How To Get The Stink Bug Smell Out Of Your Home

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Among many others, stink bugs are one of the more common pests that infiltrate our homes. WebMD explains that this invasive insect can be easily identified by its buckler-shaped back flecked with hues of gray. It is more likely to find these bugs roaming our homes during the colder months as they thrive in warmer places. There are thousands of stink bug species, with nearly 200 different kinds in the United States and Canada, as stated by NC State University. The EPA notes that one of the more frequently found is the brown marmorated stink bug. 

These pests are dreaded due to the awful odors they release when they feel threatened or harmed. If you have ever wondered how a small bug could produce a horrible smell, it is due to glands in their thorax filled with a chemical cocktail (via NC State University). While we can empathize that these little creatures are only trying to protect themselves with their horrible smells, we certainly do not want them in our homes. So, what should you do if you mistakenly kill a stink bug in your house?

Start with room ventilation and scrubbing affected surfaces

If a stink bug has released its stench into your home, you'll want to eliminate the smell by airing out the room and cleaning any affected surfaces, including your skin. Opening windows will likely be your most immediate form of ventilation, but Filtrete recommends running exhaust fans to rid a space of severe odors. Most bathrooms have built-in exhaust fans because they are perfect for pulling out pungent odors and moisture from a room. These are also frequently built into kitchens and typically rest above the stove.

There are quite a few different products you can use to scrub surfaces and your skin when affected by a stink bomb. School of Bugs lists vinegar, baking soda, dawn dish soap, olive oil and salt, and even milk to help eliminate stink bug odors. The real secret behind this is to scrub vigorously and thoroughly, then some more until you can enjoy the air again.

Natural odor eliminators and deodorizing products

Once you have scrubbed at the smell and allowed fresh air to flow through the room, there are a number of natural odor eliminators and deodorizing products you can apply to the affected space in your home. A stink bug's smell can last up to three hours, but you can often get rid of it much sooner using the proper remedies and products. 

Green Living Ideas suggests natural solutions such as spraying white vinegar, boiling powerful spices like cinnamon, and using essential oils. Essential oils can be diluted in water and sprayed around the house or burned with aromatherapy diffusers and incense sticks. Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odors, the placement of some open boxes around the room being another quick fix. There are also plenty of deodorizing products that will help eliminate the smell, such as Febreze and Fresh Wave Odor Eliminating Spray.

Keep stink bugs away and dispose of them safely

Understanding how to prevent stink bugs from entering your home and how to dispose of them correctly will eliminate a situation where you are scrambling to rid yourself of an unbearable smell. Pest World gives excellent tips for keeping stink bugs away, with sealing off entry points and turning off lights being among them. These insects are attracted to our warm lightbulbs, so installing light traps could even be beneficial.

There are also many aromas that Pest Pointers has suggested to use for these unwanted bugs. They have an incredibly sensitive smell, making dryer sheets, lemon grass, and a variety of oils helpful for warding them off. Specifically recommended oils include spearmint, rosemary, geranium, and wintergreen oil. When disposing of a stink bug you've found wandering your home, the best call to action would be to contain it and release it outside carefully. Some people will opt to vacuum them up, but no matter what you decide, don't squish them.