Frequently Asked Questions

Categories

General Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Information

Do brown marmorated stink bugs sting and/or bite?
No. The brown marmorated stink bug does not have the physical capacity to sting or bite. Their only means of defense is their characteristic "stink".
Why does the brown marmorated stink bug collect in large clusters?
When a brown marmorated stink bug finds a site that is suitable for overwintering it releases a chemical called an aggregation pheromone. The aggregation pheromone is a scent that attracts other brown marmorated stink bugs to the area. The aggregation pheromone is not the same chemical that causes them to stink.
Will killing the brown marmorated stink bug attract more?
No. While this is true for some types of insects it does not occur with the brown marmorated stink bug.
Are all stink bugs invasive or foreign to the United States?
No. All stink bugs belong to the order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae with different species occurring throughout the world. We have several native stink bugs in the United States. One example would be the common green stink bug, Acrosternum hilare.
How long does the brown marmorated stink bug live?
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs tend to live between six to eight months.
Do brown marmorated stink bugs have any natural enemies (predators and parasitoids) in the United States?
Yes. Since the brown marmorated stink bug is not native to the United States it is unlikely that its natural enemies came with it when it was introduced into the country. However, there are various native natural enemies that do feed on brown marmorated stink bugs including predatory stink bugs, assassin bugs, and two egg parasitoids. Unfortunately they attack many species of insects. Because of this they are unable to control the brown marmorated stink bug at this time.
Are brown marmorated stink bugs a problem in their native range in Asia (China, Japan and Korea)?
Yes. The brown marmorated stink bug is an agricultural pest of fruit crops and soybeans in Asia. They are also a household nuisance pest in Japan and exhibit the same overwintering behavior that they do in the United States.
If the brown marmorated stink bug cannot harm people or homes, why are they a problem?
Aside from being a nuisance to homeowners and tenants of apartments, townhouses, condominiums and office buildings the potential exists for the brown marmorated stink bug to become a significant agricultural pest in the east. In fact, severe damage to apples and pears has already been seen in parts of Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

General Homeowner/Control Information

How do I get rid of the brown marmorated stink bug?
Please refer to the Control Recommendations portion of our website for information on control.
Why does brown marmorated stink bug want to get into my home?
The brown marmorated stink bug enters homes, apartments, townhouses, condominiums, office buildings, etc. in the fall so that they can stay warm during the winter.
Are the brown marmorated stink bugs breeding in my home? Are they making some kind of "nest"?
No. During the winter months the brown marmorated stink bug enters a type of hibernation called diapause. During this time they do not feed and do not reproduce. In fact, females are incapable of reproducing until early spring.
Will the brown marmorated stink bug damage my home?
No. They are a nuisance to homeowners, and tenants of apartments, townhouses, condominiums and office buildings because they are large, can occur in large numbers and fly; however, they cannot cause any significant structural or cosmetic damage to your home.
Your website says to remove any brown marmorated stink bug in my home manually, why can't I just use a "bug bomb" or something similar?
The use of aerosol-type foggers "bug bombs" or other insecticides may kill brown marmorated stink bugs present indoors but will not prevent more from entering a structure. These materials are also not labeled for this purpose and therefore not legally allowed. Their use may also create a hazard to people using the structure. Moreover, leaving large numbers of dead brown marmorated stink bugs in hard to reach places like attics may attract other pests such as carpet beetles and mice.
I have bugs in my home that look like brown marmorated stink bug but they do not seem to smell. Are they stink bugs?
It is very possible you will not experience the characteristic "stink" of the brown marmorated stink bug. They will usually only release a smell when they feel threatened and people's sensitivity to the smell varies. Also, it may not be a stink bug. There are other similar insects such as boxelder bugs and the western conifer seed bug that exhibit the same winter behavior as the brown marmorated stink bug.

Sending Specimens

Why do you want specimens?
We use the specimens to confirm sightings. If the sample is received alive, we place it in 95% alcohol and save it for a DNA study we are conducting that is designed to look at how the DNA of the brown marmorated stink bug is changing as it spreads throughout the United States.
Can I drop off a specimen somewhere at Rutgers University?
Yes. Specimens can be dropped off at Blake Hall on the G. H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick, N.J. The entomology department secretary on the first floor (room 114) can receive specimens.
If I mail a brown marmorated stink bug to you will it die during mailing?
The main reason specimens die during mailing is from being crushed. This is why we recommend sending them in a film container or a pill bottle. It is not necessary to poke air-holes in the film container or pill bottle.
Would you like me to send you a photo of the brown marmorated stink bug I saw?
Yes. Many people don't like to handle insects so sending us a clear digital photo of your insect will help us confirm your sighting. Please email photo to stinkbug@njaes.rutgers.edu.
I live in a state other than New Jersey, do you still want me to submit a sighting and send in a specimen or a photo?
Yes. We are especially interested in reports from other states because it allows us to follow the spread of the brown marmorated stink bug into other parts of the United States.
I already filled out your sighting form once. Do you want me to fill out another one every time I see a brown marmorated stink bug?
No. Filling out the form once is sufficient.
My specimen died; do you still want me to send it?
If you have never sent us a specimen before, we will accept a dead specimen for confirmation purposes.
I already sent you a specimen. Do you want me to send more?
If you would like to continue to send us live specimens we will accept them. They will be placed in the laboratory colony we maintain for research purposes.

Further Questions/Information

What if I still have questions?
Please send further questions to hamilton@njaes.rutgers.edu.
Will you update me on any new brown marmorated stink bug developments?
Our website is updated as any new developments become available.

Prepared by Collin R. Marchiando.


  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences