Oct. 14, 2013 at 4:26 PM ET
Brown marmorated stink bugs—whose shield-shaped bodies you may be all too familiar with these days if you live in certain areas of the country—aren't dangerous but they're a serious nuisance. And if you've ever tried to crush one, you already know how they earned their name. Keep the pests out of the house this season with these 5 easy and natural ways.
Use a handheld vacuum with a wand attachment. Just make sure you use a vacuum with a bag, and then dispose of the bag immediately, according to American Pest. Some people with severe afflictions in their homes like to have a dedicated handheld vacuum just for this purpose.
Combine 32 ounces of hot water and three quarters cup of dishwashing liquid. Use the solution to spray the outside of your home, focusing on cracks where the bugs might enter, according to Mother Nature Network.
Ironically you might say, stink bugs don't like the smell of garlic, and tend to stay out of the way when the stuff is in the area. That's why you might try mixing four teaspoons garlic powder with two cups of water in a spray bottle, which you can use to spray your plants and soil and around your home, according to Nature Hacks. (And if you too hate garlic, you may have substituted one stink for another!) Mint works for similar reasons, so you can combine mint oil with water in a spray bottle and use the same way. Note these methods only keep stink bugs away, and don't kill them.
Mike Raupp at the University of Maryland Extension Service suggests making a super easy trap for catching stink bugs in your home. Just take a water bottle, cut off the top, and invert it before placing it inside the bottle. You've created a funnel that can catch the bugs on the lip of the bottle—and you never have to touch them. To stay green and save water, don't flush what you caught in the trap down the toilet. Instead, Raupp suggests freezing them in a plastic bag in your freezer (if that's not too gross for you)!
Check around your house for places that stink bugs might be coming in, and fortify any problem areas you find. For instance, Raupp suggests damaged or out of place weatherstripping can be an entry point—and that's a pretty easy fix. Another simple and cheap solution? Caulk or cover air conditioner units, Raupp says.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.