How Strong is the Odor from a Stink Bug?

By Jane Meggitt

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Not only is the brown marmorated stink bug an invasive species and an agricultural pest, he might also invade your home to escape cold weather. While stink bugs hibernate in the winter, in the springtime you'll find them trying to get back outside. If you've ever stepped on or otherwise smashed a stink bug, you know how they came by their name.

Why They Stink

Stink bugs don't have the ability to sting or bite their predators, but they can release a smelly chemical produced in an abdominal gland to repel larger insects that want to eat them. While stink bugs don't usually release that odor unless disturbed, it can happen.

Avoiding the Stink

If you find a few stink bugs in your home, catch them and put them outside. If you've got a lot of stink bugs indoors, call an exterminator. Just don't crush them if you want to avoid the stink bug olfactory experience. The smell can be described as a cross between old gym socks and mild skunk. While it's strongest right after the bug is crushed, it can linger in the air for hours afterward.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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