Home Gardening Blog

How to Get Rid of Those Pesky (Brown Marmorated) Stink Bugs in Your House

posted on
How to Get Rid of Those Pesky (Brown Marmorated) Stink Bugs in Your House
In Fall and Spring people will sometimes find oval-shaped, brownish flying insects in their house, insects that can be up to ¾” long with a “shield” on their backs, brown and white banding along the edges of the abdomen and antennae, and a pale underside. They emit an offensive odor when threatened.

Chances are excellent these insects are the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug that either have come into the house searching for warmth and light or are looking for a way to exit the house.

They are frequently seen in window corners, flying around, crawling on lamps and other light fixtures, and hiding in in-door plants. Less noticeable in-door locations include between windows and screens, between the firescreen and the firebox, and walking on drapes and furniture. They also hover around doors waiting for the opportunity to come inside as people go in and out. They can enter the house through the thinnest of openings.

Stink Bug Damage:

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs eat by sucking juices from plants. Unless your home is seriously infested or you have in-house fruit trees, they probably won’t do much damage to your indoor plants; however, as living creatures, they will excrete, i.e., poop, in your house. They can stain walls, drapes, lampshades, window sills, and other surfaces.

Getting Rid of Those Pesky Bugs Inside:

Whether outside or inside, stink bugs are not easy to eliminate. There are currently no known natural predators; the stink bug odor acts as a repellent to other insects, although some birds will eat them. Control with pesticides is short-lived, and resistance has already been seen.

Do not use pesticides to kill the insects indoors as the dead stink bugs, if not collected, will still stink and can attract other insect pests such as carpet beetles that feed on them.

Some internet sites recommend vacuuming up stink bugs; however, stink bugs are frequently up towards the ceiling or flying which makes vacuuming difficult, and if they are left in the vacuum bag, they will “stink” it up.

Sticky traps are available, but Stink Bugs may not readily come in contact with the trap. They are unsightly.

Some have tried setting around straight-sided pans of soapy water with lights suspended over the pans, lights, because Stink Bugs are attracted to light. Again, unsightly, the bugs still have to be discarded, and questionably effective.

Probably the best way to get rid of stink bugs is to hand-pick them. Throw them back outside, crush them, or flush them. Do not put living stink bugs in the trash. Some people develop dermatitis from touching them, and, they can leave your hands stained and stinking. If necessary, put a barrier over your hand, such as a tissue, to catch or kill the stink bugs.

The process of removing stink bugs is not a one-time solution. You will need to inspect and remove at least daily until the numbers are reduced to a level you can live with.


The best defense against stink bugs in the house is to prevent them from entering. Inspect the house, interior AND exterior, for cracks and other openings. Seal, caulk, weatherstrip, repair, and replace, particularly around doors and windows, uncovered vents to the crawlspace and/or attic, chimneys, siding, and window air-conditioners.

by Patricia O’Brien
| Categories: Fall | Tags: brown marmorated stink bug, indoor pests, insect control | View Count: (21113) | Return
Email Updates

Receive home gardening blog updates by email! 

Sign up now

Search the blog: