The Best Stink Bug Repellents of 2022

By Jasmine Harding | Published Apr 26, 2022 12:37 PM

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Best Stink Bug Repellents Options

Photo: amazon.com

Ugh! The aptly named stink bugs (any of several insects in the pentatomidae family) won’t do damage to a home, but when threatened or squished, they release a seriously pungent smell. A good stink bug repellent can help banish these annoying pests safely, affordably, and effectively. Along with a few preventive steps, these repellents can help prevent wandering stink bugs or seasonal infestations from invading the home. There are different types of stink bug repellents on the market, so read on to learn about the best products to effectively fend off these pesky insects.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Harris Stink Bug Killer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier
  3. BEST NATURAL SPRAY: Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil
  4. BEST NONTOXIC: Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth
  5. BEST FOR GARDENS: Bonide Neem Oil Fungicide Ready to Use
  6. BEST BUG CATCHER: BugZooka WB100 Bug Catcher Vacuum
Best Stink Bug Repellents Options

Photo: homedepot.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Stink Bug Repellent

The best stink bug repellents are effective, safe, and easy to use, whether you’re managing a current situation or trying to keep the pests from wandering into your home. When choosing a stink bug repellent, consider the repellent type, your preference for chemical versus natural ingredients, coverage area, and if the product itself has scent.

Types of Stink Bug Repellents

There are several types of repellents that can help banish stink bugs. The main categories include sprays, powders, and traps.

Sprays use a chemical or natural insecticide to kill or repel stink bugs. They are affordable, widely available, and simple to use.

The most popular and effective powder repellent for stink bugs (and a huge range of other crawling insects) is diatomaceous earth: a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that can be made into a fine powder that damages the exoskeletons of insects to kill them. The powder is effective and affordable, but precautions should be taken during application of this product.

Stink bug traps use lights or pheromones to attract and catch the bugs. They can be used indoors or outdoors to intercept these pests.

There are also stink bug solutions that don’t require a repellent at all, such as using a vacuum, dish soap and water solution, or essential oils. However, a stink bug repellent product is a more targeted solution.

Chemical vs. Natural Ingredients

Stink bug repellents can be composed of chemical or natural ingredients. When choosing between the two, consider the safety of your household and your level of comfort.

Chemical stink bug repellents for both indoor and outdoor use are tested to be safe when used according to instructions. However, when treating indoors, especially in homes with young children or pets, and for treating edible garden plants, an option that relies on natural ingredients, whether a stink bug spray or powder, may offer more peace of mind.

Coverage Area

Stink bugs don’t breed inside homes but rather come indoors to overwinter. There are repellent options to tackle both outdoor and indoor stink bug problems. It’s important to use stink bug repellents as instructed: indoor repellents likely won’t last outdoors, while outdoor repellents may be too strong for enclosed indoor spaces. Some stink bug repellents are suitable for both indoors and outdoors—these are great for folks that want one catchall product.

When shopping for a repellent, also consider coverage area. Ensure that you buy enough product to cover important areas, whether it’s treating a specific infestation or doing a perimeter treatment around the home. It’s usually best to have more than you think you need in case areas need retreating later.

Scent

Chemical bug repellents often have an odor, which can be unpleasant or even disruptive to sensitive individuals. Consider the treatment location and the sensitivity of those in the household. A less fragrant repellent is preferred for indoor areas, as well as for homes with children or pets.

Naturally scented and unscented options are available. Those concerned about the repellent scent can look for natural ingredients or non-spray options (such as traps or diatomaceous earth powder). Stink bugs also dislike certain natural fragrances, including clove, lemongrass, spearmint, and ylang-ylang oils. Incorporating these naturally derived scents into a stink bug strategy is an affordable idea that might even leave your home smelling fresher.

Our Top Picks

This roundup includes both preventative treatments and insecticides. The best stink bug repellents ahead are effective, affordable, and easy to use.

Best Overall

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: Harris Stink Bug Killer
Photo: amazon.com

For easy and effective application, this stink bug spray from Harris is a solid solution. The spray formula is effective against both stink bugs and kudzu bugs. Since it’s odorless and non-staining, it is safe to use on a variety of surfaces around the home. Once the spray is applied and dry, it will start killing any stink bugs that wander across.

Harris Stink Bug Killer spray is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use to treat basements, attics, under furniture, in entryways, and more. This 1-gallon bottle comes with a convenient extended trigger sprayer so users can start treating right away and access hard-to-reach areas.

