Tom Wolf, GovernorRussell Redding, Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Facts

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Halyomorpha halys Stål

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug


  • Shield-shaped Insect with needle-like piercing-sucking mouthparts
  • Approximately ½- to ⅔-inch long (12-17 mm)
  • Mottled white and brown, dark brown and creamy bands on the antennae, legs and outside edge of the abdomen (back end)
  • Odor-producing glands used for self defense


  • Native to Asia (China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan)
  • First North American detection: Allentown, PA 1998
  • As of September 2010, officially reported from 34 counties the Commonwealth (see attached map); likely present in all other counties
  • Reportedly found in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming

 Life History

  • In Pennsylvania, one or two generations per year; up to five in warmer climates and in its native range
  • Seasonal Cycle
    • Emerge/leave structures from late April though mid- May; remain outside during warm season
    • Begins seeking shelter between late August and the end of October; increasing presence through the Autumn
    • Overwinters as an adult in warm, protected structures and in the leaf litter and dead vegetation outdoors
    • Will emerge on warm days throughout the winter
  • A single female can lay up to 400 eggs outdoors in her lifetime (one summer)

 Economic and Health Impact

  • Agriculture:
    • In its native range (Asia) known to be an agricultural pest: apples, peaches, figs, mulberries, citrus, persimmons, beans, soybeans, ornamental plants
    • Increasingly emerging as a serious pest in fruit and vegetable crops and home gardens throughout the Mid-Atlantic region; infested fields can experience up to 60% loss in some crops
    • In Pennsylvania, reported losses of approximately 25% in apples and stone fruits in 2010
    • Also found feeding in field crops such as blackberry, sweet corn, field corn and soybeans; homeowners and adjacent states report major damage to tomato, lima bean and pepper crops
    • Physical damage includes pitting and scarring, sometimes leading to a "mealy" texture to the fruit; damage reduces marketability of fresh produce
    • Entry wounds from feeding can allow introduction of disease to the host fruit or plant
  • Non-agricultural Properties:
    • Known to be a major nuisance pest overwintering in homes and other structures
    • Enters through cracks and crevices in structures, commonly around doors and windows, loose siding, joints and through air conditioners, window fans and ventilation ducts
    • Will not cause structural damage or reproduce in homes; odor produced when threatened is pungent and obtrusive, but not harmful
  • Human Health Impact:
    • Not known to transmit disease or cause physical harm
    • Does not feed on human blood or tissue
    • Some people are sensitive or allergic to insect cuticle, proteins or secondary compounds - consult a physician if an abnormal reaction occurs after physically contacting any insect

 Management of BMSB

  • Mechanical:
    • Prepare the home by sealing the outside: fill or repair all entry points, including cracks and crevices around doors, windows, joints, siding and shingles
    • Place a screen as a barrier for ventilation ducts, air conditioners and window fans
    • Dead insects of any sort will attract other insects so remove any dead insects from premises by collecting them with a tissue or the like and throwing into trash, commode or outdoors, or vacuuming them and throwing away the vacuum bag
  • Chemical:
    • Few chemicals controls have been developed for use on Brown Marmorated Stink Bug; those that are labeled for stink bug control should be applied following the labeled instructions
    • General repellant applications done by professional pesticide applicators should be applied by late August and regularly applied through October/early November to repel Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
    • Pyrethroid applications have limited effectiveness as a repellent as they break down rapidly when exposed to sunlight
  • Biological:
    • There are currently no biological controls available for us in the United States

For Further Information

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture continues to monitor the spread of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in the Commonwealth.  The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is participating in a multi-state regional Brown Marmorated Stink Bug working group in an advisory capacity directing research.  The Department is funding research through Penn State University to investigate control options.  The Department is also funding Penn State to modify existing Pest Tracker technology to allow agricultural producers and homeowners to report damage and losses to crops as well as population and emergence data.

Content last modified on 9/27/2011 10:00:05 AM

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