Stink bug

Class: Insects

Common Name

Brown marmorated stink bug, stink bug, and shield bug

Scientific name

Species of several genera belonging to the Pentatomidae family

Potential Hosts

Peach, apple, nectarine, pear, tomato, soy, peach, apricot cherry, raspberry, wheat, pecan, cotton, pea, rice, alfalfa, and corn

Who am I?

Stink bugs (pentatomids) were given their name due to the malodor they secrete as a defense mechanism when injured or in the presence of humans. The Pentatomidae family contains tens of genera that have hundreds of different species from which only several are considered significant pests: brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), green stink bug (Nezara viridula and Acrosternum hilare), rice stink bug (Oebalus pugnax pugnax), brown stink bug (Euschistus servus), and one spotted stink bug (Euschistus variolarius).

Stink bugs are agricultural pests capable of rapidly reproducing; females can lay up to 400 eggs during their lifespan. Stink bugs cause significant damage to fruit and vegetable crops. Stink bug infestations are likely to cause an overall reduction of yields. Damage is inflicted when stink bugs feed on plant parts, especially on fruits which can lead to poor quality fruits that are unfit for the market. One of the main symptoms is scarring of fruit peels from necrotic zones. Important fact: stink bugs can feed and survive on uncultivated plants and weeds.

Control measures


Monitoring: At least once a week, closely inspect your fields for the presence of stink bugs and the symptoms on fruits described above. Use specially designed traps based on pheromones lures to aid with the monitoring process.

Crops growing inside closed greenhouses or net structures is safer than growing crops outdoors or leaving them unprotected. Closed structures should be pre-checked for existing breaches and fixed as soon as possible.

Conventional (Chemical)

Managing stink bugs is difficult because there is a lack of effective pesticides. The following is a list of insecticides used in one or more parts of the world: lamda cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, cypermethrin, zeta-cypermethrin, and methomyl.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

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