The formula has a residual effect that continues to kill bugs 4 weeks after application, but in case one treatment isn’t enough, there’s plenty in the large size container for repeated doses. For even more peace of mind, this repellent is EPA-registered for use in homes with people and pets.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Indoor/outdoor: Both
  • Chemical/natural: Chemical

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Odorless and non-staining formula
  • Residual killing effect
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Potentially finicky trigger sprayer

Get the Harris stink bug killer on Amazon, The Home Depot, or Ace Hardware.

Best Bang For the Buck

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier
Photo: amazon.com

Stink bugs aren’t the only nuisance bug in many homes. If various types of crawling insects are wandering through, the affordable Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier may help. This effective insect barrier kills and prevents common crawling insects inside the home.

Formulated for indoor use, this product leaves no stains and no fumes when applied. While Ortho doesn’t advertise this treatment’s protection length for stink bugs, the brand does boast an impressive residual length, protecting against ants, cockroaches, and spiders for up to 12 months.

The budget-friendly 1-gallon bottle includes an extended sprayer to reduce the need to bend over when spraying. Ortho recommends applying the spray wherever bugs tend to wander, including kitchens, bathrooms, attics, and around doors and windows. The spray is safe for humans and pets once dry.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Indoor/outdoor: Indoor
  • Chemical/natural: Chemical

Pros

  • Protects against a wide range of common household insects
  • Long-lasting residual protection
  • Extended sprayer
  • Great value

Cons

  • Mediocre effectiveness against cockroaches

Get the Ortho insect barrier on Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best Natural Spray

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil
Photo: amazon.com

Not all effective stink bug sprays are formulated with synthetic chemicals. For a natural solution, consider Mighty Mint Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil Spray. This 100 percent plant-based spray has just one simple active ingredient: peppermint oil. Not only is the ingredient list short and simple, but Mighty Mint also uses peppermint farmed in the United States.

Needless to say, this spray is safe to use around humans and pets. It’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and in addition to stink bugs it also repels a range of common crawling insects.

The 1-gallon bottle should last for several treatments, and it comes with a sprayer for easy application. This formula imparts rooms with a pleasant, not overpowering, fresh minty scent.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Indoor/outdoor: Both
  • Chemical/natural: Natural

Pros

  • Just one simple, natural ingredient
  • Strong peppermint oil works to kill and repel insects
  • Safe around people and pets

Cons

  • May be less effective than chemical formulas

Get the Mighty Mint insect spray on Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Nontoxic

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: Safer Brand Diatomaceous Earth
Photo: homedepot.com

A tried-and-true bug killer, diatomaceous earth is a natural product that works on a huge range of crawling insects. This fine yet scratchy powder damages insects’ outer shells, eventually causing them to dehydrate and die. With a 100 percent diatomaceous earth formula, this product is a safe and affordable way to banish stink bugs.

This powder can be used indoors and outdoors; Safer Brand recommends sprinkling it along cracks and crevices, baseboards, and under appliances (common stink bug hiding places). This naturally derived product is safe for use around children and pets. The powder is ready to use right from the 4-pound bag, which is resealable to keep the product dry and effective while in storage so users can retreat areas time after time.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Powder
  • Indoor/outdoor: Indoor and outdoor
  • Chemical/natural: Natural

Pros

  • Safe and nontoxic
  • Naturally derived
  • Easy to use
  • Kills a range of insects

Cons

  • Powder formula is easily disturbed

Get the Safer Brand diatomaceous earth on Amazon, The Home Depot, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best For Gardens

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: Bonide Neem Oil Fungicide Ready to Use
Photo: homedepot.com

While stink bugs won’t cause damage indoors, they can wreak havoc on a garden, feeding on vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants. The right repellent will disrupt the bugs’ feeding and egg-laying cycle, reducing the chance of a garden infestation—and by extension, also preventing them from wandering inside.  Bonide’s Neem Oil Fungicide is a safe and nontoxic insect repellent for ornamentals or edible plants. Derived from the neem seed, this spray is approved for organic gardening.

