Once fall arrives, the temperature begins to drop and that’s when stink bugs begin to hunt for warmer spots. If they find an opportunity to get into your car, they will! These bugs don’t stop at that, they’ll get their friends to come in too. Soon, they’ll colonize your car and it’ll stink badly. Stink bugs are not aggressive to humans, but their unpleasant odor can irritate you!
How to rid your car of stink bugs? You can remove stink bugs from your car by using natural methods. You can use sunlight to kill them or vacuum them up! Alternatively, you can use bug bombs or sprinkle diatomaceous earth to get rid of them. Some plants like marigold, lavender, chrysanthemums, and potpourris can also eliminate stink bugs.
In this article, I’m going to show you practical ways to deal with these unpleasant insects. We’ll also discuss some of the best practices to prevent the “Return of the Stink Bugs.”
Table of Contents
How do stink bugs get in my car?
Have you been wondering how stink bugs got into your car in the first place? They get in at the slightest opportunity. In fact, these stinky insects pull many tricks to get into your car. Most times, we are the ones who let them in by giving them the opportunity.
These are a few of the ways stink bugs get into your car:
- Through the window
- Parking close to stink bug nests
- Through the moonroof
- Through your doors
- Damaged cabin air filter
- Through tight spaces, gaps, and cracks in your car
Through the window
The most obvious ways stink bugs get into your car is through the window. During the pest season, driving with your windows down can lead to a stink bug infestation.
You might not see them, since they tend to hide in your vents, and under your seat. The worst possible outcome is that they might just remain there till they die! Really stinky!
Parking close to stink bug nests
There are tiny cracks, panels, and holes in your car, you might not realize this. But the stink bugs know how to use these avenues to get into your car.
You’ll make it much easier for them when you park very close to an infested area. They mostly hang out in swarms. So if you give them an opportunity, you’ll get to see a lot of them.
They could get in through the air vents, frame space, or any other opening. If you close your car off from the environment and you are wondering how they still get in, this is one of their secret ways.
How about your moonroof and car doors?
Leaving your doors or moonroof open in pest seasons can be a very big mistake. You’ll pay for it when things start to smell bad.
Damaged cabin air filter
You may not be aware that your car has a damaged air filter. Actually, this filter helps to protect your air circulation. Leaving a damaged one would allow pests to get into your car effortlessly. So, ensure that your air filter is in good shape.
Why are stink bugs attracted to my car?
There are several factors that could attract stink bugs to your car. First, these “hitchhikers” always seek shelter during the cold season. So, stink bugs may be attracted to your car as a way to seek shelter from harsh temperatures.
You’ll see more of them in winter. They feel really chilly in cold seasons. So, they become very active in seeking out hotter places to stay warm.
If they eventually get into your car, they’ll leave a pheromone scent that will attract even more stink bugs to your car. If you give stink bugs an inch, they’ll go for a mile and get more friends to live with them in your car.
Just like many other insects, stink bugs may also be attracted to the scent of your deodorants, shampoo, lotion, perfume, or other similar scents.
Keeping food in your car would worsen your encounter with these bugs. The scent of food, fruits, vegetables, or trash in your car attracts them. If you want to encourage these bugs to stay out of your car, you’ll have to clean up properly.
5 ways to rid your car of stink bugs
You can have a car free from stink bugs, I mean it! Let me show you how to get rid of those smelly insects and make them never come back again.
How to get rid of stink bugs naturally
You could use the heat of the sun to get rid of stink bugs naturally. Got some stink bugs in your car and you don’t know where to find them? You can try using the sun’s heat to kill them.
You only need to roll up your windows and doors, then park in direct sunlight. This is a very natural and cheap method you can use. The bugs will eventually die after a few hours. You can now pack them up. Note that this method would make your car stink for a few weeks.
Vacuum them up!
You can use this method if you know where exactly these stink bugs stay in your car. Vacuuming up stink bugs would not leave a nasty odor in your car. It’s important that you don’t press down the vacuum nozzle against the bug, though. Otherwise, you’ll smell it for a few weeks, too.
A shop vac is awesome for this task. You can easily get them at affordable prices. They’ll help you to get rid of insects very easily. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum with a bag. You simply need to trap these insects in the bag, seal them up, and toss the bag.
Make sure you seal them up tightly and trash the bag properly. This would prevent their smell and them sneaking out.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth
Another easy way to get rid of stink bugs in your car is sprinkling diatomaceous earth (you can easily order it here on Amazon). This would hurt the stink bugs without harming you. Diatomaceous earth would help you kill those insects with dehydration.
How do I use diatomaceous earth? Simply sprinkle some around your car when you park it. Eventually, this would penetrate the exoskeleton of stink bugs and they’ll die. You can also sprinkle the powder around your garage, or wherever you feel the bugs get in from.
There are a few plants that stink bugs really hate. These plants include:
You can simply put these plants in a container and place it in specific areas of your car to encourage stink bugs to leave.
