How to Identify and Get Rid of Stink Bugs in the Grow Room?

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Added 10 February 2022

Among all the bugs that bug your cannabis plants, stink bugs are different. 

And, boy, do they stink! As soon as that characteristic nasty smell wafts in the air, you can be sure that you have a few stinky guests. 

Stink bugs release a foul odor only when they sense danger. 

But, sometimes, you may not even recognize the presence of these bugs until it’s too late. 

Stink bugs are infamous for attacking various plants, including cannabis. They are parasitic bugs that suck on the leaves and flowers of the plant, stealing vital nutrients from them that lead to signs akin to nutrient deficiencies. 

In this article, we will show you how to identify and get rid of stink bugs. Hopefully, you’ll be able to do it before they harm your plants. 

How to Spot Stink Bugs?

Stink bug

Before you go on a rampage looking for a colony of stink bugs on your cannabis plant, you must first identify them. Fortunately, they are easy to identify.

Stink bugs can grow up to 1.7 cm, and they have a wide, hard shell that resembles a shield. Most of them are brown in color with various markings, but some may even look bright green. 

Apart from being a nuisance on your plant, they are notorious for multiplying quickly. They lay several patches of white eggs that soon hatch into larvae, which grow to become adult stink bugs. 

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs?


Stink bugs are harmless to humans — some people even find them cute — but they are bad for your plant. They love cannabis buds and leaves — perhaps as much as we do — and devour the buds while slowly sucking the nutrients from them. In addition, they love seedlings, so pay attention and get rid of the bugs before they attack your pricey plants! 

However, it’s easier said than done because stink bugs are hard to identify and eliminate. They almost resemble your cannabis plants, so it gets pretty challenging. However, the good news is that they aren’t as stubborn as other pests like, say, spider mites. So you’re likely to get rid of them if you prepare yourself.  

They earn their name “stink bugs” because they release a pungent odor when disturbed or crushed. Note that getting rid of them is not as simple as squishing them. No, please don’t try squishing them — you will regret it! Instead, there are other ways to get rid of stink bugs in your cannabis grow room, like the following.

  • Clean Your Grow Room

If you spot any stink bug on your cannabis plant, it’s time to go Monica (F.R.I.E.N.D.S.) in your grow room. First, you must remove all the debris, weeds, and dead leaves from under and around the plants. Doing so should help you clear out a few of them.

  • Remove Them By Hand

As mentioned above, stink bugs release a pungent odor when disturbed or crushed. So, we recommend removing them one by one. Simply pick the bugs gently and throw them in a bucket of soapy water.

Avoid leaving any dead stink bugs on your plant because they may attract other pests like ants.

  • Check for White Eggs

Stink bug eggs

Removing the bugs is not enough — there’s a high chance they have laid many eggs around your cannabis plant. So, look for patches of white eggs on and under the leaves. If you spot any, remove the leaves immediately.

  • Hose the Plant Down

Stink bugs and eggs

Take the plant outdoors and use a hose to wash the plant down. Ensure the water pressure is light, so you don’t damage the plant. 

Before hosing the plant down, shake the plant well — the bugs will fall off — and remove any leaves with eggs on them. Once done, carefully flush the eggs and bugs, so they don’t return to your grow room.

  • Vacuum the Plant

Stink bug closeup


If hosing the plant down sounds too rough, you can even use a vacuum cleaner to suck the bugs off your plant. Just remember to dispose of the vacuum bags right away, or your grow room will smell nasty. Also, be careful not to hurt your plants. You don’t want to cut off the buds!

  • Use Neem Oil

If none of the above-mentioned remedies works, you can use neem oil. We don’t recommend using other potent chemical-based pesticides as they may harm your plant and aren’t as effective against stink bugs. 

Neem oil is entirely safe for the cannabis plant and works as a prophylactic (agent that prevents diseases), keeping the stink bugs at bay. However, they only work against eggs and larvae — you’ll have to remove the adult bugs by hand. 