This ready-to-use product comes in a 32-ounce spray bottle. It’s suitable for use on both indoor and outdoor plants and can be used on fruits and veggies up to the day of harvest. Besides repelling stink bugs, it can also help control spiders, mites, aphids, beetles, and whiteflies; it’s additionally effective to control black spot, powdery mildew, and rust. Bonide recommends applying the product every 7 to 14 days to keep pests off your prized plants.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Spray
  • Indoor/outdoor: Both
  • Chemical/natural: Natural

Pros

  • Naturally derived
  • Safe to use on edible plants
  • Approved for organic gardening
  • Controls a range of pests and plant diseases

Cons

  • Frequent application needed

Get the Bonide neem oil on AmazonThe Home Depot, or Walmart.

Best Bug Catcher

The Best Stink Bug Repellents Option: BugZooka WB100 Bug Catcher Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

Physical removal is a safe and effective way to deal with the occasional stink bug. While a household vacuum cleaner may do the trick, sucking up stink bugs may leave a lingering (but temporary) odor. The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum is a handy, affordable gadget that’s useful for trapping any small, crawling insect in the home.

The BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum is a lightweight device that, rather than batteries, relies on a patent pending compression module to create a quick burst of suction to snatch bugs. Bugs become trapped in the removable catch tube and can be released or disposed of. The extended length allows squeamish users to suck up stink bugs and other crawling insects—no squishing or squashing necessary.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Trap
  • Indoor/outdoor: Both
  • Chemical/natural: Neither; physical

Pros

  • Physical trap—no chemical ingredients
  • No batteries required
  • Handy length
  • Humane option

Cons

  • Requires active use

Get the BugZooka bug vacuum on Amazon, Walmart, or Bumper Superstore.

Our Verdict

Formulated for use against stink bugs, the Harris stink bug killer is an excellent and easy-to-apply choice to deal with these seasonal pests. For more broad bug protection, Ortho insect barrier boasts an impressive bug-killing list, which includes stink bugs.

How We Chose the Best Stink Bug Repellents

Barring a large infestation, stink bugs are relatively easy to control—with the right products. When choosing the best stink bug repellents, the most important criteria we considered was effectiveness. We researched product ingredients and considered consumer reviews to find products that are efficacious and worth their cost.

Along with effectiveness, we also considered safety, making sure to only include safe products from reputable brands. For those who prefer to avoid chemicals, as well as for homes with young children or pets, we listed some natural and nontoxic options too, including a spray that can be used on edible plants.

We also kept affordability in mind when choosing products so shoppers can find a budget-friendly solution for treating or re-treating spaces.

FAQs

Stink bugs can be an annoyance if they find their way into your home. Luckily, these insects won’t damage your home or leave any bites (so there’s no need to whip out traditional bug spray), but you’ll still want to keep these unsightly pests under control. Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions on stink bugs and managing an infestation.

Q. Where do stink bugs come from?

The main type of stink bug found in the United States is the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), an invasive species native to Asia. The brown stink bug has been present in the United States since the mid 1990s.

Q. What do pest control companies use for stink bugs?

For an active stink bug infestation, pest control companies often use a chemical spray insecticide. For prevention and ongoing maintenance, many will recommend exterior treatments to dissuade stink bugs from entering the home.

Q. What is the fastest way to get rid of stink bugs?

The easiest and fastest way to get rid of stink bugs or similar bugs like boxelder bugs is to vacuum them up. But this method may leave your vacuum cleaner with a nasty smell that’s usually temporary.

Q. How do you get rid of stink bugs permanently?

Like any insect, stink bugs always have a chance of making it back indoors after treatment. To lower the chances, seal up all possible entry points (including little cracks and crevices), keep debris and vegetation away from your home, and hire a pest control company to treat the vegetation around your home on a regular basis.

Q. Why do I have a stink bug infestation?

Stink bugs are more likely to seek shelter in homes during the late summer and early fall. They usually make their way into a home through cracks and crevices in the foundation, window or door frames, or attics. A stink bug infestation may be due to organic matter that’s too close to your home. Keeping organic matter away from your home and sealing up any entry points can help prevent stink bug infestation.

Q. Do stink bugs come in packs?

Not always. It is common to see one or a few stink bugs wander into homes at certain times of the year. Sometimes, however, stink bugs will congregate (possibly in the hundreds or thousands!), so it’s best to remove wandering bugs and treat any signs of infestation early.

Q. What do stink bugs look like?

The most common type (brown marmorated stink bug) is brown and roughly the size of a dime, with a large shield-shaped abdomen, a very small head, six long legs, and two antennae.