Do Cloves Repel Stink Bugs?

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of swatting or stepping on a stink bug, then you’re probably familiar with the nasty odor that follows.

The pungent odor emitted, which has been described as ammonia-like and similar to that of a skunk, can linger for a significant amount of time, especially in rooms that are not well-ventilated. Thus, look for ways to eliminate them.

So, do cloves repel stink bugs?

  • Cloves are also an excellent bug repellent and can be used to keep stink bugs (and other insects) out of your home. 
  • For centuries, cloves have been used in a variety of different ways aside from flavoring food. 
  • This versatile item has been used for anything from cleaning to health and beauty due to its chemical structure and the numerous benefits it offers. 

Here’s everything you need to know.

Why Are Cloves Effective in Repelling Stink Bugs? 

Cloves are made up of chemicals that give off a unique smell that stink bugs and many other insects find repulsive and will try to avoid at all costs.

Pure, undiluted clove oil is extremely potent and is used as an ingredient in many insecticides and repellents for a variety of insects. 

Pure, undiluted clove oil is extremely potent and is used as an ingredient in many insecticides and repellents for a variety of insects. 

Cloves can also be used in conjunction with other common household items and items like peppermint oil that can help rid your home of a number of crawling and flying critters.

Lemons or limes possess strong bug repellent qualities as well. And when combined with cloves, they act as a doubly-charged repellent without the intense smell to humans that most store-bought pesticides often give off. 

What Other Bugs Can Cloves Repel? 

As mentioned above, cloves and clove oils can be used in a variety of ways and for different purposes. Clove oils are fairly potent and should not be used directly on the skin regularly.

Clove oils are fairly potent and should not be used directly on the skin regularly.

In addition to stink bugs, here are a few other common insects that cloves are effective at repelling:

  • Mosquitoes – Whole cloves and undiluted clove oil have been extensively tested against mosquitoes and have been found to repel several varieties effectively.
  • Garden insects – Cloves combined with milk, eggs, hot sauce, and dish soap make a powerful garden spray that can be used to repel common garden insects such as aphids and thrips. 
  • Ants – Crushed cloves placed at doorways, wooden furniture, and in the yard have been proven to drive away ants and termites.
  • Moths – Similar to ants, moths don’t care much for the smell of cloves. Placing crushed cloves in a pouch and hanging them in common areas where you’ve noticed moths and other flying insects linger will quickly get rid of these pests from your home. 

Cloves are often used as an alternative to mothballs and mosquito coils. They do not smell as bad and are also much safer if you have younger children that may come in contact with it. 

Also note that it’s often easier to try to seal up any little cracks and holes in your foundation, window screens, doors, etc. to prevent these little stinky buggers from getting into your home in the first place!

Other Uses for Cloves

Due mainly to its potency, clove oil can be a little expensive to purchase. Raw cloves, on the other hand, are fairly cheap and found in various quantities. If you’re planning to purchase cloves for your bug repellent requirements, there are numerous other purposes that you could use the rest of your cloves for.

Here are just a few:

1. Health

  • Bunions – Soak a cloth in clove oil and apply directly to the area to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Congestion – Combine with cinnamon and cardamom in your favorite cup of tea to help relieve stuffiness.
  • Heartburn and indigestion – Chewing on a clove can help ease digestion issues and even reduce hypertension
  • Toothache – One of the more well-known reasons, chewing a raw clove or applying clove directly to the affected tooth can help soothe the pain. 

2. Beauty 

  • Acne – Combine cloves with honey and lemon juice to create an effective exfoliating mask for your face. This mask is safe to use daily but should not be left on your skin for more than 15 – 20 minutes at a time. 
  • Breath – Cloves can be an excellent breath freshener when chewed
  • Puffiness – Applying clove oil can gradually help reduce puffy skin

3. Cleaning

  • Mold – Clove and water can help get rid of stubborn mold. Apply and clean the area but do not rinse afterward. Depending on the amount of mold, it may take a few applications to remove completely.
  • Must – To remove smells from clothes, place whole cloves in the pockets and under the collar and allow to air outside
  • Odors – Boiling cloves in water emits a strong smell that gets rid of odors in and around the house. 


Cloves are exceptionally versatile items that are easy to find and fairly cheap in their natural form. Like most spices, cloves have a long shelf life and are easy to store in your kitchen.

They make for an excellent stink bug repellent due to their scent that many insects and animals find repulsive and steer clear of. 

When combined with other common household items such as lemons, water, or dish soap, cloves can be used for various things, including health, beauty, and cleaning purposes.