Stink Bugs

( Family Pentatomidae )


SIZE: Up to three-quarters of an inch.

COLOR: Green to brownish-black.

BEHAVIOR: The stink bug is so-named due to its habit of ejecting an obnoxious fluid from its scent glands. Some species are capable of shooting this fluid up to several inches for protection from predators. A number of species of stink bugs are known to wander into homes located in rural areas during the summer and fall months. The brown marmorated stink bug is an ornamental and agricultural pest, which like some stink bug species, finds homes and buildings an attractive place to overwinter. Seeing stink bugs inside on warm winter days is not uncommon. As this species begins to spread, its prominence as an overwintering structural pest will increase.

What is a stink bug?

The brown marmorated stink bug is a six-legged insect native to Asian countries, like Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. It first arrived in the United States in the mid-1990s, probably in a shipping container, and has become a problem for farmers and homeowners. Since arriving, the stink bug has been detected in at least 42 states. There are other species of stink bug as well, including the brown stink bug, the green stink bug and the southern green stink bug.

Outside, stink bugs feed on many types of plants. They are usually attracted to buildings during the fall, seeking a protected, warm site to overwinter. During warm winter days and in the spring, one or more stink bugs may “awaken” and find their way into the living spaces of the home.

What do stink bugs eat?

Stink bugs feed on a variety of leaves, fruits and vegetables, including apples, peaches, citrus fruit, corn, beans and soybeans, among others. They can also eat other pests, like caterpillars. The damage inflicted by stink bugs can make crops unmarketable as fresh products, and in severe cases, unusable in processed products.

Tips for Control

During the warmer months, stink bugs are often found outside, usually congregating in large numbers on the sides of structures. But in the fall, stink bugs can awaken and seek a warm place, like your home, to spend the winter. To help keep stink bugs out of your home, rake all vegetation and debris away from your home’s foundation to help avoid attracting pests. Properly seal all cracks around window frames, door frames, siding utility pipes and other openings with a high-quality caulk. Repair or replace any damaged screens on doors and windows.Visible stink bugs can be removed with a boom and dustpan. However, completely removing these pests can be very difficult. If you're having problems with stink bugs in your home, contact Terminix® and let one of our licensed professionals help you deal with these pesky home invaders.