Stink Bugs


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 North Carolina

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.

Because there are many different types of beetles in North Carolina, they can be difficult to distinguish, however our common beetle species can help with this.

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 harmful, 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 North Carolina property, contact your local exterminators for help.

Stink Bug Bites

Stink bugs are not known for biting humans or animals. Their mouthparts are adapted for feeding on plant sap and are not designed for biting, stinging, or injecting venom. As such, Stink bugs are generally harmless to humans and pets in terms of physical harm.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Stink bugs are not considered dangerous to humans or pets in terms of transmitting diseases or causing physical harm. Ho3ever, they are known for their defensive mechanism, which can be a source of discomfort.

How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs?

If you find stink bugs in your home or garden and wish to control their population, there are several methods to consider:

  • Physical Removal: The most straightforward method is to physically remove Stink bugs from your home. You can use a gentle vacuum cleaner to collect them or catch them in a container and release them outdoors.
  • Sealing Entry Points: Preventing Stink bugs from entering your home is a key prevention strategy. Seal cracks, gaps, and openings in doors, windows, and foundations. Repair damaged screens and use weather stripping to ensure a tight seal.
  • Light Traps: Stink bugs are attracted to light sources at night. You can use light traps or sticky traps near windows to capture Stink bugs that are drawn to the light.
  • Professional Pest Control: In severe infestations, consider contacting our expert pest control professionals to get rid of Stink bugs.

Stink Bug Prevention Tips

Taking proactive measures to prevent a Stink bug infestation is crucial for protecting your property from pests:

  • Inspect Your Home: Regularly inspect your home for potential entry points and seal them to prevent stink bugs from getting inside.
  • Remove Attractants: Reduce outdoor lighting at night, as stink bugs are attracted to light sources. Additionally, remove vegetation that may attract them, such as fruit-bearing trees and plants near your home.
  • Harvest Crops Promptly: If you have a garden, harvest fruits and vegetables promptly to reduce the potential food source for Stink bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should you Kill Stink Bugs?

While Stink bugs can be a nuisance, it’s not necessary to kill them. Instead, consider using non-lethal methods to remove them from your home, such as vacuuming or capturing them and releasing them outdoors.

What are the Dangers of Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are not physically harmful to humans or pets. However, they are known for emitting a foul-smelling odor when threatened, which can be unpleasant.

What Kills Stink Bugs Instantly?

To remove a Stink bug quickly, you can capture it in a container and release it outdoors. Avoid squishing them, as this can release their odor.

What Attracts Stink Bugs to my House?

Stink bugs are attracted to sources of warmth, light, and potential food. They may enter homes seeking shelter and warmth during the fall and winter months.