What is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug?

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  • Written By: H. Lo
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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A brown marmorated stink bug is an insect native to the Asian countries China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It is believed that this insect was introduced to the United States between the mid-1990s and early 2000s, possibly as stowaways in shipping crates. The brown marmorated stink bug is also known as the yellow-brown stink bug as well as the East Asian stink bug. It is seen as an agricultural pest.

Stink bugs are shield-shaped insects and can fly. When they feel threatened, they release a foul odor. A brown marmorated stink bug hatches from a light green-colored egg that has been lain within a cluster underneath a leaf. It goes through five immature stages before becoming an adult. This nymph will vary in size as it grows through these stages and its colors, which are yellow, red and black, will become darker as it reaches adulthood.

An adult brown marmorated stink bug is between approximately 0.55 inches and 0.67 inches (about 1.4 cm and 1.7 cm) in length. It is marbled brown in color, but its antennae and abdomen have alternating light- and dark-colored bands. These features are used to identify the insect. As an adult, this bug lives to approximately six to eight months.


Though brown marmorated stink bugs do not pose a direct threat to people, buildings or household animals, they are considered bothersome pests. They feed on a variety of plants and can cause severe agricultural damage. A few of the many plants that these bugs feed on are fruits, shade trees and soybeans. Another problem with brown marmorated stink bugs is that in the winter, they find structures, such as homes, in which to hibernate. They will not eat or lay eggs in these structures nor will they cause damage to them, but they can appear in large numbers and fly noisily about.

The best way to keep brown marmorated stink bugs from coming into a structure is to secure any areas in which they can enter. For example, it is a good idea to seal any cracks around doors or windows. If the bugs are already in the structure, they can be vacuumed out, but as they are stink bugs, they will leave a temporary smell in the machine. Pesticides are not recommended for indoor use for two main reasons. They can be dangerous to people and indoor pets, and the dead bugs that can’t be cleaned away, such as those inside walls, can attract other bugs.


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H Day Case
Post 1

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is a genuine threat to our food crops. It has caused from 25 percent to 100 percent losses for orchardists in the mid-Atlantic states and has become established in more that 20 states including Oregon and Washington.

If it makes it to California's agriculture rich Central and Salinas valley, "Katy, bar the door!"

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