Stink Bug


Actual Size: ¾”

Characteristics: Marbled grayish-brown

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: 2 pairs

Habitat: Outdoors, they are near trees. Inside, they will congregate in sun-lit areas.


  • Emits a putrid smell when crushed, frightened, or disturbed.
  • Can cause severe damage to several crops, including fruit trees.
  • During fall, will sometimes enter homes in large numbers to overwinter.

Stink Bugs in Suffolk County & Nassau County

Stink bugs are large, oval, or shield-shaped insects found throughout the United States. They get their common name from the odor of the chemical that they produce in glands on their abdomen, possibly as a defense against predators. Stink bugs are primarily cropping pests, damaging fruit and fruit trees. They can become a nuisance pest for homeowners when they enter homes in the fall looking for warmth. Stink bugs are attracted to the south side of structures on warm fall days in search of protected, overwintering sites and can enter homes in large numbers.

Stink Bug Habitat

In the wild, stink bug adults spend the winter months in cracks or under the peeling bark of older or dead trees. In early autumn, stink bugs look for wintering sites. Outdoors, they can often be found on the outsides of buildings, in leaf litter and vegetation. When brown marmorated stink bugs enter homes, they congregate near doors, windows, and other entry points. They seek out narrow spaces to hide, preferring high and cool locations. Stink bugs can be found in cracks under or behind baseboards, around window and door trim, and around exhaust fans or lights in ceilings. In the spring, adults move from overwintering sites to host plants.

Stink Bug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Stink bugs do not bite or sting and are not harmful to people, houses, or pets. While the insects are not dangerous, they are noisy and notorious for their pungent smell. Homeowners are sometimes alarmed when stink bugs enter homes in large numbers. Although stink bugs will not reproduce or cause damage inside structures, they will emit a pungent odor when crushed or disturbed and can stain surfaces.

If you have a stink bug problem in your Suffolk County & Nassau County property, contact your local exterminators for help.

Stink Bug FAQs

What Do Stink Bugs Look Like?

Stink bugs are shield-shaped insects typically about half an inch long. They have distinctive antennae and a set of wings that form a shield-like pattern when at rest. The coloration varies, but they often have mottled brown or green shades. One of their notable features is the ability to emit a foul-smelling odor as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened. This odor serves as a deterrent to predators and can be quite pungent, hence the name “stink bugs.”

What Are the Signs of Stink Bugs?

Signs of stink bug infestation include the presence of these shield-shaped insects in and around your home, especially during the fall when they seek shelter for the winter. Stink bugs are attracted to light, so you may find them around windows. Additionally, their feeding activity on plants can lead to characteristic damage like stippling or discoloration. If disturbed or crushed, stink bugs emit a distinct and unpleasant odor. Indoor sightings, particularly in large numbers, may indicate an infestation, and finding these insects during colder months suggests they are seeking refuge indoors. Regular inspections and prompt action can help address stink bug issues.

What Damage Do Stink Bugs Cause?

Stink bugs primarily cause damage to plants by feeding on them, leading to stippling and discoloration. Their agricultural impact is a concern for crops and fruits. When invading homes, especially in the fall and winter, they become a nuisance due to their sheer numbers and the unpleasant odor they emit when threatened. While not harmful to humans or pets, stink bugs are more of an agricultural pest, causing economic damage rather than posing a direct threat to households.

How Do You Prevent Stink Bugs?

The best way to prevent problems with stink bugs is to fix the areas found in and around your home that may allow them inside. Make sure to seal any cracks or holes in your foundation, and fix and/or replace any loose siding. You should also caulk gaps found around windows, make sure that the screens in doors and windows are intact, and check existing door sweeps to be sure they are in good working order, or install new door sweeps on all exterior doors. It can also be helpful to place any vegetable gardens a good distance away from the exterior of your home.

How Do I Get Rid of Stink Bugs?

To get rid of stink bugs, employ preventive measures like sealing entry points, repairing screens, and using weather stripping. Vacuum or handpick stink bugs and dispose of them outdoors. Avoid crushing them to prevent the release of their unpleasant odor. Professional pest control treatments can be the best way to keep these pests out of your home.

Can Stink Bugs Hurt Me?

Stink bugs are not a danger to people as they do not bite or sting. They can, however, leave a foul odor if threatened or squished.