Native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, the stink bug is believed to have taken refuge on a ship traveling to the United States. While it is unclear exactly when it arrived, according to Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, the first specimen was observed in Allentown, Pa. in 1998.
The bugs earned their name from the foul odor they emit when disturbed, threatened or squashed. As of 2014, the bug has been spotted in at least 35 different states, including a group affecting crops, fruits and vegetables grown in the Mid-Atlantic region. The bugs are also a nuisance to homeowners as they shelter in fall months at the arrival of colder weather.