What do stink bugs eat and how stink bugs look like?


What do stink bugs eat and how stink bugs look like?

What do stink bugs eat and how stink bugs look like?


Stink bugs are the invasive species of pests that are found in foreign countries. The reason behind their foreign origin is that it was introduced in the United States. No doubt, you can spot these creepy crawlies near your house at various locations. They can cling to your windows and can climb up your walls or out of vents that can be spotted easily. They have got their names from the unpleasant odor that is released by them on crushing or as a self defense mechanism. But despite this, you may not have much information about these species of pests. Thus, we are here with this article where you will get a lot of knowledge regarding the stink bugs.

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How stink bugs look like?


One of the primary questions that everyone has in mind is about how the stink bugs look like. The stink bugs are characterized as larger and oval shape insects, which can reach almost 2 cm in length. These stink bugs have 6 legs which are extended from the sides. It is a brown marmorated stink bug, which has darker bands on the wings and lighter bands on the antennae. They can easily fly and can easily land but while landing on the land, they fold their wings on the top of their body.

The major difference between the adult stink bug and the nymphs is that the wings of the adult stink bug are fully developed, due to which it can easily fly. These fully developed wings help everyone to identify that the stink bug is an adult or a nymph.

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Size of a stink bug:


The size of an adult stink bug is generally around 17 mm. The undeveloped or the nymph stage of the stink bugs can range from 5 to 12 mm in size Shape:

  • They are known to have the much-defined shied shape
  • They have six legs and two antennae
  • A pointed mouth that has the parts for piercing the plants and fruits
  • Wings on their bodies that are somewhat hidden


The nymph stage is the undeveloped stage, at which they are much smaller when they hatch out of the eggs. They vary in the colors and for the most common species of brown marmorated stink bugs, the nymphs are generally yellow to red in color. During their development procedure, the yellow color generally fades to white. The bright red eyes are the characteristic attributes during the nymphal stage. They undergo metamorphosis and during each molting, the size of the stink bug nymph becomes larger. At the end of the last molt, the nymph size is approximately similar to the size of the adult stink bug.

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Do brown marmorated stink bugs bite?


There are lots of people who are feared of these stink bugs and they have this question in their mind when they see a stink bug. Thus, let us tell you that the sting bugs are not able to bite the people and do not able to sting as well. The reason behind this is that the mouth of the stink bug is like a needle that is only used to pierce the skin of the fruits, plants, and insects. They use their mouth for piercing and for sucking the juice from that place where they pierced. When they do not use their needle, then this needle is tucked between their legs.

If you experience that your skin becomes red and irritated, then you have no need to worry about it because they do not bite but they have sharp edges exoskeletons that can scratch your skin when they crawl. Thus, you have no need to worry about anything if you got red and irritated skin. Simply consult your doctor and get the medication for curing it.

Do stink bugs emit multiple scents?


Yes, stink bugs can emit multiple scents. They emit the foul odor when they feel threatened. Sometimes they emit the foul smell when they crushed. They do this in order to protect themselves from any kind of danger. They also have the ability to produce a different chemical odor that can emit when the stink bugs find the place to hibernate them in winters. This smell is so unpleasant that it cannot be able to detach by homeowners. And this smell acts as the indicators to other stink bugs to join them for hibernation.


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Do stink bugs breed inside your home?


No, stink bugs are not able to breed inside your home. The reason behind this is that they enter your home in search of a place where they can hibernate them without facing any kind of problem. And in a hibernation state, they do not reproduce and even do not feed. Thus, you have no need to worry about stink bugs laying eggs inside your home. But yes, they can emit an unpleasant smell due to which more stink bugs will come in order to hibernate with them.

What do stink bugs eat?


When we talk about feeding and what do stink bugs eat, then we have found that most of the stink bugs are plant feeders. When they are born, then they feed on grasses or weeds. But as soon as they develop, then they migrate into orchards, fields and residential landscapes. In the orchards, fields and residential landscapes, the stink bugs feed on fruits such as berries; apples; beans; peaches; peppers; pecans and various others.

While feeding, they use their mouth for the piercing of the layer present on the fruit and then they inject some saliva into the fruit. The injected saliva is toxic to the cells of the fruits, due to which, the scar develops over there where the saliva is injected. This scar develops as the fruit grows. While feeding, they allow other insects to enter into the fruit and can allow them to feed themselves. Along with this, the stink bugs also feed on leaves and the stem of the plants. Let us tell you one important thing about the stink bugs that are they can also spread the plant diseases and can become serious pests in orchards, fields, gardens, and farms. But not all the species of stink bugs feed themselves on plants. Some of them are the predators of the insects, which feed themselves on root weevils; velvet bean caterpillars; and various others due to which they have considered as beneficial for most of the gardeners.

