Stink Bugs

Pentatomidae

  • SIZE

    1/4in to 3/4in long

  • COLOR

  • BITE OR STING

    No

  • WINGS

    Yes

Top-view illustration of a stink bug.
Side-view illustration of a stink bug.
A close-up view of a stink bug crawling on a leaf.
A top-view of a stink bug crawling outdoors.

General Information

While stink bugs don’t harm people or damage property, they can sometimes be a nuisance in cooler months when they come into homes seeking shelter and warmth. Find out what attracts stink bugs, why they stink, and how to help keep stink bugs away from your home.

  • Stink bugs are brown in appearance and when crushed they give off a foul smell.

  • Stink bugs have beaks that they use to suck plant juices, but they do not bite.

  • Any warm, winter day may “wake up” these bugs and bring them into your home.

Details

  • When it’s warm, stink bugs live outdoors on trees and shrubs.

  • When it’s cool, stink bugs will gather together in large numbers in sunny areas, such as on home siding, concrete, and tree trunks.

  • Once inside, stink bugs will hide under siding and in attics, garages, basements, and sheds.

  • Stink bugs have a special glands filled with a mix of chemicals that emit a sharp odor. When these bugs are disturbed or feel threatened, they release the foul-smelling chemicals to help ward off potential predators.1

  • Stink bugs will feed on trees and shrubs in your yard. However, they rarely create noticeable damage to plants or trees.

  • In cooler weather, they may come inside your home seeking warmth and shelter.

  • Occasionally, very large outbreaks of stink bugs can damage ornamental plants and trees, particularly fruit trees grown by homeowners.

  • Large indoor invasions of these critters can be a nuisance to homeowners.

  • Caulk any points where stink bugs can come inside, including entry points from outside or neighboring units.

  • Vacuum regularly to help remove these insects from sensitive areas.

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