What Attracts Stink Bugs to Homes?

Stink bugs are often attracted to homes in the autumn because they are seeking a warm place to spend the winter. Because they are attracted to light, it is best to keep porch lights off at night and to draw the shades. During the coldest months, stink bugs hide in shelters like walls or attics. Warm weather makes them lively, and in the spring they crawl out of hiding to find a way outside.

Stink bugs are destructive to gardens, orchards and ornamental plants because after they feed, they leave behind toxic saliva that harms plants. They also deform and scar fruit, including apples, peaches and tomatoes, when they pierce the skin to suck out the juice. Stink bugs do not harm humans or homes; however, they are large, alarming-looking insects that emit a foul odor when threatened and are usually unwelcome in human houses.

To prevent stink bugs from coming inside, seal off any small cracks in the house's foundation, openings around windows and doors, or any other openings. Apply screens to attics and crawlspaces to keep the bugs from entering those places. Leave windows closed in the fall when the bugs are most active or make sure that open windows are securely screened and sealed with weather stripping. The bugs can sometimes hide in rotten wood, so replace any rotten siding, including the wood around windows and doors.