Are Stink Bugs Poisonous?

Folks, it’s that time of year again! As fall season approach us in full swing, so does STINK BUGS! If you reside in one of the 38 states that have been invaded by this little critter, you may already know some things about the brown marmorated stink bug.

In the past several years, homeowners have been struggling to get these stink bugs in control. However, with more or less 260 species of stink bugs that can be found in the United States alone, it can be hard to identify which kind can cause trouble to your home and loved ones. There is a lot of misguided information out there about stink bugs. Luckily, we are here to help.

Are Stink Bugs Poisonous
Are Stink Bugs Poisonous?

Are Stink Bugs Poisonous?


No matter how much fascination you have with any kinds of bugs, there is a huge chance you can still be put off by a stink bug. With their well-known trait of having a skunk-like smell when disturbed, it is not easy to love them and leave them be. They even get together in large groups and produce eggs for up to five generations in one year, all they need is a warm temperature.

These stink bugs or brown marmorated stink bugs were originally from Asia and were able to spread into the United States probably through hitching a ride inside a shipping container. Since then, the stink bug has been in the United States leaving homeowners frustrated.

What Are Stink Bugs?

Since stink bugs were introduced in Pennsylvania in the mid-1990s from Eastern Asia, these are considered invasive species. However, this was not recognized or identified until 2001. It quickly spread and invaded across the East to New Jersey, then went to Virginia by 2004 and the North Carolina border.

The stink bug earned its famous name from its ability to release a foul order when either released or crushed. However, many insects possess similar characteristics so it can be hard to tell.

How to Identify Stink Bugs

Stink bugs are commonly described in different versions. Some say they have large-oval-shaped insects, while some say it is more similar to shield-shaped insects. They can be nearly as wide as their length and their legs extend from both sides which makes these types of bugs look even larger. The brown marmorated stink bugs have lighter bands on their antenna and darker bands on the wings.

Adult stink bugs are exceptional fliers. They also place their wings folded on top of their body when they are about to land. The immature stink bugs are called a nymph. These appear yellow with red eyes, wherein the yellow lightens gradually to off-white as it grows

Here is some quick stink bug identification you can check out:

  • Color. mottled grayish-brown color
  • Size. 3/4 inches long
  • Legs. 6 legs
  • Antennae. straight antennae with light brown bands
  • Shape. either triangular or shield
  • Wings. dark bands on the front part of the wings
  • Mouth. piercing-sucking mouthparts
  • Origin. can be found in the Eastern part of the United States

Signs Your Home is Infested

Whenever the temperature outside starts to drop, homeowners begin to notice that they are again dealing with a stink bug infection. Finding a large number of both dead or alive stink bugs is a clear sign of infestation. Stink bugs will usually show up on homes that offer warmth. This will give them the needed comfort and warmth that they need to multiply. To determine whether you have a stink bug infestation, check warm places in your home.

Are Stink Bugs Poisonous?

Before we answer that question, it is best to answer this one first. “What are the stink bugs actually spraying out?”

Actually, there are several different pheromones that these insects use, aggregation pheromone, attractant pheromone, and primary defense.

Aggregation pheromone is released whenever a stink bug finds plenty amount of food supply or a good shelter. This chemical will trigger a signal to any stink bugs near the vicinity to come and investigate, whether it may be food or refuge. This scent does not sink since it is different from the defense mechanism.

Attractant pheromone is secreted to help locate a potential mate. This scent does not have a smelly scent for humans, just for other insects.

Self Defense is a chemical made up of alkanes, aldehydes, and esters that are emitted. For those confused, they are basically spraying out an odor that is commonly found in cilantro. While others compare to smell to high-powered cilantro, others argue that it smells like a spray from a skunk. When stink bugs feel like they are in danger, they squeeze out this chemical spray to try to repel the predator. The secretion of these chemicals is done all for the high hopes of having their predator fall back.

So, will these concoctions of secretions hurt you? What will happen to my dog if it accidentally swallows one? What are the risks?

The secretion is not poisonous at all. However, you might find it hard to wash off the smell after, but it definitely won’t make you sick. Unless it makes your stomach turn.

Swallowing them whole can cause your furry friend to have an interesting time digesting this interesting food choice, but it definitely won’t cause any sort of illness to your pet.

Well, yes. Stink bugs do not cause any damage, but they still are pests though.

How Do I Keep Them Away?

Here are some things you can do to keep those nasty stink bugs away from your home.

  1. Seal all the doors, windows, gaps that are located inside or outside your home.
  2. Fix any damaged or torn screens.
  3. Search for the eggs and get rid of them.
  4. Tidy up your home to get rid of the clutter where stink bugs can hide.
  5. Make sure all crawl spaces are sealed properly.
  6. Get rid of any vegetation or debris located near your home.

Facts You Should Know About Stinkbugs

  1. Brown marmorated stink bugs do not bite.
  2. Stink bugs have few natural predators.
  3. Stink bugs can emit several scents.
  4. Stink bugs are not breeding inside your home.
  5. Stink bugs’ populations fluctuate depending on the year and location.

While stinks bugs can be a nuisance, it does not cause any harm to you and your family. To avoid having your home infested, it is best to seal all entry points and conduct preventive measures rather than dealing with them later. If you are planning to get rid of the insects using a poisonous spray, it is best to consult a professional.

Annika Vallgren

The old housewives, in general, were in charge of everything in a household. From doing budget deliberations, meal planning to implementing actions and everything in between, they are simply the right person for the job, period. A major portion of their time was spent doing laundry, cleaning, and feeding her hungry children, who would come home tired from school. I believe we have a lot to learn from her. So, here you will find old housewife tips mixed with modern life hacks, knowledge about washing and cleaning, and much more the modern housewife needs!

Recent Posts