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Stink bugs in the house are one of the most unpleasant nuisances for many. Although they are not dangerous, the presence of the large bugs raises the question of how to drive them away.

In a nutshell

  • Stink bugs are harmless to humans, pets, plants, and building structures
  • when they are killed or threatened, they secrete a stinking secretion
  • the insects can be repelled and controlled by various methods
  • during the warm months they stray into human dwellings and only consciously seek them out as quarters in winter
  • no chemical agents should be used to combat it


There are a variety of methods to repel green stink bugs (Palomena prasina) from your home. Since it is not a pest, but only a nuisance, it is sufficient if they are driven away. The bugs do not have to be killed as they do not cause any damage to your health or structure. Your indoor plants are also not harmed by the presence of the animals. Still, it's understandable if you don't want to share your living space with the stink bugs. You can easily capture individual specimens and take them outside in the following way:

Source: gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, UK, Green Sheild Bug in Winter Colours. - Flickr - gailhampshire, Edited by Plantopedia, CC BY 2.0
  • Use a sheet of paper or card
  • slide carefully under the bug
  • ideally it should run on the paper
  • get out quick
  • alternatively put a glass over it

This method has proven itself as stink bugs are very easy to catch. At signs of danger, they do not fly away, but stop moving. When catching, be careful not to crush or otherwise disturb the animals. If they feel disturbed, they emit a scent that is not pleasant for humans and animals. The intense stench rises intensely in the nose despite the small amount. The traces of the secretion should be wiped away so that the odor cannot spread further.

Vinegar dish soap solution

A good home remedy to prevent stink bugs from getting into your home is to use an odor barrier. Many insects are sensitive to smells and so are green insects. You should take advantage of that. With a suitable solution, the animals no longer dare to come near your premises. For this you need:

  • 60 ml washing-up liquid
  • 120 ml vinegar essence
  • 240ml water

Mix all the ingredients together well. Either put the remedy in a spray bottle or use a cloth to use it. Then all you have to do is apply it to your door and window frames to create the said barrier. If necessary, the solution can be sprayed directly onto the stink bugs. They will flee as soon as possible after contact with the solution to escape the smell. Don't worry, the product is not harmful to the animals. You can easily use it for this purpose.

Tip: Avoid using chemicals when fighting bugs. Not only do they not pose a hazard, the ingredients in insecticides could adversely affect your and your family's and pets' health if used in your home.

seal entrances

In order to be able to combat stink bugs successfully, it is important to close off all possible access points for the insects. This mainly refers to the seals on the doors and windows. If these are damaged or not seated correctly, the bugs have an easy time getting into your living space. For this reason, check whether your windows and doors are well sealed and if not, repair them. The following measures are well suited for sealing:

  • Install fly screens
  • Fill cracks and crevices

Fly screens in particular have established themselves as effective against bugs due to their meshes. If you discover a larger concentration of bugs on the outside of your facade, you should consult a professional. It can happen that the insects choose a hard-to-reach part of the house as their nesting place and multiply from there.

Notice: Installing fly screens comes in handy when you're not just being visited by the stink bug. Mosquitoes, flies and moths are just a small selection of insects that will no longer have access to your premises through a fly screen.

frequently asked Questions

Can stink bugs be caught with a vacuum cleaner?

Many insects can easily be sucked in with a vacuum cleaner and transported outside. This is not possible with stink bugs, as the vacuum cleaner exposes them to a situation that causes the greatest stress. Stress, in turn, leads to the release of foul-smelling secretions, which can also become lodged in your vacuum cleaner. Another disadvantage is the fact that the vacuum cleaner kills the insects in most cases, which is not necessary.

At what time of year can an infestation be expected?

As already mentioned, the green creature only accidentally gets lost in human dwellings and only looks for a warm place in winter to survive the cold temperatures. Nevertheless, there can be an increased infestation over the summer, especially in June. Mating takes place during this time and it is not uncommon for females to lay their eggs in their four walls and the young to hatch.

Do bugs get into the house through potted plants?

Yes, that is a possibility. Palomena prasina often settles on potted plants that are in the garden and can be transported into your home in this way. This is not really intended by the insect. If you often notice bugs in your house or garden, check your potted plants to see if there are any. This is the only way to be sure that the insects do not get into your living space.

How to get rid of bugs on potted plants?

If you keep seeing greens on your potted plants, you can use a home remedy to get rid of them naturally. Firstly, it is important to water the plants properly. Thirsty plants are visited more often by bugs because the soil is too dry. The stink bug does not like damp soil. You should also spray the bugs directly with neem oil or rub the leaves as it is effective against the insects.

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