Plants that repel stink bugs are a great option to keep away the foul smell that is enough for you to want to learn about plants and the result of a pest-less garden.

11 Plants that Repel Stink Bugs

If you are from the Northeast and Midwest US, you likely expect to encounter the odor from smashing the bugs in the late winter and during autumn.

This article will discuss types of plants you can use to repel the brown marmorated stink bugs and their efficiency. 

A List of Plants that Repel Stink Bugs

1. Garlic

With their awful odor, stink bugs can’t seem to withstand strong smells, as we expect them to adapt to such naturally. Garlic, a common ingredient in many culinary, can be handy in repelling these bugs, because it will release a chemical that will keep pests away, because the smell of this chemical is uncomfortable to the bugs.

– Quantity Needed

You do not have to fill your garden with garlic plants and forget about planting what you had in mind.

Garlic Plant in Garden

A few garlic plants will do for this reason, as a few of them will release a chemical together that is strong enough. Nonetheless, you can plant them at the edges of your garden or as pot plants. 

Other than planting garlic, you can take a few cloves and make garlic spray. You can boil the cloves in clean water and let the mixture cool. What you must do is strain and put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray on your plants and the entry points to repel the stink bugs.

Having these plants around helps keep the stink bugs away and provides a fresh ingredient to your cuisine.

2. Catnip

If you have seen or planted some catnip plants in your garden, you know how they make the cats go crazy about them.

This plant is also known as the Nepeta Cataria, and cats are usually the animals that love to chew and rub themselves against the plant. According to recent studies, these plants have a euphoric effect on cats; the more they rub, the better they feel.

Other than being used by felines, catnip has been used by communities for centuries as medicine to treat nearly all diseases before the introduction of modern medicine. 

– Insect Repellant

Although humans and cats love the herb, the same thing does not apply to insects. It acts as a repellent, thanks to its strong scent that even the stink bugs are not fond of, and this is because of the scent that it releases.

Catnip Plant with Green Leaves

Although plants naturally repel insects, but in this case, cats would also come in handy. As they rub themselves against the plant, the plant’s scent becomes more potent as more fluids get released from the damage that occurs from the rub. As a result, the stink bugs flee as they cannot stand the scent.

– Challenges 

Catnips are sure to help get rid of most insects. However, they can attract stray cats to your compound to experience the magic they get from chewing and rubbing against the plant, and instead of surviving its purpose to get rid of the bugs, they will be diminished, and eventually they will be gone by the damage caused through stray cats. 

The plant is also a fast spreader, and you must trim it frequently to avoid getting it out of control.

3. Thyme 

This herb is popular in different cuisines for the refreshing summery taste it brings to food, and this is how it is famously known. However, there are different varieties of thyme, such as caraway, English thyme, and the lemon thyme. Whichever their differences, one thing remains common – they all have a strong scent to keep the bugs away.

– Conditions for Growth

These plants are easy to grow, such that even amateur gardeners will do a splendid job. Like garlic, you do not need too much of these in your garden because they will multiply in number and you will have plenty of them. Note that it is also an excellent pot plant.

English thyme in Garden

Unlike catnips, thyme does not spread, which means its foliage will not choke other plants in your garden, it grows in its own area. 

– As an Insect Repellant

Thyme can withstand harsh climatic conditions, making it a great option for removing the stink bugs that come out when the temperatures start dropping. Plant a few thyme plants in the entry points you suspect, and you will never have to stress about dealing with these bugs.

For efficiency, it is recommendable to bruise or crumble a little of your thyme plants. It helps release the plant fluids, which have a strong scent. As this scent spreads, the stink bugs won’t stand any of that and will stay as far from your house as they can.

4. Radishes

Radishes are often planted as companion plants. They are considered companions because they help protect other plants from attack by insects. Radishes have a bitter-sweet taste when freshly picked and are great for making salads and other foods. 

– Growth Requirements

Radishes are not quite demanding when it comes to planting requirements if you wish to have them in your vegetable garden. As companion plants, you can plant them in rows of the vegetation between other plants after every few feats.

Radishes in Bright Sunlight

Note that as you plant them this way, they create barriers where they trap most insects for easy elimination. This will be a way that they would protect the place as a whole and not just in one area.

– Repeling Stink Bugs

Radishes have a powerful scent that helps with bug control. These plants produce methan-ethiol chemical that in the form of gas, which is responsible for their strong scents. This gas is produced when some radish matter starts decaying and they will keep the pests afar.

Nonetheless, if you have a stink bug infestation which is a bit harsher of a matter, then still this gas from the radishes will confuse the bugs and repel them from your home and garden. 

5. Lavender

If you visit many households, you’ll realize they have a product or several that contain lavender, except in exceptional cases. This plant is pleasant and has many uses, such as a fragrance, in cuisines, in medicine, in soaps, as an ornamental plant in landscaping, and others, because it is a beneficial plant with different properties. 

– Locating

Besides having a pleasant smell, lavender is also loved because it is easy to grow. With a few pots, you can have it as an indoor plant, provided you place it somewhere it receives some sunlight. It is also easy to plant outdoors, and its beautiful purple flowers help enhance the aesthetics of your garden.

Purple Flowers of Lavender

– Stink Bug Repellant

Often, we use body sprays made with lavender to repel bugs such as mosquitoes. In our wardrobes, we protect our clothes by using lavender sachets to repel the moths.

When you have the plant in your garden, you can either convert your outdoors into a therapeutic one while keeping the stink bugs away, and this is because they don’t find the smell of lavender pleasant at all.

Alternatively, if you can’t plant this herb for various reasons, you can consider using essential oils or dried lavender, because they will keep the pests away from you as well as your garden. 

