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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs: The Vancouverite’s Guide

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How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs: The Vancouverite’s Guide

British Columbia issued a pest alert in the fall of 2022, cautioning people about the invasion of the brown marmorated stink bug. The species has traveled all the way to Asia and has now established a presence across North America.

Now that they’ve taken root in some parts of Metro Vancouver, we need to equip ourselves with effective strategies to eradicate them. Read on to discover 5 curated approaches, plus some essential pointers for dealing with stink bugs!

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Vancouver

Before we begin, remember this: don’t thoughtlessly crush the stink bug as it will release a foul odor as a defense mechanism.

The smell could persist even after disposing of the squashed bug and even worse, it can draw more stink bugs to your home. For an easier solution, consider these 5 curated methods to eliminate the stink bugs from your home!

Option 1: Use a Vacuum and Pantyhose

Option 1 Use a Vacuum and Pantyhose
(Image by n_defender on Shutterstock)
DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of steps3
Time to perform fix1 hour
Things you needvacuum, pantyhose, elastic bands

If your home is infested with a large number of stink bugs, this technique proves particularly efficient. If you have a readily available vacuum, you can effortlessly try this method to capture the stink bugs.

Step 1: Set Up Your Vacuum and Pantyhose

Attach a pantyhose to your vacuum’s intake hose and use elastic bands to secure it in place. Before using the vacuum, check if the pantyhose is intact and it’s not going to clog your vacuum.

Step 2: Vacuum up the Stink Bugs

Make sure to have a good line of sight of all the stink bugs in the house so you can capture them all at once. 

Step 3: Dispose of the Stink Bugs

It’s best to detach the pantyhose from the vacuum outside the house to prevent any odor from spreading indoors.

Ensure proper sealing and then put it in another container to reduce the risk of further contamination. Then, you can already place the sealed stink bugs in the trash bin outside your house. 

A better alternative to this is to submerge the stink bugs in a container with water. It sounds like a crime when we say it that way, but it’s totally going to keep the stink bugs from coming back to the house – just make sure the pantyhose is submerged and the container is sealed properly.

Option 2: Set up a Stink Bug Trap with Light

Option 2 Set up a Stink Bug Trap with Light
(Image via

In 2014, researchers at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech found that one can devise an effective trap for stink bugs right in the home. All it takes is these three steps!

DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps3
Time to perform fix15 minutes
Things you needfoil roasting pan, desk lamp, dish detergent

Step 1: Prepare the Trap

Take a foil roasting pan and fill it with soapy water. Like in the previous method, this solution will serve to submerge and effectively eliminate the stink bugs.

Next, get a desk lamp and orient its head directly above the pan. Given that stink bugs are attracted to light, like other insects are, they may gravitate towards the light emitted by the desk lamp and inadvertently find themselves in the water.

Step 2: Perform the Deed at Night

To attract the stink bugs successfully, the light of the desk lamp should be strong enough. It’s best to turn off all sources of light aside from it and patiently wait for the bugs to crawl to their demise.

Step 3: Check again in the morning

Allow the trap to remain in place for 12 hours, so that the stink bugs can have enough time to make their way towards the light source. 

By morning, you’ll find the roasting pan filled with stink bugs and ready for disposal. The process of getting rid of them should be less challenging this time, as the stink bugs will not emit the odor we aim to steer clear of.

Option 3: Improvise a Battery-Powered Trap

Option 3 Improvise a Battery-Powered Trap
(Image via Washington Post )

Washington Post also released a similar improvised design in 2011, where a light source attracts the stink bugs. Here are the steps to creating this trap.

DifficultyModerate ●●●○○
Number of steps5
Time to perform fix2 hours
Things you needtwo-liter soda bottle, battery-powered light, weather stripping or masking tape, cutter

Step 1: Prepare the Main Body of the Trap

Get a two-liter soda plastic bottle and cut them so that the part which tapers to the mouthpiece is separate from the main body. The label wrapped around the bottle may be a good guide.

Step 2: Attach Something for Stink Bugs to Walk On

Even when your light source attracts the bugs but they can’t walk straight up to the trap, all you’ll have is a host of them crowding outside of the bottle. 

Writer Kevin Ambrose suggests that you secure some masking tape or weather stripping tape onto the sides of the bottle. This way, the bugs can have something to hold on to as they walk up the trap.

Step 3: Attach Your Light Source

Acquire a battery-powered light, like the Sylvania DOT-it light. Ambrose offers two placements for the light source – either inside the bottle or at the bottom.

We recommend taping it at the bottom, so that you can place some soapy water inside the bottle.

Step 4: Attach the Funnel at the Top of the Body

Remember the upper half of the soda bottle that you cut? Invert that and place it on top of the longer half of the body so that it functions like a funnel.

