are any windows open or doors not properly closed at night, this will allow stink bugs to sneak into your house.

Use white vinegar

If you have stink bugs in your home, white vinegar can help eliminate them. Vinegar is a natural bug-repellent and will kill stink bugs on contact.

To make a mix of equal parts vinegar and water, combine 2 cups of each in a spray bottle. Shake well before use. Spray the mixture directly on the bugs, making sure to cover their bodies completely with the solution. Let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with water or gently brushing them off with your hand or a cloth towel (be careful not to crush them). Repeat as needed if more than one batch of stink bugs is present in your home at once.

Use garlic

how do stink bugs get in the house

  • Garlic is a natural pesticide.
  • You can use garlic to repel stink bugs.
  • You can make garlic spray.
  • You can use garlic oil.
  • You can use garlic powder (each option has its pros and cons).

Repair and replace screens

how do stink bugs get in the house

  • Repair and replace screens. Stink bugs use the holes in window screens to get inside your home, so it’s important to repair any damaged screens or replace them entirely.
  • Repair windows. If you find that stink bugs are getting into one particular part of your home, such as an attic vent or a bathroom window, try adding weather stripping around these areas. This will block them from entering at those specific points.


It’s common for stink bugs to enter the house during the fall and winter months. As temperatures drop and food becomes scarce, these insects seek shelter from the cold outdoors. Unfortunately, when stink bugs enter your home, they can be a nuisance because of their unpleasant odor.


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