The Popular Scent You Need To Keep Stink Bugs Out Of Your Home

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The Popular Scent You Need To Keep Stink Bugs Out Of Your Home

Unwanted pests invading your home is never a pleasant sight, and it’s even worse when they stink. If you’ve noticed stink bugs crawling around, then you’re probably looking for ways to get rid of them. Stink bugs are known to become a problem as they seek warmth and comfort in a home, which is why they find their way into any and every opening. However, smashing them with a shoe or flyswatter isn’t a good idea (the smell is unpleasant). Instead, try placing the scent of lavender or other essential oils around the affected area.

It’s ironic to think that stink bugs would be repelled by scents that smell good, but it seems to work. The good news is that while you’re getting rid of the bugs, you’re also freshening up your home. Incorporating these scents within your space is an easy and affordable measure to take – no need to call an exterminator just yet!

Why stink bugs hate these scents

essential oil diffuser on table with plant

Josep Suria/Shutterstock

You’ll notice that bugs such as flies are attracted to things in your home that stink (think garbage disposals and garbage cans). Stink bugs work differently. Apart from the warmth and shelter your home provides, these bugs are attracted to light as well, similar to moths. Though stink bugs are attracted to different things than some other bugs, they’re repelled by many of the same scents. Essential oils and lavender both produce strong aromas these bugs despise and will flee from. Better yet, once you get rid of the existing bugs, they no longer come back as long as the scent is still there.

Other than lavender, scents like clove and lemongrass oil do the trick too. Stink bugs are repelled by these scents due to their strong potency. Both clove and lemongrass oil have notes of acidity and spice that are too strong for stink bugs and encourage them to seek shelter elsewhere.

How to add lavender and essential oils to your home

Potted lavender plant in bloom

Nevarpp/Getty Images

Adding these scents to your home is simple to implement -– and our favorite -– affordable. Not only can you find candles with lavender and similar scents, but oil diffusers are budget-friendly for spritzing clove or lemongrass oil. You can find many candles or oil diffusers at your local store. While these are popular options for freshening your home and shooing away these unwanted house guests, another option that works just as well is real plants.

Instead of a candle or simulated fragrance, opt for the real deal by placing lavender, mint, catnip, or citronella grass around your home to keep the stink bugs at bay. Not only does this add the scents to your home for a fresh smell, but it adds life to your space that decorates at the same time. You can even consider making your own essential oil spray by harvesting the leaves and flowers of your plants and combining water, dish soap, and lavender oil in a spray bottle.

To let these fragrances or plants go to work, place your repellent of choice in the problem area and a few other rooms of the home. Before this, however, go around and inspect any cracks or gaps at your home’s entrances that might be the cause for letting the bugs come inside in the first place. If you notice cracks, seal it with some caulk from your nearest hardware store.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.