Stink bugs are a nuisance in gardens, as they chew on plants and deprive us of home-grown foods. To make matters worse, these insects emit a foul smell when squashed, so you might hesitate to stomp on them, no matter how much havoc they’re wrecking on your crops.
This article will show you how to get rid of stink bugs in the garden without much hassle. In short, you can seal up cracks in your home, use a soap solution, plant mint and sunflowers, and more.
Table of Contents
How to Keep Stink Bugs Out of Garden
1. Seal up cracks in your home
Before stink bugs show up in your garden, they obviously gained entry into your house. Hence, it is important to cover up all cracks on your windows, doors, or walls where they could go through. This practice keeps stink bugs away from your yard.
To carry out this method, prepare the following tools:
- For drywall: drywall tape, drywall, wooden strip, screws.
- For doors and window frames: foam insulation (not the high-expansion kind), paper towel, auto-body filler, paint, paintbrush, and a piece of cloth.
- For both: putty knife, joint compound, sandpaper.
- Seal the holes with a joint compound. You may need to do this several times to cover the cracks completely. Make sure to let the compound dry in between applications.
- If the sealed area looks uneven, smoothen it with sandpaper after drying.
- Very large holes may need to be reinforced with wooden strips. Screw these strips into the wall and attach them to drywall pieces of an appropriate size.
- For additional security, tape the sides of the holes as well.
Repairing doors and windows
- Because we’ll be using sealants and (possibly) some paint, cover the floor under your door/window to avoid cleaning.
- Use a knife to smoothen the edges of the holes.
- Insert a paper towel into the holes (close to their edges), and fill the cracks with foam insulation. Let the foam sit for around 15 minutes or as instructed by the manufacturer.
- After the waiting period, remove any excess insulation with a knife, and put an auto-body filler onto the holes. Then, wait for the filler to dry.
- You can now sand the repaired surface and apply a joint compound to it.
- For final touch-ups, sand the door/window again and (if you want to) paint over the sealed cracks.
2. Use homemade stink bug trap vinegar solution
If you’re wondering “what kills stink bugs instantly?” the answer is a soap-vinegar solution.
To use one, prepare the following:
- Hot water
- White vinegar
- Dish detergent
- Spray bottle/bucket
Step 1: Make the solution
In a spray bottle, add ½ cup of dish detergent, twice as much white vinegar, and two cups of hot water. Then, shake the bottle to combine all ingredients.
Step 2: Kill stink bugs
Spray the stink bugs with the solution you’ve just made. Alternatively, you can pour the substance into a bucket and dip the leaves or branches with stink bugs in it.
Remember to put on gloves before doing this step to avoid dirtying your hands.
3. Use plants
To get rid of stink bugs naturally, try planting sunflowers and marigolds. These flowers will attract insects that consume stink bug eggs.
In addition, mint, thyme, lavender, and catnip are good for stink bug control. These insects don’t like the smell of such plants and will avoid them.
Finally, though their names don’t sound that innocuous, parasitic wasps can destroy many garden pests, including stink bug eggs.
They’re also helpful in managing the population of cabbage loopers, aphids, and tomato hornworms. You can attract these wasps to your yard by planting dill, cilantro, and fennel.
4. Use garlic
Another stink bug garden control method is making use of garlic. To implement this technique, have the following ready:
- Garlic cloves
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Make the garlic solution
Pour water into your pot and boil it along with six cloves of garlic.
Once you feel the garlic has broken down and its smell has been infused into the water, turn off the stove and wait for the solution to cool.
Then, remove the garlic with a sieve and pour the concoction into a spray bottle.
Step 2: Use the solution
Now, all that’s left to do is spraying the garlic mixture onto plants.
5. Use commercial products
If you don’t want to make a spray for stink bugs, you can buy ready-made products that deter these creatures.
- For example, it’s possible to prevent stink bugs from appearing with essential oils. Neem oil, for example, is usable as an insecticide. Just make sure to choose a product that’s made for garden usage and follow manufacturer instructions.
- Note that using a pesticide for stink bugs is not recommended. It’s tough to predict the long-term consequences of using such chemicals, and often, they are ineffective at stink bug removal.
- One easy solution is buying diatomaceous earth and sprinkling it around or on your plants, windows, and doors.
Other Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs on Plants
- Use sodium vapor lights in your yard, as they are less likely to attract these smelly creatures compared with regular lights.
- Instead of spraying the soap-vinegar solution we mentioned above, you can pour it into a bowl and place it under a light in your yard. Make sure the bowl is the only bright spot in your garden, as well. At night, stink bugs will move towards this source of illumination and kill themselves.
- As you check your house entrances for cracks, cover the top of your chimney if you have one.
- Water pipes in your home should also be insulated and free of breakage. You can fill cracks on pipes with caulk and steel wool.
- Stink bugs often gather in places with debris and leaf litter, so it’s wise to clean your garden regularly.
- You can remove bugs with a vacuum machine, but doing so might result in a dirty and repulsive cleaning device, so it’s best to avoid this method.
- A stink bug trap for garden that uses pheromones may not work very well.
Hopefully, you now know how to get rid of stink bugs in the garden. Try two or more methods above for the best results. Remember, stink bugs are only harmful to plants, not humans and animals, so don’t worry if you accidentally touch one of these insects.
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