What Attracts Stink Bugs In Your House

Stink bugs become an irritating nuisance in homes especially starting from the late fall and early winter.

These bugs enter homes in droves and their sightings on furniture, carpet, couch, and even on your bed take you aback.

So, what attracts stink bugs in your house?

This guide will reveal five causes that draw stink bugs in your home.

You’ll find out how stink bugs enter home, what are their entry points, and where they hide.

Plus, there are also hacks on making stink bug traps and information on the right ways to eliminate them.

Keep reading.

What Are Stink Bugs?

What attracts stink bugs in your house

Stink bugs, also known as brown marmorated stink bugs (BSMBs), belong to the order of True Bugs. Stink bugs are invasive species. Their origins lie in Asia, and they’re native to Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan.

In the late 1990s, Pennsylvania and New Jersey people came across the stink bugs first. Then they spread to the rest of the US.

Now residents of California, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and New York come across stink bugs in their homes and gardens.

Stink bugs are pests that cause severe damage to fruit, vegetables, and other agricultural fields and crops. 

Vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, apricots, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, peppers, and beans are the most vulnerable to stink bug attacks. Stink bugs can also damage crops like soybean and corn.

Like most true bugs, stink bugs look like a triangular shield with a rough back. Adult stink bugs grow up to 17 mm to 18 mm in size.

Stink bugs are brown with a pair of antennae lighter in color than their body. Their mouth is conical with a beak. 

The beak is known as proboscis, which is typical in the order of true bugs. Stink bugs use their beak to pierce the plants and fruits and suck out the nutrients.

They got their name as stink bugs because of their ability to release a foul odor when under threat from predators. The scent glands that release the foul odor are at the undersides of the abdomen and the thorax.

Those glands bust if you smash stink bugs and emit a nasty stink. 

The mating season of the brown marmorated stink bugs begins from early spring and lasts till late fall. During this period, female stink bugs will lay 20-30 eggs at the undersides of the leaves. 

Stink bugs’ eggs are tiny and elliptical. The eggs’ color is either light yellow or yellowish-red. The nymphs, or baby stink bugs, go through five molting stages before becoming mature adults.

Molting is the process when bugs shed their exoskeleton and develop a new bigger one. That’s how bugs grow before they reach adulthood.

Each time the stink bugs get big, they’re known as instars. Instars are immature stages of bugs before the mature adult stage. The stink bug has five instar stages before they molt for the final time to reach adulthood.

But what attracts stink bugs in your home? There are quite a few ways stink bugs use to enter your home.

But the overarching reason for stink bugs in the house is only one. 

Let’s find it out.

The 5 Causes That Attracts Stink Bugs In Your House

  1. The warmth from your home during the winters
  2. The light from the light bulbs in the patio.
  3. Few stink bugs are already inside your home that are attracting other stink bugs
  4. Thin gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, door frames, and window frames
  5. Lush green vegetation around your home 

Let’s dive into each of them in detail.

5 things that attract stink bugs in your house

Stink Bugs Seek Shelter During Winters

The most important thing that attracts stink bugs or draws stink bugs to your home during winters is the warmth of your home. 

After fall, the stink bugs seek a hiding place to lay dormant or overwinter, which is known as diapause in scientific terms. And it’s during this period stink bugs look for a suitable location to hide. 

During diapause, the metabolism of stink bugs falls. It’s is a survival mechanism for stink bugs to survive the winter because, during winters, there’s no food outdoors.

That’s why in many homes, stink bugs appear suddenly as a significant nuisance of pests.

Inside your home, stink bugs will look for the tight spaces and gaps to hide. 

And with the arrival of spring, these stink bugs will come out of their hiding places to move outdoors.

Apart from cold weather outdoors, one more thing can draw stink bugs indoors. 

And that’s artificial light in your home.

Stink Bugs Are Attracted To Light

Light from bulbs and lamps attracts most true bugs like stink bugs and kissing bugs.

During winters, many stink bugs enter homes during the day. But in the rest of the year, light from your home attract stink bugs.