Many growers fail to kill pests with neem oil. Incredibly, they even end up killing their plants. Why? Because most growers simply mix the neem oil with water and go crazy on their plants. However, if you remember your Chemistry professor teaching you how water and oil don’t mix, it will all make sense. 

Neem oil will leave oil droplets on the plants if it’s not emulsified completely. Pretty soon, you’ll see brown spots, and the plant will wilt. Therefore, to avoid this, use soap water or potassium silicate (commonly known as silica) and mix it with neem oil. 

The benefits of using silica are two-fold. Firstly it provides additional nutrition to cannabis plants by strengthening the cell walls that ultimately help them produce bigger and better buds. Secondly, it acts as an emulsifier and combines neem oil and water. As mentioned earlier, you can also replace silica with soap, but make sure the oil is emulsified entirely, or you will kill your plants quickly.

To make a neem oil and silica solution, firstly combine 1 ounce of water with at least 4-5 grams of silica. You can scale up if you have too many plants to handle. Next, you need to mix the oil and silica solution. A good ratio is one tablespoon of neem oil mixed with one teaspoon of soap water or silica solution you just made. Make sure you use warm water (it shouldn't be too hot!) to make the emulsification easier. Finally, fill your spray bottle with the solution and shake as hard as you can. You're now ready to spray the plants.

When you’re using neem oil, simply use a hand sprayer and spray all over and under the leaves. Avoid spraying it on the plant in the bright sun as it can cause nutrient burn; the best time to spray is just before the lights go off or during sunset. 

Also, avoid spraying it on the cannabis buds as it can affect the flavor. You can use this spray until a day before harvest, so that’s nothing to worry about.

  • Use essential oils

You can also use essential oils to chase away stink bugs. However, be very careful while using essential oils because they are usually concentrated and can harm your plants if you don't dilute them. 

One method is to mix a few drops (5 to 10 drops) of essential oils with 1 gallon of water and spray them on the plants. Or, you can mix in a few drops of essential oil with the Neem Oil solution you made previously for added effects.

Avoid using too many essential oils as they leave an oily residue on your buds. Your buds may start smelling like the essential oil you just used! Also, although essential oils are used in aromatherapy and perfumery, we don't know how it reacts when lit on fire. Since you may be smoking your buds, it's best to stay away from essential oils. Use it only if it's absolutely necessary.

Can I Prevent Stink Bugs in My Grow Room?

Prevention is better than cure, especially when growing cannabis. So, once you are done eradicating stink bugs off your plant, you need to prevent them in the future. 

Stink bugs typically infect your plant when it’s cold outside. They like hanging out in warm places, and what better than a controlled cannabis grow room?

Like other bugs, stink bugs tend to get into your grow room through windows, pipes, chimneys, holes in the walls, etc. So, if you want to avoid them, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Inspect the grow room for any holes, crevices, etc. that stink bugs may use to get in.
  2. Seal the holes and crevices immediately using sealants.
  3. Next, check the windows for any gaps or wide cracks.
  4. Use a net screen on your windows if you prefer to keep your grow room exposed to fresh air or sunlight.
  5. Ensure you have good outbound ventilation in your grow room that does not allow bugs to enter.
  6. If you are growing cannabis outdoors, cover it to prevent infestations.
  7. Lastly, regularly inspect your cannabis plant for any signs of stink bug infestation.

Summary: How to Identify and Get Rid of Stink Bugs in the Grow Room?

Stink bugs have become notorious for infecting cannabis plants and sucking all the vital nutrients from the branches. They may look cute, but they can cause your plant to develop various issues, like nutrient deficiency, stunted growth, or low yield. 

Thus, you must get rid of them immediately. First, pick them off by hand and remove any leaves with signs of eggs on them. If that doesn’t work, you can use a vacuum or hose to eliminate them. Never use chemical pesticides or squish them. 

Lastly, we recommend constantly checking your plants for bugs and keeping your grow room sealed to avoid them in the first place.

That’s it. That’s how easy it is to get rid of stink bugs — an hour of hard work.


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