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Please be sure to read the product label of any insecticide you choose to use to get information on the personal protective safety gear you will need. In most situations, it is recommended that you wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, closed toe shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and goggles. In areas where ventilation is poor, a manufacturer may recommend you wear a mask or a respirator. We have put together two different safety kits that will make selecting the correct safety gear easier for you.

Stink Bug Identification Guide

Learn What Stink Bugs Are and What They Look Like

By DoMyOwn staff
Image of a stink bug on a leaf
Stink bugs, also known as shield bugs (due to their distinctive shape), have become a huge nuisance to the folks all over the United States, particularly on the east coast. While the brown marmorated stink bug cannot bite or sting it does like to over winter indoors. Homes and businesses can be invaded by hundreds or even thousands of these large insects each fall, thus the great need to get rid of them. This species of stink bug has become an ever increasing pest in the U.S. and will be the stink bug we are identifying in this guide.
Diagram of the various stink bug stages and sizes
There are five Immature or nymphal stages of stink bugs and they can range in size from about 5 mm - 12 mm. Adult stink bugs are usually about 17 mm.
Diagram of stink bug anatomy
  • Stink bugs have a very defined "shield" shape
  • Stink bugs have 6 legs
  • Stink bugs have a 2 antenna
  • Stink bugs have a thin pointed mouth part for piercing plants
  • Stink bugs have wings which are somewhat hidden
Image showing stink bug color and markings
The Brown Marmorated stink bug has a marbled body with visible a white and dark brown brown banding pattern near the edge of the its body. The legs have faint white banding.
Image of stink bugs gathered around a window frame
This species of stink bug tries to find a warm place to spend the winter. This usually means the stink bug will invade homes or businesses and squeeze into areas that are largely inaccessible to humans. When bothered or agitated stink bugs emit a foul odor that can be particularly offensive in large numbers.

What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

Stink bugs eat fruits and vegetables and are known to infest and damage fruit trees and vegetable gardens and have become an agricultural pest in some parts of the US.
Map showing the range of stink bugs in the United States
The Brown Marmorated stink bug was originally in the north east. This species has now spread throughout the US and has been documented in most states.

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