Bright lights during the evening confuse the stink bug’s navigational system. Stink bugs are diurnal bugs, but they undertake most of their feeding and breeding activity during the night. 

And bugs, both diurnal and nocturnal, have evolved to follow the moonlight to travel. 

So, the lights from your home confuse the stink bugs with a destination to reach. Therefore light attracts stink bugs to your home. 

Later in the post, you’ll learn how to use light to keep the stink bugs away. But for now, let’s move on to the next thing that attracts stink bugs.

There Are A Few Stink Bugs Already Hiding In Your Home

Like most other bugs, Stink bugs emit pheromones to communicate and attract a mate. 

If there are a few stink bugs already inside your home, then they’ll emit those pheromones to draw other stink bugs from outdoors. 

But stink bugs emit a different type of pheromone called aggregation pheromone

Aggregation pheromones cause the gathering of stink bugs in one place. Stink bugs emit it both to mate and communicate that they’ve found a warm place to hide. 

That’s why both indoors and outdoors stink bugs tend to form clusters. 

Cracks And Gaps On Your Home’s Walls, Window Frames, And Door Frames

The entry points for stink bugs in your home are the thin gaps, crevices, holes, and cracks on your home’s walls, foundation, window frames, and door frames. 

When temperatures drop, stink bugs will move towards your home, and look out for these gaps. Stink bugs will sneak inside your home through these entry points. 

They’ll also use attic vents, utility pipes, and at times even ducts to crawl inside your home.

It’s critical to address these entry points to prevent stink bugs from entering your home. You’ll find out how to do it in a minute. 

For now, let’s look at the thing that you can easily ignore. But it plays a significant role in causing stink bugs inside your home.

Lush And Green Vegetation Around Your Home

Let’s face it. If there are no stink bugs in your yard or garden, then there wouldn’t have been any stink bugs inside your home.

And stink bugs love lush green gardens and yards. In warm weather, stink bugs will feed on the plants that they can find.

They’ll feed on leaves, stems, seedlings, grasses, ornamental trees, and even on weeds. 

But stink bugs have a special liking for ripe fruit. If there are fruit trees on your property with ripe fruits on them, then stink bugs will feed on them and damage them too. 

And the presence of a few stink bugs in your yard or garden will indeed attract more stink bugs.

How To Get Rid Of Stink Bugs In Your Home?

Now that you know what attracts stink bugs in your house, it’s time to find out how to get rid of stink bugs.

Here are the five steps to eliminate stink bugs in your home –

  1. Clean your yard or garden
  2. Seal gaps and cracks
  3. Vacuum clean your home
  4. Use smell that repels them
  5. Use bug-repelling lights outdoors

Let’s dive into each of them.

How to get rid of stink bugs in your house

Clean Your Yard Or Garden

Outdoors stink bugs hide underneath debris, foliage, and woodpiles. The more the waste in your yard, the more are hiding places for them.

So, it’s essential to keep your yard clean and do not let organic debris pile up. Also, get rid of any trash lying around in the trash bins of your yard.

In large gardens, there are many ornamental shrubs. If these shrubs are overgrown and along the perimeter of your home, then trim them. 

They use these overgrown plants, grasses, and ornamental shrubs as a bridge to sneak inside your home. 

Seal Gaps To Stop Stink Bugs From Getting Inside

Sealing the crevices and fissures on windows, doors, and walls is essential to get rid of stink bugs and stop them from entering your home.

Find out where those cracks are. Caulk those gaps and holes with a reliable sealant like a silicone-based sealant. 

Silicone-based sealants are strong, last long, and bugs can’t chew through them. 

Ensure that you shield off vents in attics, basements, garages, crawlspaces, chimneys, and bathrooms to eliminate any chances of these bugs sneaking in. 

Install door sweeps to prevent them from crawling in through the gap below the door panel. You can also use weather-stripping on window sills to seal off the gap between the window frame and window panel. 

Check for any water leakages around your home’s foundation and in your yard. 

