Can Stink Bugs Bite Or Sting Humans?

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Insects are known to have different ways of protecting themselves. Some have hard shells, some can fly away, and some can sting or bite. So, can stink bugs bite or sting humans?

Stink bugs get their name from the foul odor they release when they feel threatened. This is their main defense mechanism, but they can also sting if they feel the need to protect themselves. However, their stingers are not strong enough to penetrate human skin.

What are Stink Bugs?

Can Stink Bugs Bite or Sting Humans?

Stink bugs are insects that are not native to the United States. They were introduced into the country in 1996 and have been spreading rapidly since then. These insects get their name from the unpleasant smell they produce when disturbed or threatened.

These agricultural pests also invade homes in the fall months. While they are not known to sting or bite humans, they can cause some damage to crops and may be difficult to get rid of if these home invaders enter your property.

What does Stink Bug look like?

Stink bugs are a type of shield bug that can be found in North America, Europe, and Asia. They have brown and tan bodies with copper or blue metallic patches on their heads.

Stink bugs are also called “shield bugs” because of the triangular-shaped plate located on their backs. Adults grow to about ¾ of an inch in length, and their bodies are as wide as they are long.

Can stink bugs bite or sting humans?

A macro image of a stink bug.

So, do stink bugs bite? Yes, stink bugs can bite humans if they are feeling threatened or provoked. However, they are not known to sting people. This is likely because their bite does not contain any venom and thus is harmless to people and pets, and they do not spread disease.

However, stink bug bites on humans are allergic to the compounds released by the stink bug. Symptoms of this allergy can include a runny nose and if you come in contact with crushed bugs, dermatitis.

Is Stink Bug Dangerous?

Stink bugs commonly are not known to bite humans, and they do not have fangs or stingers. When disturbed, they may release an unpleasant odor, but they are otherwise harmless.

Owing to this, it is safe to say that Stink bugs are not dangerous to humans. However, they can be big-time nuisances. They are attracted to plant matter and fruits, including the fruit from trees that drop long bean pods.

What to Do if a Stink Bug Bites You?

Bug Bite

If bitten by a stink bug, the first thing to do is to clean the wound and apply an ice pack. In addition, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, lemon juice, a paste made from crushed aspirin, and water are some popular therapies for soothing the skin.

A cotton swab soaked in salt or lotion, white toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, or a cotton swab soaked in calamine lotion.

Fun Facts About Stink Bugs

These bugs may stink but are quite interesting. These are some fun facts about stink bugs

Stink Bugs Are New to North America

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), commonly known as a stink bug, is an insect introduced to North America by accident.

They are originally from Asia and were first spotted in the United States in 1998. Since then, they have spread to many different parts of the country.

Although stink bugs have been present in North America for many years, they have only recently become a nuisance. These insects are known as agricultural pests and can cause a lot of damage to crops.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Don’t Bite.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are non-biting, needle-like insects that suck juices from plants and other insects. They are said to have gotten their name from the unpleasant odor they emit when disturbed.

While they can occasionally give a light pinch if handled roughly, they do not have any stinging apparatus and cannot harm humans.

Unlike other pests, brown marmorated stink bugs are not commonly known to bite people. In fact, their needle-like mouth tucked between their legs when not in use is where the stink comes from. So while they may be an annoyance, they are not harmful to humans.

Stink Bugs Have Very Few Natural Predators

Stink bugs have few natural predators because of their ability to emit multiple scents. This smell can be offensive to some animals, but it also helps protect the stink bug from being eaten.

Additionally, stink bugs are difficult to catch and kill, which means they are able to thrive in many different environments.

While some birds, insects, and reptiles will eat them, they do not consume them in great enough numbers to decrease their populations. This means that stink bug populations continue to grow and pose a threat to agricultural and residential areas.

Stink Bugs Can Emit Multiple Scents

Stink bugs give out an unpleasant odor when they feel threatened or when they are crushed. The smell often seems to be a weird mix of vinegar, onions, and rotting flesh.

This smell is often described as being “skunky” and can be quite potent and may linger in the area for some time.

In fact, these fascinating bugs produce a variety of chemical odors. Some of these smells are detectable to homeowners, while others are undetectable.

Stink bugs can emit multiple scents to communicate with other stinkbugs. One of these scents is used to attract other stinkbugs to a winter hiding spot.

One of the reasons why stink bugs are able to survive is because they can emit multiple scents. This bad scent also results in bad taste, which often concludes in them being spit out by many predators.

Additionally, they also produce a scent that masks their presence from other predators.

Stink Bugs Are Most Prominent Homes During The Fall

Stink bugs are most commonly found in your home during the fall season. This is because they are looking for a place to hibernate during the winter. They will often try to find their way into your home through cracks and openings around windows and doors.

Because stink bugs cannot endure the chilly weather of winter, they must hibernate. You could wind up with hundreds of stink bugs hibernating in your home throughout the winter if they send out an invitation to other stink bugs to join them.

What are the signs of a stink bug infestation?

Stink Bug Infestation

An abundance of these insects characterizes a stink bug infestation. They can often be seen infesting the warm, sunny sides of your home, as this is where they like to congregate.

You may also see them inside your home, where they will likely be congregating around windows and doors.

In addition, one of the key signs of a stink bug infestation is the presence of a foul odor. This smell is often caused by the bugs’ defensive secretions and can be quite strong.

If you notice an odd smell in your home and see evidence of these pests, it’s likely time to take some kind of action.

Inspecting for damage is one way to tell if you have a stink bug infestation. These pests like to feed on vegetable plants and fruit trees, so if you see evidence of chewing or sucking damage, it’s likely that stink bugs are the culprits.

How do I keep stink bugs away?

You can do a few things to keep stink bugs from invading your home.

  • One is to seal off all possible entry points, such as cracks in the walls or around doors and windows.
  • You can also install weather strips to make it harder for them to get in. It is important to seal any possible entrances for the stink bugs. Make sure that crawl spaces are sealed off, and that there is no contact between the outside and inside of your home.
  • Since stink bugs like to hide in the dark, moist areas, you can take some preventative measures to keep them from entering your home in the first place.
  • Remove any vegetation or debris near your home’s foundation, and then close off all entry points from the outside. You can also use a pesticide spray around the exterior of your house to deter them from coming near.

Is it safe to use chemical sprays to get rid of stink bugs?

Pest Control

Using chemicals by yourself could be unsafe for you and your family if not done in the right manner and without the correct knowledge.

Before you take any steps to get rid of stink bugs, it is advisable to consult with a professional. There are a number of techniques to get rid of these pests, and not all of them are safe or effective.

Professional exterminators will have the knowledge and experience to help you get rid of stink bugs for good.

It is important to choose natural pest control compounds when trying to get rid of stink bugs. These will not only be more effective in getting rid of the pests, but they also won’t affect you, your pets, or any other wildlife.

Once you have successfully sprayed to get rid of the stink bugs, it is important that you remove all the dead bugs from your premises. Failure to do so may cause unpleasant smells and increase bug populations.


Even though stink bugs do not bite, when threatened, stink bugs expel odorous body secretions as a defense strategy. Toxic fluids can cause chemical burns or damage to the human eye if they get into the eye.

Patients who come into touch with these bodily fluids should immediately seek medical assistance and rinse their eyes thoroughly with plenty of water to avoid potential vision impairment.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.