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Stink Bug


Stink bugs are named for their ability to produce a foul-smelling odor when they feel threatened or disturbed. They have a distinctive shield-shaped body that ranges in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch long. They have six legs, two antennae, and a pair of mandibles for chewing. Stink bugs can be gray, brown, green, or black in color, and some of them have red, pink, or yellow markings. Stink bugs can be identified by the large triangular plate (scutellum) that covers most of their back and by the holes on their abdomen from which they release their odor.

There are around 5,000 species of stink bugs in the world, but two of the most common ones in the United States are:

  • Brown marmorated stink bug: This is an invasive species that originated from Asia and was first detected in Pennsylvania in the 1990’s. It is a serious pest of many crops and fruits, such as apples, peaches, corn, soybeans, and tomatoes. It has a brownish-gray body with white bands on its antennae and legs. It is commonly seen in Madison Wisconsin in the fall months.
  • Green stink bug: This is a native species that feeds on plants and fruits, such as beans, peaches, and berries. It has a bright green body.


Stink bugs have a simple metamorphosis with three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The lifecycle of stink bugs varies depending on the species and the environmental conditions.

  • Egg: The female stink bug lays eggs in clusters of 20 to 150 on the underside of plant leaves or stems. The eggs are white or light green in color and oval shaped. The eggs hatch in four to five days.
  • Nymph: The nymphs are the immature stages of stink bugs that look like smaller versions of adults but without wings. The nymphs go through five molts before becoming adults. Each molt is called an instar. The nymphs feed on plant sap or other insects depending on the species.
  • Adult: The adults are the mature stages of stink bugs that have fully developed wings and reproductive organs. The adults feed on plant sap or other insects depending on the species. The adults can mate around two weeks after reaching adulthood and live for 50 days to eight months depending on the species.

Conditions Conducive to Survival

Stink bugs need four basic conditions to survive: food, water and shelter. These conditions vary depending on the type of stink bug.

  • Food: Stink bugs feed on plant sap or other insects depending on the species. They prefer soft or decayed plant tissues that are easy to digest. Some stink bugs also feed on fungi, soil, or animal dung.
  • Water: Stink bugs need moisture to prevent dehydration and to maintain their colony’s humidity. Stink bugs get moisture from the plant sap or insect fluids they consume or from condensation or rainwater.
  • Shelter: Stink bugs need shelter to protect themselves from predators, parasites, and environmental factors. Stink bugs use their camouflage coloration to blend in with their host plants or hide under leaves or bark. Stink bugs also seek shelter indoors when the weather gets cold or dry.

Stink bugs aren’t dangerous but can cause damage to crops. If you are finding stink bugs to be a nuisance, call the Experts Today for an honest quote and evaluation to meet your specific needs!

Kwik Kill Services to control Stink Bugs

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Stink Bug Control

There are many types of common pests that routinely invade homes in the Madison area. At Kwik Kill, we are experts in solving each one of these unique pest control problems.

As the season’s change, so do the types of pests that can invade your home. We have pest control solutions for any time of year, whether it’s raining, snowing or sunny outside.

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