Moist conditions in your yard attract bugs, and they also cause cracks to develop on the walls, windows, and doors. 

If there’s any leakage, then fix it. 

Vacuum Clean Your Home

Vacuum cleaning is the most effective way to get rid of stink bugs. 

While dealing with the stink bug, ensure that you don’t smash them. Remember, a stink bug can produce a stink that can make you puke?

So, instead of smashing the stink bug, use a vacuum cleaner on it. You can also do the same if there’s a gathering of stink bugs in your home. 

The stink bug is not a fast crawler. It can’t escape the hose of your vacuum cleaner.

After vacuum cleaning, ensure that you dispose of the vacuum bag in a good spot away from your home or property. 

Else these insects can come out of the vacuum dust bag and enter your home again. 

However, there will be a foul smell from your vacuum cleaner for a few days because of these bugs.

Spray A Mixture Of White Vinegar And Hot Water

Stink bugs hate the smell of white vinegar. To repel the stink bugs, mix equal amounts of white vinegar and hot water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Then spray the mixture in all corners of your home, especially on the crevices and gaps where they can hide.

If you can’t stand the smell of white vinegar, feel free to use a peppermint oil spray which also repels them. Stink bugs hate the smell of peppermint oil too. 

If you want to go down the insecticide route, certain chemicals kill stink bugs. 

Chemical pesticide sprays containing deltamethrin are a proven stink bug killer. It kills stink bugs instantly.

You can also use a stink bug killer spray that has similar content. 

For the sprays to work, it’s essential to use them directly on the bugs. 

But please do read the safety instructions on the label before using the insecticide. 

Use Anti-Bug Lights At Outdoors

There are light bulbs that don’t attract bugs and flies. Use those bulbs as porch lights. 

You can use these lights at the doorways and the perimeter of your home. That will prevent all types of moths and flies from entering your home too. 

Bug zappers on the porch and in your garden will also help a great deal to drastically reduce or eliminate any flying bugs to get inside your home.

How To Prepare Traps For Stink Bugs?

​Some stink bugs might hide, escape and hide while you’re getting rid of them. 

You can make stink bug traps to deal with those hiding stink bugs. 

Prepare some soapy water by mixing dish soap with water.

Take a pan or bowl and fill it with soapy water. Place the pan or the bowl underneath a lamp.

Keep the pan with soapy water underneath a glowing lamp for at least 12 hours. The light will attract the stink bugs. The stink bugs will fall head-on in the pan on coming across the soapy water.

The soapy water will kill the stink bugs, and they’ll drown. 

To add more punch, you can also white vinegar in the soapy water mixture. 

What Do Stink Bugs Smell Like?

A stink bug emits a stench that smells like a rotting piece of fish mixed with spices and cilantro. 

It’s highly unpleasant. That’s why pest experts recommend not to squish a stink bug. 

If you do, then it’ll be best to clean the surface with a disinfectant and wipe off the surface dry with a tissue or paper towel. 

You can also use pleasant scents of essential oils like lavender and peppermint to remove the odor. 

Leaving the surface with the guts of the bug splashed out will attract other bugs like ants and roaches. 

Do Stink Bugs Bite And Sting?

No, stink bugs don’t bite or sting humans or pets. Stink bugs don’t pose any grave threat to homeowners, but they become a stinking nuisance pest inside the home. 


Five things attract stink bugs to your home –

  1. The warmth from your home during the winters
  2. The light from the light bulbs in the patio.
  3. Few stink bugs already inside your home that are attracting other stink bugs
  4. Thin gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, door frames, and window frames
  5. Lush green vegetation around your home 

Stink bug infestation happens in your home when all of these things are present. 

This guide has five steps to get rid of stink bugs in your home. The main reason for it is the drop in temperatures during the winters.

Getting rid of stink bugs in your home isn’t that difficult, and you can do it without professional pest control.

So, if you’ve got a stink bug infestation in your home, then you know what the reasons are for it and how to deal with it.

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