Do you need to know how to get rid of stink bugs in garden? Here, I will provide you with some useful information to deter these tiny, smelly insects from your space.
It is no secret that plenty of stink bug types are not dangerous to plants. Nevertheless, the brown marmorated species are an exception.
This variety of stink bugs will be one that you want to keep at bay the most. They feed on the sap of your favorite plants, leaving them distorted.
Besides, stink bugs can decrease the aesthetic of your indoor space by sticking together in a group. Not to mention, their coriander-like reek is obnoxious for many.
Table of Contents
- Reasons to Be Concerned about Stink Bugs
- What Attracts Stink Bugs?
- How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs Naturally
- Plants That Repel and Control Stink Bugs
- The Bottom Line
Reasons to Be Concerned about Stink Bugs
In addition to the matters mentioned previously, brown marmorated stink bugs also pose many other issues in the garden.
One of the major problems is these bugs are not picky about what they eat. In other words, any kind of plant you grow in the garden is prone to their threat.
These stink bugs feed on over 100 plant species, including woody and ornamental plants, as well as fruit trees like apples.
Moreover, various flowers and leaves become the target of these bugs. You must pay attention to your seedpods too as stink bugs may eat up them.
The affected plants typically get discoloration, blemishes, or deformities and experience early decay.
Despite their small sizes, stink bugs can be the major reason for crop damage once established in a location.
What Attracts Stink Bugs?
You may wonder what attracts stink bugs in your house and garden as this knowledge will help you avoid them in the first place.
Similar to many other living beings, stink bugs are interested in food.
As a result, it is not surprising to see them around your house if you are leaving your meals uncovered on the countertop.
Instead, you can take advantage of airtight food storage containers to keep your meals.
Your trash bin is another reason for stink bugs wandering inside your house. Hence, you should always cleanse your can thoroughly and discard the garbage regularly.
Do not forget to wipe out any bin juice with a steam cleaner or antibacterial wipes as well. Besides, you need to clean your counters and sweep the floors to get rid of scum and crumbs from spills.
Stink bugs life cycle
Although there are different varieties of stink bugs, they normally have the same life cycles. These insects grow through an incomplete metamorphosis that involves three phases, including eggs – nymphs – adults.
The development of egg masses starts in the spring when female adults deposit their eggs after mating with males.
Nymphs of stink bugs undertake five stages of development. During this life cycle, they have no wings and increase in size through the progress of their nymphal instars.
Each nymphal stage takes around seven days to complete. Accordingly, these bugs turn into fully-grown adults with wings and the ability to reproduce themselves.
Adult stink bugs will eat up plants or fruits and reproduce in the summer. Taking the varieties and the location they reside in, these pests may generate up to 400 eggs throughout their life.
Furthermore, their life expectancy as adults varies between six to eight months.
Stink bugs damage identification
These bugs harm plants by piercing and sucking sap from buds, fruits, flowers, and foliages. This action results in stunting plants, wilted leaves, and damaged seedlings.
You may also notice apparent pits and spots on your plants due to the attack of stink bugs. Besides, crops may drop, change in shape, or even completely fail to form.
Stink bugs frequently look for warmth in the winter, encouraging them to make their way indoors. These pests will hide in any cranny and nook around the house.
Think about basements, cracks, attics, and under furniture when you are examining for their presence at home.
Outdoors, you may find them hiding on sunny garden walls, underneath rocks, and on windowsills.
Different from some other pests, these insects will not cause any structural damage. However, having a group of stink bugs at home is still far from ideal.
Type of stink bugs
Thousands of species of stink bugs exist all over the world. They share a similar mechanism of emitting offensive odor as their defense against predators.
With the huge numbers of species, not all stink bugs have the same physical appearance.
The most widespread types range in color from cream and brown to green. Meanwhile, several varieties may come with colored blotches.
- Brown marmorated stink bugs
The brown marmorated stink bug, in particular, is an invasive variety that causes various issues to your home and garden.
This insect becomes the most common species to invade your home. Considering their one-inch length, it will not be hard to notice their presence.
Brown marmorated stink bugs come with spotted bodies of gray and brown. The outer edge of their abdomen features dark bands.
Meanwhile, their head has little round markings in copper or metallic blue. These stink bugs also have white stripes on the antennae.
- Predatory stink bugs
Unlike most species that are herbivorous, some stink bugs are predatory. They eat up other insects instead of feeding on a range of crops, fruits, and plants.
Spined Soldier Bugs, Anchor Bugs, Arboreal Stink Bugs, and Two-Spotted Stink Bugs are examples of predatory stink bugs.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs Naturally
Since brown marmorated stink bugs offer a noteworthy threat to food production systems in many areas, monitoring any establishment and spread of these pests becomes crucial.
Therefore, how to get rid of stink bugs in garden effectively? On a smaller scale like a home yard, natural remedies are practical to keep these bugs away.
With the following tips, it is simple to protect your flowerbeds, vegetable garden, and home from these stinky bugs.
