What Are Stink Bugs?


Quick Answer

Stink bugs are a type of brown or gray insect with shield-shaped bodies that have large scent glands, which produce a specific odor and are located on the bug's abdomen and underside of the thorax. Stink bugs often feed off of produce like apples or citrus fruits, which can make them a nuisance to farmers and gardeners. Stink bugs are an invasive species native to Eastern Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China.

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What Are Stink Bugs?
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Full Answer

Stink bugs typically use their infamous scent glands when they are perturbed, crushed or killed. The chemicals of this odor can sometimes cause allergic reactions or skin irritation when people are directly exposed to them. Stink bugs can cause particular problems for fruit pickers, as they are more likely to come into direct contact with this species of insect.

Stink bugs prefer warmer weather and usually attempt to retreat into homes and other man-made structures in late autumn to avoid the cold weather. Stink bugs lay elliptical-shaped eggs that are light yellow or yellowish-red. Stink bugs go through five nymphal stages before they become adults. Adult stink bugs grow to be about an inch long and almost as wide. They have antennae and wings, as well as a banded coloration pattern.

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