Simplest way to eliminate stink bugs indoors

Combining hot water, white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle will get the job done with very little fuss.


Once again, stink bugs have been invading our homes this fall. Sure, they really aren’t harmful, but they tend to travel in packs and, obviously, as their name implies they stink.

Getting rid of them indoors can be a chore. If you smash them, they stink. If you vacuum them, they stink up your vacuum and more than likely will escape and come right back. Even methods like making and setting homemade traps, scooping them into bowls of water mixed with dish soap or waiting for them to freeze in a Ziploc bag can be tedious.

Let’s face it, nobody has time for that.


The best way to stop an infestation is to keep stink bugs from entering homes and buildings in the first place.

Stink bugs seek shelter when the temperature starts to drop, so they can stay warm during the winter  and enter a type of hibernation called diapause.

They have not been known to cause structural damage to homes and they don’t reproduce indoors, bite or transmit disease. They’re simply looking for a place to sleep until they can reemerge in the spring.

The best way to keep them from setting up shop in your house is to locate any opening where they can gain access — cracks around windows, doors, siding, pipes or behind lighting fixtures or chimneys. Sealing the openings is imperative, as preventing them from entering is the best way to keep them out of your house.


Once they’ve found a way in and located a site suitable for overwintering, stink bugs will release a chemical to attract others to the area. This is why they are generally found in groups.

Taking care of an infestation can feel like a daunting task — it takes time to capture and drown or freeze them, while being careful not to crush them.

Similarly, stink bugs have shown a resilience to most pesticides. Although you can call an exterminator and pay a pretty penny to have your problem solved, it won’t get rid of them for good. And it’s not always the best idea to utilize pesticides indoors.

Is there no quick, clean, safe and cost-efficient way to get rid of these little buggers? Your problems have been solved. I’ve finally reached that eureka moment.

Cutting to the chase

I recently stumbled on a method that actually works. It’s safe to use indoors, it’s quick, it doesn’t make a mess and it’s inexpensive.

Combining hot water, white vinegar and dish soap in a spray bottle will get the job done with very little fuss.


  • Spray bottle
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dish soap


First, pour 2 cups of hot water in the spray bottle. Then add 1 cup of vinegar, followed by 1/2 cup of dish soap. Combining the ingredients in that order will help you avoid suds. After everything is in your bottle, put the nozzle on and give the concoction a gentle swirl to mix it up.

Spraying them directly will kill them in a short amount of time. All of the ingredients are regularly used for cleaning, so you won’t get your house dirty in the process. You may have some drying to do following the extermination, but it’s a relatively hassle-free process.

Let’s get rid of some stink bugs!

Related Stories



Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!


  1. A product called Bug B Gone works as well. This is a bug spray for plants and the directions calls for water. I used it without water. I poured it in a spray container and sprayed around all my windows and doors inside and out and this is the first year in 4 years that I am stink bug free!

  2. OMG, they’re heeeere!!! I live in a six-unit 100+ year old condo conversion building in Chicago – yes, no where near agricultural areas or nature preserves, smack dab in the city. I have lived in Chicago all my life, and I have never, ever, seen these critters EVER until last year, when they suddenly seemed to be pouring in to the building from everywhere. I spent a month and a half policing them up as fast as I could, then suddenly…no more stink bugs. Peace!

    Until now. Apparently they are still here, lurking, and are waking up now. I caught two in the past week, late in the evening, when they flew across the room like drunken June bugs and smashed into a wall and a lamp, upon which they simply fell to the ground and stood there. I scooped ’em up and tossed them out into the still below-freezing temps at night. But from what I’ve read here and elsewhere, this is just the beginning.

    Apparently, where there are one or two, there are lots (and lots) more, and they will be coming out of hiding now. OMG, this is creeping me out something awful. Will there be swarms of them? Will they get livelier and be hard to catch or will they continue to just sit there and wait for me to scoop them up? WHY ARE THEY HERE???? Is this a global warming thing? Is this the new normal?

    I am going to go mix up a batch of your recipe, Sara, (BTW, can you mix it now and use later, or does it have to be hot to work?) and keep a watchful eye (and ear, because when they fly, it’s LOUD, and then there’s that inevitable SMACK when they hit something). But seriously…WHY ARE THEY HERE, where they never were before???

  3. Lethe & Sarah,

    I feel your pain! I live in the city of Grand Rapids and they are everywhere. You can’t escape them and they gross me the heck out! As Lethe mentioned, does the mixture have to be hot to work? I would hate to waste all the ingredients if there are only a bug or two I need to kill.

  4. They are by far the creepiest insect I’ve had to kill. I freaked out when I lifted up a small blanket and yikes it came out like a Volkswagen. For the past 2 weeks its been every day. So attack plan is lemongrass oil, and eucalyptus oil water spay windowsills doorways screens around the whole periemiter of house. Dryer sheets? Do they help? Any more suggestions? They hibernate?

  5. Thanks so much for the recipe! As someone totally freaked out by them, i would love to have the play-by-play of what happens after you spray them. Do they release their famous stink (that I have yet to experience)? Do they fly even more madly around with that infernal buzz? Do they just gently relax into death? How long till they’re dead-dead? (They sure seem dead before flying randomly at warp speed..) I need to know as much as I can to have any chance of screwing up my courage for the job (the braver members of the house have stopped helping from utter contempt at my shrieks). Thanks so much!!

  6. I use a mixture of water, dish soap, and neem oil, which is also an effective way to control fungus gnats in your houseplants. And it’s mostly water. For every quart of warm water, add 1 tsp neem oil and 1/2 tsp regular dish soap. Make sure it’s not cold water or the neem oil won’t mix with the water and soap. They die within minutes of being misted with the stuff.

  7. I use Cedarcide on every bug i see, and it has not failed me. Then the get carried to the toilet at arms length on some carrier: piece of paper, a box, lol… and they get a wet ride outta here!

  8. I live in RI, I use to see them at my job all the time, this is the first time I have seen them in my home. So far I have seen three and killed all three! I am petrified of bugs! I won’t sleep at night! I get physically ill when it comes to bugs! I’ve been in my house for ten years and this is the first time I’ve seen stink bugs!

  9. My problem is that they seem to like me or something lol . They always get on me and not my husband I will definently be trying this tonight


Receive emails as this discussion progresses.