Stink Bug


There are many insects that release pungent odors when threatened or crushed. How can you know for sure that it is a stink bug? Keep the following characteristics in mind when trying to identify the smelly insect:

  • Mottled gray-brown in color
  • Around 2 cm in length
  • 2cm wide
  • Antennae has light brown bands
  • Wings have dark bands
  • Triangular or shield-shaped body
  • The veiny skin on the outer body
  • Has five edges on its body

Stink bugs let out an unpleasant smell when swatted or crushed. It is a method of self defense for these pesky pests. The smell of a stink bug clings to whatever is in its vicinity. This is one pest you really don’t want around your house!


Brown Stink Bug on a leaf

Brown Stink Bug

Stink bugs generally come under the category of agricultural pests. But they can invade your home, and they can ruin your peace of mind. The pantry and the kitchen are two very convenient sources of food for the stink bug. They also look for shelter during winters, which explains why the stink bug found your home as a cozy refuge. If you have dense vegetation around your house, your chances of having stink bugs will be marginally higher.

Stink bugs can enter your house through –

  • Cracked windows
  • Damaged screens
  • Broken doors
  • Damaged pipes

And can hide –

  • Behind peeling wallpapers
  • Inside chimneys
  • On the sides of walls
  • Behind light fixtures
  • Underneath wooden paneling

During summers, they gather in large numbers and cling to the outside of walls. In the US, stink bugs are usually a noticeable nuisance around winters. They can result in a smelly kitchen, smelly clothes and smelly air overall. You can’t even brush them away, because they will stink up the whole place.

In short, there are stink bugs in your house because it serves as a convenient overwintering site for the smelly pests. Their needs are being fulfilled and they are safe from the harsh outside environment. Why wouldn’t a stink bug want to invade your home?


Because of the stink, many people would not prefer to directly deal with stink bugs. It is always a better decision to let the hands of professional exterminators deal with stink bugs. However, there are a few home remedies that you can try to get rid of stink bugs.

  • Use a spray made of soapy water. Spray it directly onto the stink bugs on the walls; they will immediately fall. Collect them in a bucket full of soapy water. Then, you can flush them down the toilet.
  • Remove them gently from walls using a plastic bag. Be careful not to crush them.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner on them. Make sure to change the vacuum cleaner bag once you are done.
  • Rub all window screens with dryer sheets. Make sure the sheets are pungent. This will keep the stink bugs away.
  • Kill a few stink bugs and leave them outside. This acts as a warning to other stink bugs, to make sure that they do not enter your home.
  • Repair all leaky pipes, cracked doors, broken windows. Make sure your chimney is not easily accessible.

Life Cycle of Stink Bugs

Stink bugs mate once the winter season is over. Come spring, these bugs get ready for their population to explode. Females lay their eggs (around 20 of them) on the underside of leaves.

There are three stages in the life cycle of the stink bug, from egg to nymph to adult. Nymphs, or hatched stink bugs (which come out 5 days after the eggs have been laid), resemble smaller versions of the adult stink bugs. They are yellow in color, with red eyes. They undergo molting in order to accommodate a bigger body. Each phase of molting is known as ‘instar’. During the fifth and final instar, the stink bug develops wings and becomes ready for the outside world.

Stink bugs thrive in warmer regions. The brown marmorated stink bug can live for eight months. Other species of stink bugs have varying life spans. There are around 5000 species of stink bugs around the world. Stink bugs have adapted well to the climate and environment of America. They have few natural predators, which explains how they breed so easily.

Purpose of Stink Bugs in Ecosystem

It can be hard to imagine any important role for this stinky insect, but stink bugs are actually important members of the environment. Although they can damage crops, they have been known to eat other insects that attack plants. They also unintentionally help wasps and bees feed on plants and trees by creating cuts in the plants. They allow pollinators to successfully do their job!

Stink Bug Facts

Here are some fun facts about stink bugs –

  • The brown marmorated stink bug was first found in Pennsylvania in 1996.
  • Over 200 species of stink bugs are found in the US.
  • Stink bugs feed on more than 100 different plant species.
  • The rice stink bug lives only for 50 days.
  • Stink bugs are often eaten by pets in the house. This can cause vomiting and nausea in the pet.
  • Stink bugs do not eat or breed during the overwintering phase.