Stink bugs. Help!

Asked September 27, 2017, 5:29 PM EDT

Please help me find a way to get rid of the stink bugs that are flying all over the backyard and now getting into the house. Last year we had the same problem too. I found them all winter long in the home. I just can't seem to get rid of them and would love a more permanent solution.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Even though you didn’t upload an image, it’s very likely you have the super annoying brown marmorated stink bugs (abbreviated BMSB, the scientific name Halyomorpha halys) which hang out in and on selected structures during fall. These are shield-shaped bugs which have white bands on their antennae (feelers). To verify, compare the insects with these images:

Although BMSB can damage a number of fruits and vegetables, the public probably knows them best for their nuisance value during the fall and winter. People who live near a wooded area often have the largest populations. You can minimize their numbers in your home but, unfortunately, no one has a permanent solution.

Effective strategies to keep them outdoors include sealing/caulking all possible cracks and crevices indoors where they are entering. Likely places are around window frames, as well as where wiring and pipes enter the room. (Wait until July to caulk and seal cracks on the exterior.) Vacuum any that get indoors, or flick them into soapy water. If they’re particularly numerous, use a wet-dry shop vac.

While numbers increase this fall, and again during spring, you can trap those indoors with an easy-to-assemble device. Add about an inch of water to a large rectangular roasting pan, plus a drop or two of liquid dish-washing soap; set in a dark room at night, with a desk lamp shining onto the water. (Use a regular bulb, not an LED light.) Empty the trap in the morning, then repeat as needed. See “The Perfect Stink Bug Trap Is All-Natural” (

Fortunately, BMSB don’t feed or breed during the winter, nor will they damage people, pets, or structures. Then, too, it’s worth knowing that insecticides, including bug bombs, don’t help.