Stink bugs earn their common name from the offensive odor they emit when bothered. Several thousand species of these pests exist worldwide, and all share this defense mechanism against predators. Often mistaken for squash bugs, stink bugs aren't as particular about the plants they damage. They feed on beans, peppers, tomatoes and many other garden favorites, as well as squash. Some also spread plant diseases. The brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive Asian insect, causes added turmoil in fall, when they try to enter homes to overwinter.
Identification: With so many species, stink bugs vary significantly in appearance. The shield-shaped adults typically grow up to 5/8 inch long and nearly as wide. The most common types range in color from mottled brown and cream to green, but some species carry brightly colored markings. Smaller, rounder nymphs vary from yellow and orange to black, brown, red and green. Clustered eggs also vary in color and shape, but they often look like tiny barrels.
Signs/Damage: Stink bugs damage plants by piercing and sucking plant sap from leaves, buds, blossoms and fruit. Damage kills seedlings, stunts plant growth, wilts leaves and creates superficial spots and pits. Fruit may drop, become deformed or fail to form at all.
Control: Effective stink bug management controls these pests in the garden and when they attempt to enter your home. GardenTech® brand offers highly effective products to kill stink bugs on contact and keep protecting for up to three months. These non-staining products treat your home's perimeter and foundation up to a maximum height of 3 feet. You can also treat vegetable garden favorites such as tomatoes and peppers right up to one day before harvest:*
- Sevin® Insect Killer Concentrate, used with a pump-style sprayer, simplifies treating garden areas and foundation cracks and crevices where stink bugs may find their way in. Use the easy-to-use measuring cap, add the appropriate amount of water to your sprayer, and mix well. Cover all surfaces thoroughly, including the undersides of plant leaves.
- Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Spray attaches to a common garden hose to make garden and foundation treatments simple and fast. The product automatically measures and mixes with hose water as you spray, providing plants and foundations with thorough, uniform coverage.
Tip: Garden mulch and plant debris provide stink bugs with hiding places in summer and protected areas to overwinter. Keep gardens free from mulch, leaf litter and other garden debris.
* Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully, including pre-harvest intervals for edible crops.
GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.
Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.
- "Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris)" by Ryan Hodnett licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
- "It's Baby Stink Bug Season!" by Katja Schulz licensed under CC BY 2.0