1. Soapy Water
To kill stink bugs naturally, you do not need to go anywhere but your kitchen. Soapy water makes an excellent stink bug trap for a garden and home.
Take a jar with an extensive mouth and fill it with soapy water. You can also include some drops of vinegar to increase the solution’s killing power.
After that, place the jar beneath a stink bug to let the insect drop right into the solution and drown. This method takes advantage of the natural response of these bugs when perceiving danger.
Besides, you can use soapy water to spray the bug entry points too. Mix dish soap and hot water in equal amounts to create this natural insect repellent.
2. Neem oil
Neem oil has been a popular bug repellent and is considered a plant-based natural insecticide.
Although it takes some time for this solution to get rid of stink bugs, you should not hesitate to try neem oil as a tool to deter these insects.
This oil works by interfering with the stink bugs’ instinctual manners, so the result will not be instant.
To control stink bugs, you can add two teaspoons of neem oil to one-liter water. Use the solution to drench stink bug entry zones, such as windowsills.
3. Vinegar spray
Try this solution if you need to end a stink bug invasion in your garden. Prepare a spray bottle and fill it with two cups of warm water.
Then, put in a cup of white vinegar. Besides, add a half cup of dish soap to the mixture for the best result. Mix well before use.
Spray any stink bug you see using this solution directly. Do not forget to wipe up the surface that comes in contact upon finish.
4. Essential oils
Stink bugs and other winter insects cannot stand a variety of essential oils. Then, how to get rid of stink bugs with essential oils?
Mint oil is highly recommended when you require a powerful bug repellent that can make your house smell good at the same time.
Simply add 10 drops of mint oil to approximately 400 ml of water to create a homemade spray that works great against stink bugs.
You can spray this solution at interior opening zones or use it with your diffuser to fill the air with a natural scent that deters stink bugs.
5. Vacuum cleaner
If you need to deal with bad insects infestations, consider purchasing a little shop vac designed for stink bugs. Using the basic vacuum you already have is feasible too, but make sure to proceed with caution.
Furthermore, please note that this practice only works for vacuum cleaners with containers. You must discard the bug-filled bags right away to put off a stink bomb from building up.
6. Damp towel
You are not reading it wrong. A damp towel is another remedy that can help to control stink bugs. Leave this item over an outdoor chair throughout the night to draw the insect.
In the morning, you can drench the towel in a dish soap mixture along with the stink bugs that have flocked on it.
7. Beneficial creatures
Welcoming beneficial creatures that prey on these bugs can help to keep them away from your garden and home.
Spiders, birds, ladybugs, and toads are among the predators of stink bugs. You can encourage them to enter your garden by investing in a bird cage or fishpond.
While promoting the existence of predators.
8. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
DE is a natural pesticide that can be an effective deterrent to various insects, including silverfish and roaches.
It can break down the protective shells of the bugs and dry them out.
You can easily apply this natural pesticide to your garden. Spread it lightly around the suspected area, such as windowsills, under rocks, and doorways.
Furthermore, applying DE to the plants is also possible. You can dust it over the base of your plant or foliages. Do not forget to reapply the powder after raining.
Importantly, wear a face mask when applying DE. You should note that this natural pesticide can harm advantageous insects too.
Hence, it does not make a good selection if you want to have a wildlife garden.
Plants That Repel and Control Stink Bugs
Living in an area that has a lot of stink bugs is frustrating. Sometimes you better capture them alive and let them go outside instead of squashing them, so you will not smell their stench.
In addition, you can try to prevent these bugs from coming inside your home by growing certain plants that repel them.
One of the plants that repel stink bugs is radishes. These insects are not interested in this root vegetable and they may overlook plants that grow near radishes too.
Aside from protecting your garden from stink bugs, radishes will make an excellent cooking ingredient. Besides, they are not difficult to grow.
If you prefer to grow something that has a strong, pleasant fragrance, lavender should be on the list. This plant is perfect to control stink bugs as well.
Furthermore, lavender will give your garden some aesthetic appeal while keeping stink bugs at bay. Overall, this plant offers a win-win solution as a stink bug repellent.
Stink bugs are not attracted to plants that release powerful scents. Thus, garlic makes a great plant to repel these insects with their odor.
Grow some garlic plants near your home to deter stink bugs from causing trouble. In the meantime, you can also use garlic for culinary purposes.
4. Other plants that deter stink bugs
If you are looking for a stink bug deterrent that can escalate the look of your garden at the same time, do not hesitate to plant some marigolds and chrysanthemums.
These bright-colored flowering plants release a fragrance that stink bugs don’t like. However, you may need to avoid planting them if you have allergies.
Instead, you can consider planting thyme and catnip as an alternative to deter stink bugs.
The Bottom Line
You should refrain from killing stink bugs directly through squashing if you do not want to get assaulted by their unpleasant smell.
Instead, you can use home remedies that work well against these bugs or grow some plants that can deter them from your garden and house. Read more related articles about pest control on bestofthebackyard.com
Take any method that fits your style and you can finally say goodbye to the problematic stink bugs in your garden.