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Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs: Identification and Prevention Tips

Local pest control services warn about an invasive species that’s hungry for the fruits, berries, legumes and vegetables in your garden—the brown marmorated stink bug. Native to Asia, the brown marmorated stink bug got to the U.S. by hitching a ride in a packing container that ended up in Pennsylvania in 1996. In addition to the offensive odors that they produce, Washing and Oregon pest control services state that the bugs damage young trees and the crops that local farmers grow.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug vs. Rough Stink Bug

Brown marmorated stink bug nymphGenus Brochymena - Rough Stink Bug

The native rough stink bug is a beneficial pest that eats insects like aphids. It looks similar to the brown marmorated stink bug, but has a few distinct differences:

  • Outer appearance: A young brown marmorated stink bug has spines in front of its eyes and along the edge of its shoulders. Adults have shoulders that look smoother. Adult rough stink bugs have rough-looking shoulders.                     
  • Antennae: The brown marmorated stink bug’s antennae have off-white, yellowish or orange bands. Rough stink bugs don’t have any bands on their antennae.
  • Legs: The brown marmorated stink bug has one light-colored band on its legs. The rough stink bug has two white bands on its legs.
  • Wings: The brown marmorated stink bug has dark bands on the tips of its wings.
  • Head shape: The end of the brown marmorated stink bug’s head is tapered and pointy looking. The end of the rough stink bug’s head is more blunt and square.

Brown marmorated stink bugs overwinter inside homes and buildings. As the weather warms, you may start to notice the invasive species around your property. Prevent the bugs from coming into your home by sealing any cracks on the exterior walls of your home and keeping your garden clean. Sealing needs to be done in late September before the insects begin to enter.

If you see a brown marmorated stink bug, employ the squish-on-sight tactic and report the sighting to an Oregon or Washington pest control company like Eden, or get in touch with your local country agricultural commissioner.

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