Stink bugs are more commonly attracted by the grasses and weeds, corn and other grains. Ornamental plants like the Eastern redbud, holly, and mimosa also is an attraction for the stink bugs. They are generally seen in the crop seasons and they start out on the host plants. Then they will shift to the fruit trees and the ornamental plants and eventually will end up in your garden. You can easily get to know about the infestations of the stink bugs if you see the pinprick holes on your plants that could have a cloudy area below them.

Stink bugs inside your house, typically may not eat anything. They look for shelter inside a home to overwinter. During the overwintering season, they are not feeding. At this time, they look for the warm, and dark places where they can easily hide themselves until the summer season comes back. The most common species of stink bugs that are found inside the homes are brown marmorated stink bugs. They enter the homes in groups during the winter seasons and look for the shelters at your home.

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Foods that fascinate the sting bugs:

1) Tomatoes: These are the favorite for the stink bugs because of the soft flesh that they have. The stink bugs will have more chances to be found in the vines where tomatoes are grown and they pierce through the skin of the fruit with their needle-like mouthparts. Their attack creates the holes and bruises in the tomatoes and makes the fruit unfit for consumption and causes a great loss to the farmers a well.

2) Tree fruits: Sting bugs are the nutrients lovers and they look for the fruits that are rich in nutrients. They love to feed on the fruits that are grown from the trees as such fruit’s sap is sweeter what cannot be found in other kinds of fruits easily. The fruits which can be pierced easily like apple and peaches are their potential targets. sting bugs damage the fruits in a great manner and the farmers, in the end, have to dispose of their damaged fruits.

3) Corn: Sting bugs that live in wilds, prefer to feed on the outer husk of an ear of corn. With the help of their piercing mouth parts, they easily suck out the nutrients out of the individual kernel of the corn on an ear. Thus, the kernel becomes wilted and shrivelled once the stink bugs have fed on them. They destroy the corn even before its harvesting, within the husks.

4) Soybeans: With their piercing mouth parts, the stink bugs puncture the soybean pods and suck out the nutrients and the digestive enzymes out of the grains. Their feeding habits cause the deformation, bruising and halts the growth of the soybean. These affected soybeans are a great loss to the farmers.

5) Ornamental plants: stink bugs are also known to feed on the ornamental plants as well. They are easily attracted to places where there are many ornamental plants. These plants are a great source of nutrition to them and thus attracting them.

6) Agricultural crops: Stink bugs love to feed on the agricultural crops as well. Grains, beans, tomatoes, and peppers are all that they can feed on. This is why they are considered to be a troublesome pest for the farmers.

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How to identify the stink bugs?

You can feel a great mess and problems with the stink bug manifestations in your home or outdoors in your gardens. If still, you are not confirmed, whether you have a stink bug attack at your place, then here we can help you to identify them in your homes and courtyards. They have a shield-shaped body and this is the characteristic that they have. Their body size is of an adult male is generally 17 mm and is with a mottled brownish-grey color. These are the general characteristics of a stink bug body, you can further identify with the following facts:

  • There is a white band on next to last, the fourth antennal segment.
  • There are several abdominal segments that protrude beneath the wings. These segments are black and white in color alternatively.
  • They have long and piercing mouth parts that help them to feed on the plants and food.
  • The underside body is white and sometimes can have grey or black markings. Legs are brown and have faint white bands on them.
  • There are 5 nymphal stages or the instars.
  • The first instar looks similar to the tick or lice and they are not much active, they remain around the place of their egg hatch.
  • Nymphs are having the dark reddish eyes and yellowish red abdomen. The abdomen has stripes of black color as well. Their legs and antennae are black and have white bands.
  • Adult stink bug lays their eggs on the underside of the leaves and is light greens in color.
  • The shape of the eggs is generally elliptical and is deposited in mass.

How to kill stink bugs?


There are various ways with the help of which can be able to kill the stink bugs from your house. Some of these ways are mentioned below:

  • You can make the spray of the soapy water and can spray it on the bugs wherever you see them which helps you in killing the stink bugs.
  • One of the other ways is pesticides with the help of which you can be able to kill the stink bugs without getting any problem but keep this thing in your mind that you need to keep these pesticides away from children and pets.

By following these methods, you can easily get rid of these stinks and protect yourselves. This is a brief study about What do stink bugs eat and how stink bugs look like?