Bug bombs – The chemical method of getting rid of stink bugs
You can decide to bomb the bugs using foggers. Foggers contain toxic chemicals that will kill the pests hiding out in your car.
Ensure that you only use foggers that are recommended for automobiles. While using them, be very cautious and follow the directions.
Will stink bugs come back after removal?
While you might effectively get rid of these pesky insects, you might find them coming back if you don’t take precautions. Stink bugs might come back to your car after removal if you didn’t get rid of them of them properly. What could I have done wrong?
If you smashed them in order to get them out, you’ll only be inviting more. This is because of their pheromone scent.
You will get to see stink bugs again if you give them the opportunity to get in again. Leaving your windows, doors, or sunroof open could give them another opportunity to get in.
They’ll happily get in if you do not have anything that would repel them. So, you really have to think how to keep these hitchhikers away from your car and your life.
How to repel stink bugs from your car
Here are simple methods you can use to repel stink bugs from your car. It’s important that you have a secret formula that encourages stink bugs to find another habitat anytime they try to come in. You can use simple natural methods to prevent them from re-entering.
Natural stink bug repellents do not cause any harm to humans, pests, or the environment, so it’s completely safe for all! It doesn’t act like insecticides that intoxicate humans.
Use essential oils, stink bugs hate them!
Stink bugs detest the scent of essential oils such as eucalyptus, cedar, or clove. You can take good advantage of this and apply these essential oils in the areas of your vehicle where you think stink bugs are hiding out.
Mint is another natural essential oil you can use to repel stink bugs. Mint is an effective herb that oozes a fragrance these insects hate. Some other effective essential oils are peppermint and lemongrass.
Essential oils are great repellents for your car. Please note that they do not kill stink bugs, they only repel them.
Place laundry sheets in your car
Your laundry sheets could be very helpful in repelling stink bugs. You should try them! The scent of detergent on your laundry sheets would keep the stink bugs away from your car. Simply get a few sheets and leave them in your car, that’s it!
Make a garlic spray
A garlic spray can stand as an effective repellent. Stink bugs don’t like the smell of garlic. Making a spray out of garlic can keep them away.
To make a garlic spray, you need to mix two cups of water and four teaspoons of garlic powder or a handful of garlic cloves. There you have it, your garlic spray is ready to go!
Simply spray this repellent in your car to keep those insects away. Please note this will make your car smell like garlic. Not everybody will like this option.
How to stop stink bugs from getting into your car
You don’t want stink bugs anywhere near your vehicle. First, you might find them in your car every now and then… Before you know it, they creep into your bag to hitchhike a ride into your house. They’ll annoy you with their stink and make you lose your mind. Don’t let them come in at all!
Replace your cabin filter
Most drivers neglect the potency of their cabin air filter. They leave it damaged for too long and this gives insects an opportunity to get into your car.
Ensure that you replace your air filter in order to stop stink bugs from getting into your car. Also, check on it from time to time to ensure your filter is always in good condition.
Keep your windows and moonroof shut
Once the pest season arrives, you’ll see them flying around searching for a warm hideout. This is why you should keep your car’s windows shut while driving and parking. This would block stink bugs from getting into your car through the most obvious method.
You could leave your moonroof open while driving. Stink bugs hardly get in that way because of its rear-facing. However, ensure you shut it when you park your car.
Most times, we forget to close our moonroof. This could get really bad if you park your car in an area infested with stink bugs.
Seal tight gaps and cracks in your car
You see, it’s important you seal up all holes in your car in order to stop stink bugs from getting into your vehicle.
Over time, your car might get damaged and needs repair. You should not ignore this. Get your car sealed and fixed up so you can stop the stink bugs from getting into your car.
Keep food and trash away from your car
Avoid leaving food items and trash in your car. This would encourage stink bugs and other pests to come into your car. They are always in search of a shelter with food and water, especially in winter. Clean up your car as often as possible to keep them away.
Be very watchful
The best way to stop stink bugs from getting into your car is by being observant. You can stop an infestation before it begins if you catch it early on. Always observe your car and environments carefully so you can know the best way to keep these pests away!
What do stink bugs eat?
Stink bugs mostly feed on plants. However, stink bugs are very flexible with their feeding pattern. They eat different things to adapt to different environments. You might find them feeding on fruits like peaches, berries, and apples in residential areas. In the field, they eat sorghum and cotton. They also feed on leaves and stems of plants. These bugs can cause serious damage to growing fruits and destroy plants. Stink bugs also spread plant diseases. They cause a lot of trouble in the garden.
Can stink bugs fly? Do stink bugs even have wings?
Yes! Adult stink bugs can fly relatively well.
Stink bugs have wings that fold nicely to create a shield for their back when they aren’t flying. That’s how they got the nickname of “shield bug.” When these bugs take off, the wings dash out swiftly. Then, they make really awkward sounds as they soar higher.