6. Chrysanthemum

These plants belong to the group of pyrethrum and contain pyrethrin, a compound used in making insecticides. There are over 100 varieties of the chrysanthemum plant, allowing you to choose the one you like most.

– Locating 

These are planted as companion or ornamental plants if you have located some outside. As companions, chrysanthemums are planted across the garden along with other plants. When planted as ornamentals, you can mix various varieties to enjoy your garden’s view when they blossom.

Pink and Purple Chrysanthemum

– Repelling Stink Bugs

Chrysanthemums are used for producing insecticides that can be used for killing stink bugs and other insects. On the other hand, you must keep in mind that some synthetic chemicals are not environmentally friendly, and it can sometimes cause health risks, and adversely affect soil and plants.

An eco-friendly approach is using chrysanthemums in their natural state. Pyrethrin works by attacking the nervous system of the stink bugs.

7. Marigold

These companion plants can help you control stink bug infestation. It grows beautiful flowers with different hues to keep your garden looking appealing. Besides their ornamental purposes, marigolds are used for repelling insects and animals. 

– Growing Requirements

You can decide to have a whole garden of marigolds if you intend to keep the stinking bugs from your house while keeping your outdoors appealing. If you have other plants in your garden, consider planting marigolds as companion plants. 

Pom Pom Marigold Plants

Keep in ind that they are easy to plant and require exposure to full sun for at least six hours for a bountiful bloom.

– Repelling Stink Bugs

These plants have a strong scent that puts off the stinking bag. Which means that you may want to reconsider your choice for using this plant if you are allergic to pollen and certain smells, as marigolds are known for making people sneeze a lot.

While keeping the stinky bugs away, marigolds also attract beneficial insects. These plants are rich in pollen, which the cultivators love. However, as they suck nectar from the marigolds, these cultivators can also help other plants in your garden with pollination, which means your garden will be blooming and thriving away from pests.

8. Lemongrass

Use lemongrass to repel the invasive pest. The herb can grow to approximately four feet tall and be used in cuisines and as a decorative plant. It grows in warm climates and is prone to frostbite which is a great addition.

– Growth Requirements

To ensure you are protected from the stink bugs throughout the year, consider planting some of your lemongrasses in pots. When the temperatures drop, take it inside to protect it from frostbites. 

Tall and Stalky Lemongrass

– How Lemongrass Repel Stink Bugs

Lemongrass contains a compound called citronella. It is commonly used for making candles, insecticides, and torches. 

Lemongrass has a strong scent that combines the smell of lemon, citrus, and mint. Because of its strong scent, the stink bugs do not find homes and gardens having this plant as their favorite place.

9. Rosemary

You can tell a rosemary shrub is planted nearby even without seeing it. This herb has a strong scent that makes it desirable for many cuisines. It can be used fresh or dry without compromising its quality.

– Growing Rosemary

The strong-scented herb grows well in hot climates and can also be planted in containers. Protect it from cold temperatures by keeping it indoors whenever the temperatures become extreme.

Rosemary Shrub with Purple flower

– Repelling Stink Bugs

The scent of the rosemary is enough to keep most annoying insects away from the chemical that it will be releasing in the air. Most native communities used this herb to keep insects away from their homes. Since stink bugs do not fancy strong scents, they cannot withstand that of rosemary either.

10. Mint

Mint is a type of herb in the sage family. It has a flavorful taste and smells that make it perfect for spicing various drinks. Mint occurs in different varieties, such as apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, and more.

– Controlling Stink Bugs

The best way of planting this important herb is in a pot. Why? Because it can grow uncontrollably in a garden, preventing other vegetation from getting sunlight, eventually leading to their death.

Peppermint Leaves in Garden

Note that as you place the pots in the entry points in your house and distribute them in your garden they will get the task done is the best way possible. Their strong scent makes these bugs never come near your property, and you will be saved from the pests all around.

11. Petunias

Petunias produce a licorice-like scent that helps in controlling stink bug infestation. This scent also attracts the beneficiary insects that help with pollination while repelling other harmful insects such as caterpillars, aphids, and squash bugs.

– Repel Stink Bugs

These plants contain a compound called methyl benzoate. It is used for making cosmetics and also used in foods. The compound is not harmful to human beings.

Pesticides are also available for repelling the brown marmorated stink bug, but they are not very effective as their residue tends to fade fast. 

Blooming Petunias Flower

The compound found in petunias, methyl benzoate, not only repels but also helps kill stink bug eggs. It seems more effective than pesticides and insecticides that contain pyrethrin found in the markets for similar purposes. 

– Challenges

While petunias seem effective in killing bug eggs and adults, however, they bring with them a challenge that cannot be missed, they can attract other undesirable pests, such as slugs, which can destroy other crops in your garden.


The late summer and autumn periods can be devastating when you think about encountering stink bugs. Their stench is enough to ruin a beautiful day. However, you have some fantastic plants you can use to repel these sticky bugs at your disposal.

Besides repelling the stink bugs, you can also use these plants for:

  • Spicing your meals for an unforgettable culinary experience. Decorating your garden with these ornamental plants.
  • Attracting cultivators to help with pollination in your garden.
  • Spicing your drinks for some refreshing beverages.
  • You do not need to spray any neem oil to get the bugs away, you can simply plant thyme, or rosemary and see them naturally not visiting your garden or your home again.

Some gardening enthusiasts will raise their eyebrows when you tell them about the aggressive pesticides you use for getting rid of stink bugs. Use one of these eco-friendly plants to repel the brown marmorated stink bug, and you can enjoy multiple benefits that come along.


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