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.


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

Stink Bugs in Bristol

Stink bugs are named appropriately because of the smell their small glands, located on their thorax, emit when crushed or threatened. They are a mottled grayish-brown color and have a distinctive triangular shaped plate on their backs, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “shield” bugs. They were introduced to the US in Pennsylvania in 1996 from Asia. Stink bugs are considered to be an agricultural pest and feed on a variety of fruits and vegetables. 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 & 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 Bristol property, contact your local exterminators for help.