Then, secure these two parts together with some tape. It’s an ingenious trap, really – the stink bugs crawl towards the light and end up sliding down the funnel down to the soapy water.

Step 5: Catch Some Stink Bugs

Locate where the stink bugs are and determine where it’s most strategic to place the trap. Leave it on overnight and in the morning when you’ve captured the stink bugs, just remove the top and dispose of the contents of the trap.

Option 4: Use a Mix of Cedar Oil and Isopropyl Alcohol

Option 4 Use a Mix of Cedar Oil and Isopropyl Alcohol
(Image by Madeleine Steinbach on Shutterstock)
DifficultyVery Easy ●○○○○
Number of steps3
Time to perform fix30 minutes
Things you needcedarwood oil, isopropyl alcohol, water spray, gloves

For those who don’t want to take the bloody route, there’s a way to keep the stink bugs away from your home. Just follow these steps demonstrated by Stoney Ridge Farmer:  

Step 1: Mix Cedarwood Oil and Isopropyl Alcohol

Grab a water spray and pour 32 oz of isopropyl alcohol in it. Next, put on gloves as you hold the cedar wood oil and pour 10 ml into the same water spray.

Essential oils like cedarwood oil will not only make your home comfortable and relaxing, but they will also help you drive away the unwanted bugs.

Step 2: Do Some Test Sprays

Figure out where in your house you need to spray the most, but if you’re all about prevention, we suggest applying the spray to potential entry points like the door and window frames. 

Mix the liquid thoroughly and spray it on the surface a few times to see if the alcohol causes any staining.

If it doesn’t, then you’re all set. The moment it does stain, you might need to explore alternative methods to deal with the stink bugs.

Step 3: Spray the Mixture

You need to spray several times onto your chosen surface. Remember that our goal here isn’t to eliminate the stink bugs, so there’s no need to inspect for fallen insects after a few hours.

The best result using this method is seeing that there are no stink bugs clinging onto our posts and curtains.

Option 5: Use a Water Bottle with Soapy Water

DifficultyEasy ●●○○○
Number of steps3
Time to perform fix1-2 hours
Things you needcedarwood oil, isopropyl alcohol, water spray, gloves

This method is fairly common, used not only by Stoney Ridge Farmer but also by many others due to its foolproof approach. While the means to eliminate stink bugs is already familiar, this one requires more effort compared to previous methods.

Step 1: Prepare the trap

Grab a small water bottle, complete with its lid. This will serve as the receptacle when capturing the stink bugs.

Pour soapy water into the water bottle – for the same reason you used it in other methods. A little more than 20 ml should suffice.

Step 2: Catch some stink bugs

All you need to do is to position the mouth of the container beneath the stink bug. Then, use an object like a ruler or a strip of wood to gently nudge the stink bug and allow it to drop into the water bottle.

Step 3: Dispose of the Stink Bugs

Allow some time for the stink bugs to fully perish in the soapy water. Just leave the lid on for a few hours until they’re ready for disposal.

Things to Keep in Mind When Dealing with Stink Bugs

Things to Keep in Mind When Dealing with Stink Bugs
(Image by Munteanu on Adobe Stock)

Know How to Identify the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

The province is also home to the common brown stink bug (which has no white bands on the antennae) and the rough stink bug (whose skin has visible ridges). 

While the methods mentioned earlier may also work in deterring these stink bugs, the greater concern these days involves the stink bug with alternating brown and white markings on its body and white bands on its antennae. 

For more information on how to tell these bugs apart, consider checking BC’s website.

Report Stink Bug Sightings to the Province

The infestation of stink bugs is a serious problem that extends way beyond the home, so the province is currently studying natural but sure solutions like the samurai wasp.

Contribute to managing the issue by reporting any sightings of stink bugs, adult or eggs, through this form.

Prevent Stink Bugs from Entering the House

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so pay attention to the entry points that need inspecting and sealing. 

Utilize high-quality silicone to seal cracks, consider installing door sweeps, and replace any damaged screens to eliminate even the tiniest openings.

Take Care of Your Backyard

One way to keep them from congregating on your porch is to make sure that the surroundings are clean and inhospitable for them. 

If you’re storing firewood in your backyard, make sure they’re as far as 20 feet away from your house and not directly touching the ground. 

Conduct your inspection well before winter arrives, as this is when stink bugs tend to seek refuge in these wood piles.

Consider Professional Pest Control Services

The methods above are all going to help in addressing the issue with stink bugs, but they’re all DIY.

You’ll need to invest some effort and personally oversee the process to achieve the desired results. If you lack the time to carry out these methods, you can always call for professional assistance.

Local Pest Control and Pesticon are some of the reputable services you can consider.

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