When the weather grows cold here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, it is time to seek refuge indoors. While dropping temperatures may mean pumpkin pie, Christmas trees, and holiday fun, it could also be a time for a nasty pest infestation.

We’re not the only creatures that seek refuge from the frigid weather; stink bugs are also desperate to find a warm place to spend the winter months. Unfortunately, that could mean your home if you aren’t prepared.

Whether you’re in the Poconos, Scranton, Hazelton, or Wilkes-Barre areas, if you want to keep your home stink bug-free for the winter, here are nine ways to stop these pests from making an appearance this year.

How to Identify Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are known for their distinct appearance, most notably their shield-shaped torsos and speckled brown coloring. Stink bugs also have smooth, rounded shoulders and alternating dark and light bands on their abdomen and antennae.

Tips to Keep Stink Bugs Away The Pest Rangers

What Attracts Stink Bugs to Your House?

There are a few main reasons stink bugs enter residential homes, with the biggest being warmth, food, and light. Stink bugs cannot survive the harsh temperatures during the winter months, making them more likely to seek the warmth of your home this time of year.

Stink bugs are also in search of food, particularly fruits and vegetables. Keeping your kitchen clean and properly disposing of garbage can deter these pests from entering your home in search of food. Lastly, stink bugs are drawn to light sources, which is why you may notice these pests swarming around lamps and outdoor lighting.

1. Essential Oils

An easy and natural way to repel stink bugs and other winter pests is by using essential oils like mint. Mint is a pleasant herb that emits an aroma that stink bugs can’t stand. It acts as a repellent, not a killer.

Lemongrass oil is another essential oil you can use to deter stink bugs from your home. These are safe and non-poisonous deterrents that can leave your home smelling fresh as well. You can spray a mixture around window frames, doors, or any possible entry points.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural sedimentary rock that will keep stink bugs away. This compound contains silica, alumina, and iron oxide. This rock breaks down the protective waxy layer on the exoskeleton and dehydrates it, making diatomaceous earth effective in getting rid of stink bugs.

If you choose to use this method, be sure it isn’t heat-treated. You can spread this around any point of entry, and it will kill off invaders.

3. Garlic Spray

Another potent but non-deadly repellent is garlic. While humans may love this delightful and flavorful bulb, stink bugs are less enthusiastic about it. This natural method keeps stink bugs away with an odor they can’t stand. Spread garlic cloves on window panes or create a spray to deter any would-be pests from entering or staying in your home.

4. Block All Entryways

The best way to keep stink bugs away is to stop them from entering in the first place. Preventing stink bugs requires a thorough inspection of your property, so be sure to check your windows and doors for any cracks or open spaces.

Additionally, make sure all screens are patched or replaced. Cover vents and any other openings with a screen as well. Another step you can take to be sure these pests stay away is putting up repellent. You can use dryer sheets on screens, spray garlic or mint, or spread the diatomaceous earth. Build up a barrier to keep stink bugs out!

5. Vacuum Them Up

If stink bugs manage to sneak their way inside, an easy way to take care of them is by vacuuming them up. You don’t want to squish them; otherwise, you will get to experience why stink bugs are called stink bugs.

You can trap these invaders in a sealed bag or container by scooping them up in a vacuum. After vacuuming, empty them into a trash bag and seal it tightly. From there, you can discard the bag outside or put the bugs in soapy water, ultimately killing them.

6. Keep it Dry

Stink bugs are attracted to warm places with high moisture. When they are looking for a place to hide out for the winter, they look for three main essentials: warmth, food, and water.

Dripping pipes, wet towels, and clogged drains are irresistible draws for these pesky bugs and other pests. If these areas are left unchecked, you may end up with more than stink bugs in your home. Be sure to fix any leaky plumbing and get rid of excess moisture to prevent stink bugs from making themselves at home in your home.

7. Turn Off the Light

Like many insects, stink bugs are attracted to light sources. Whether it’s a porch light, a living room lamp, or the bulb in your garage, bugs are drawn to the glow. If you keep lights on in the evening, inside or out, you may be giving them a beacon.

Additionally, stink bugs may become trapped inside these light fixtures, and their dead bodies can attract other pests. To avoid this issue, keep lights off or purchase motion-activated ones.

8. Cut Off Food Access

During the winter, stink bugs are looking for a warm, wet place to wait out the cold weather. If they find a plentiful pantry, they may never leave. Keep food sources to a minimum by sealing trash up tight. Also, regularly clean all counters and floors, and be sure to eliminate any food spills or crumbs. Without a food source, stink bugs may look elsewhere.

9. Clean Up Outside

Inside isn’t the only place to look to fortify against bugs. Sometimes, these pests are drawn to your home because of your yard. Stink bugs and other pests are drawn to overgrown areas.

To avoid any infestations, keep your yard trimmed and clear. Store firewood away from the home and off the ground. All bushes and trees should be paired down. Additionally, clear out overgrowth, leaves, and other trimmings.

If the pests aren’t drawn close, they will not find their way inside your home.

What Season are Stink Bugs Most Active?

Stink bugs are most active between the months of March and September, but this can vary depending on how warm or cold the winter months are during a particular year. For example, stink bugs may continue to be active during a warm winter instead of going into diapause, the period of life when they do not feed and are inactive.

When to Call a Professional

While seeing the odd stink bug in your house may not seem like a big deal, it is always wise to contact a pest control professional to assess any possible infestations. If your bug problem is too big to handle, don’t hesitate to contact our pest control experts. With a few simple steps, you can prevent stink bugs from entering your home. Make the preparations and keep your home bug-free!


Can stink bugs harm humans or pets?

Stink bugs are not harmful to humans or pets, as their mouths do not allow stink bugs to bite or pierce through the skin. The foul odor they produce when squished may cause mild irritation for people who are sensitive to strong smells, but this odor is typically harmless.

What are the health risks of stink bug infestations?

There are no significant health risks of stink bug infestations, as these pests do not bite and do not carry diseases. As mentioned earlier, the odor produced by these insects may be difficult to tolerate for people who are particularly sensitive to smells. Still, other than that, there are no known health risks of having stink bugs in your home.

How can I get rid of stink bugs in my garden?

Stink bugs can become a nuisance to gardeners, as these pests are known to enjoy feasting on the stems and leaves of plants. To get rid of stink bugs in the garden, a simple combination of hot water, dish soap, and white vinegar sprayed onto your plants can effectively stop stink bugs from invading your outdoor space.