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Do Stink Bugs Bite Humans?

During the late summer and early fall seasons, strange-looking shield-shaped insects start to appear indoors and on the sides of houses, The fast spreading pests during this time of year will also attack plants in gardens and on farms. What are they? Well, more than likely they are stink bugs and they come out in very large numbers, draining the juices from fruits, vegetables and plants, making them unsalable and unusable.

Because stink bugs emerge in such large numbers, they appear will infest properties quickly. The flying insects are larger than mosquitoes and some spiders, causing many property owners to worry One of the questions that we at Ehrlich get asked most often about stink bugs is: do they bite?

If you are seeing too many stink bugs around your home or property and are worried about what they can do to your garden, farm, crops, vegetables or family, then contact Ehrlich today and discuss how we can protect your home and property.


What is a stink bug?

The first question you might be asking is: what is a stink bug? A stink bug is in an invasive insect that came over to the U.S. from Asia. Most likely it was transported in goods from Japan or some other region. They were first discovered in Pennsylvania in 1998 and quickly spread across the country.

The most common species in North America is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and their scientific name is Halyomorpha halys. The BMSB is about 1.7 centimeters long and just about as wide. They are brown with white spots or stripes and one of their most distinguishing characteristics is they are shield-shaped, with wide “shoulders” and a body that tapers at the end.

Stink bugs are very adaptable to climates, but prefer it warmer, although they usually find a way to get inside structures during cold months and thrive throughout the winter. They are also very strong flyers.

Will stink bugs bite people?

Stink bugs prefer to feed off of vegetables and fruit. They use their mouthparts to pierce the skin of fruits and vegetables and drink the juices within. This usually leaves dark, shrunken and shriveled marks on the produce that makes them unsalable.

It is extremely unlikely that a stink bug will bite a person. Is it out of the realm of possibility? It cannot be ruled out, but the person would have to be handling the insect in such a threatening way that it would bite out of pure defense and stink bugs prefer to release a powerful and offensive scent as their first line of defense before they resort to biting.

So, if you have seen a lot of stink bugs and perhaps even seen one land on you, and find that you have a bite, more than likely it is that of a mosquito or some other insect. Stink bugs do not suck blood, do not wish to consume anything that mammals have and do not seek out humans or animals to feed on. If, however, you notice a peculiar and powerful smell from where the stink bugs congregate, or after you crush one, or see the feeding marks on your vegetables - now you’ve spotted the signs of stink bugs.

What do stink bugs do?

Stink bugs actually give off offensive-smelling chemicals for defense from predators. In particular, brown marmorated stink bugs can bring on allergic reactions for people with sensitivity to their smell. The positive side is if the idea of a stink bug bite is scary to you, don't get too concerned about this bug biting you.

Are stink bugs harmful?

Stink bugs can harm crops such as apples. You do need to be careful if you touch them, to make sure they do not give off their smell. Still, they do not have a reputation for biting humans or harming property.

Do stink bugs pose risks to pets?

There are no known risks to your pets from stink bugs. They are no more likely to bite pets such as dogs, cats and other animals that might run into them than they are humans. They do not have venom, they do no secrete venom and they pose no serious health risk to pets. 

If you have a problem with too many stink bugs around your home or property, in your garden or inside your home, the contact the Erhlich stink bugs specialists.

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