Does Bug Spray Kill Stink Bugs?

Bill Swank
First Published: | Updated: February 27, 2024

If stink bugs have invaded your living space, you might be thinking of the quickest way to get rid of them. Bug sprays often come to mind as a first line of defense against insects. But how effective are these sprays against stink bugs? Let’s take a deep dive into the world of bug sprays and their efficacy on stink bugs.

  • Bug sprays can kill stink bugs especially if sprayed directly. Best bug sprays against stink bugs should contain specific active ingredients like Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Lambda-Cyhalothrin, Bifenthrin, or Permethrin. However, due to the bugs’ resilience, multiple applications or a stronger solution may be required.
  • Using bug sprays indoors is generally not recommended once these bugs have entered your home. It might kill some bugs, but won’t prevent further infestations and could lead to other problems, like carpet beetle infestations.
  • Bug sprays used outdoors can deter stink bugs, but their effectiveness can diminish rapidly due to sunlight exposure which breaks down the insecticides.
  • While bug sprays can deal with immediate stink bug issues, they are not designed as a long term solution. Sustainable approaches involve actions like sealing off possible entry points and regular inspection.
  • Safety is a crucial consideration when using bug sprays. They contain chemicals that can potentially cause allergic reactions in some people, and can harm humans and pets if not used correctly. Suitable safety measures include reading the product label fully, using protective gear, ensuring proper ventilation, and storing bug sprays out of reach from children and pets.

Understanding Bug Sprays

What are bug sprays and how is it commonly used?

Bug sprays are chemical-based products designed to deter or kill insects, including stink bugs. These are usually found in liquid form in aerosol containers or pump sprayers. To use, a fine mist of the product is sprayed directly onto the bug or the area of infestation.

How do bug sprays generally work?

Bug sprays contain insecticides that affect the central nervous system of bugs, leading to their eventual death. The spray is typically applied directly to the bugs or the areas they habituate. It works by either poisoning or suffocating the stink bugs upon contact.

Are there different types of bug sprays, and how do they differ?

Yes, there are several types of bug sprays available in the market. Some bug sprays are designed to target specific types of insects, including cockroaches, mosquitoes, and stink bugs. Others are general-purpose sprays that can be used against a wide range of insects. They vary depending on their active ingredients, mode of action, and effectiveness against different pests.

What is the Effectiveness of Bug Sprays Against Stink Bugs?

Are all bug sprays effective against stink bugs?

Not all bug sprays are effective against stink bugs. These tenacious pests are known for their resistance to certain pesticides. However, stink bugs have been found susceptible to bug sprays containing specific active ingredients like Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Lambda-Cyhalothrin, Bifenthrin, or Permethrin.

What does bug sprays generally contain?

As mentioned earlier, bug sprays commonly contain one or more active ingredients such as Cypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Lambda-Cyhalothrin, Bifenthrin, or Permethrin. These ingredients work by either disrupting the insects’ nervous system or suffocating them by forming a coating around their body.

How does bug sprays affect stink bugs?

When a stink bug comes into contact with bug spray, the active ingredients permeate their bodies, either suffocating them or attacking their nervous system.

Does bug spray kill stink bugs?

Yes, bug sprays with the right active ingredients can kill stink bugs. However, stink bugs are notoriously resilient, and it may require several applications or a stronger solution for the spray to be fully effective. Additionally, while bug sprays can be a handy tool to handle immediate issues or minor infestations, they may not provide a long-term solution for larger infestations.

How effective are bug sprays when used indoors?

It is not recommended to use bug sprays inside your home to kill stink bugs, especially if they have already entered the walls or attic. While this may kill some of the bugs, it will not prevent them from getting inside again. Additionally, carpet beetles may feed on the dead stink bugs, which can lead to an infestation of carpet beetles in your home. Carpet beetles can damage woolens, stored dry goods, and other natural products. Stink bugs are usually a major problem for plants and crops and deemed a nuisance in homes and buildings.

Are bug sprays effective to use on the exterior surfaces of the house?

Insecticides applied outside homes and around potential entry points may deter stink bugs, but they break down quickly, often within days. This is because sunlight breaks down insecticides, decreasing their residual effect. Sealing structures is a much more effective and environmentally friendly way to keep stink bugs out.

Are bug sprays effective to use in outdoors?

In outdoor settings, the effectiveness of bug sprays can be quite limited due to rapid breakdown caused by sunlight. Stink bugs can be killed using bug sprays if sprayed directly. In addition, outdoor usage may not be able to fully address a stink bug infestation given the expansive nature of exterior environments.

Safety Precautions and Considerations When Using Bug Spray for Stink Bug Control

How safe is bug spray as a method to kill stink bugs for humans, pets, and plants?

While bug sprays can effectively kill stink bugs in contact, they do contain chemicals that can also pose potential risks to humans, pets, and plants if not used properly. Some people could have allergic reactions to these sprays, and they can also be harmful if ingested or inhaled, or if it comes into contact with skin.

How to properly store bug spray for stink bug control?

Bug sprays should be stored out of reach of children and pets. They should be kept in a cool, dry place with good ventilation and away from flames or high temperatures, as they can be flammable.

What are the potential risks and drawbacks of using bug spray for stink bugs?

Using bug sprays for stink bugs indeed presents several risks and drawbacks. One key risk involves the potential harm these sprays can cause to humans, pets, and plants. They contain chemicals that can lead to allergic reactions in some individuals. Also, these sprays can be harmful if ingested or inhaled, or if they come into direct contact with skin.

A major drawback is that bug sprays are not always effective when used inside after stink bugs have already gained access to homes. While they may kill some of the bugs, more can still find their way in, rendering your efforts ineffective. Additionally, the use of insecticides inside can lead to secondary problems, such as attracting other pests like carpet beetles that can feed on the dead stink bugs, causing another type of infestation.

When used outside on the exterior parts of the house, bug sprays may initially deter stink bugs. But, their effectiveness can be reduced due to sunlight, which breaks down the insecticides, thereby reducing their residual impact. This limits their usefulness as a long-term solution to stink bug infestations. Repeated usage can also lead to pesticide resistance in the stink bug population.

Given these risks and drawbacks, it’s important to consider other more effective and potentially safer solutions for stink bug control. This includes practices such as sealing off potential entry points and consulting a pest control professional for more severe infestations.

What are the precautions or safety measures to consider when using bug spray to kill stink bugs?

When using bug sprays, it’s critical to adhere to the following safety guidelines:

  1. Always read the label: Before using any pesticide, it’s vital to read the product label fully. The instructions on the label should provide guidance on how to use, store, and dispose of the product safely.
  2. Wear protective gear: Wear gloves and eye protection when applying bug spray to prevent direct contact with your skin and eyes.
  3. Ensure proper ventilation: If you’re applying bug spray indoors, make sure to do so in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Keep out of reach of children and pets: Store bug sprays in a place where they cannot be accessed by children or pets.
  5. Avoid food and water sources: Never spray insecticides near food or water sources, as they could get contaminated.

How Effective Is Bug Spray Against Stink Bugs?

How effective is bug spray for killing stink bugs?

As mentioned earlier, bug sprays with specific active ingredients can effectively kill stink bugs if killed on contact. However, due to the bugs’ resilience, it may require multiple applications or a stronger solution. Additionally, while bug sprays can be useful for handling small stink bug infestations or immediate problems, but they are not a long-term solution for larger infestations.

Does bug spray kill stink bugs instantly?

Bug sprays do not usually kill stink bugs instantly. In many cases, the bugs will show the effects of the spray over a few hours to several days, depending on the specific product used and the resilience of the bug.

How does bug spray compare to other methods for killing stink bugs?

Bug sprays can be convenient and effective for killing individual bugs or small infestations, but for larger infestations, they may not be as effective as other pest control methods, such as professional extermination services or manual methods like vacuuming or using traps.

Can bug spray completely eradicate a stink bug infestation?

Bug sprays alone may not completely eradicate a stink bug infestation, especially in larger areas or for more severe infestations. They are best used as part of a comprehensive pest control strategy that includes other methods of control and prevention.

Is bug spray a long-term solution for a stink bug infestation?

While bug sprays can be effective for dealing with immediate stink bug problems, most are not designed to offer a long-term solution. Using bug sprays indoors is generally ineffective because it will not prevent stink bugs from entering your homes. If used outside, it can be broken down by sunlight, thus reducing its residual effects.

For long-lasting control, consider practices like improving home sealing, regular inspection and prompt bugs’ detection, or consulting a pest control professional for severe infestations.

How can I use bug spray to kill stink bugs effectively?

To effectively kill stink bugs with bug spray:

  1. Apply the bug spray directly on the bug if possible.
  2. If you’re treating an area, ensure to spray in well-ventilated spaces.
  3. Do not spray in places where children or pets are present.
  4. Apply the right amount of spray for the area size, and avoid spraying in high winds.
  5. Prior to use, test the spray on a small, less visible area to ensure it doesn’t cause any discolouration or damage.

How Can One Get Rid of Stink Bugs Without Relying on Bug Sprays?

While bug sprays can be handy in battling stink bugs, it’s prudent to explore other effective measures that can offer more sustainable results with minimal risks. Here are some alternative ways to get rid of stink bugs:

  • Seal off Entry Points: Start by ensuring that your house is sealed off. This includes cracks and holes around your windows, doors, pipes, wires, and chimneys.
  • Inspect your Home Regularly: Regularly check spaces where insects can hide such as behind furniture, in closets, or nothing spaces.
  • Use Stink Bug Traps: Traps are effective as they lure the bugs into a container from which they cannot escape.
  • Manual Removal: You can manually pick them up without crushing them to avoid their unpleasant odor and dispose of them appropriately.
  • Use of Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossilized aquatic organisms, and it is a natural pesticide. When stink bugs walk through diatomaceous earth, the powder absorbs fats and oils from their exoskeletons, causing them to die.
  • Cleanliness: Keeping your home tidy can minimize the areas where stink bugs can breed and hide.
  • Employ Professional Pest Control Services: For large infestations, hiring a professional pest control service may be the most effective approach. They have access to a variety of treatments and have the expertise to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.


While bug sprays can indeed kill stink bugs, they are not a one-size-fits-all or long-term solution to a stink bug infestation. Their effectiveness varies based on the resilience of the bugs, the type of spray used, and where it’s used. It’s also important to recognize and consider the potential risks associated with their use. A more comprehensive and integrated pest management strategy can provide more sustainable, long-term relief from stink bug infestation. Always remember, it’s about finding the balance between successful pest control and ensuring the health and safety of you, your family, and your environment.

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