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Tree Fruit IPM Stink Bugs


All stink bugs have a shield shape (some more triangular and others more rounded) on their back. They have 2 segmented antennae, 2 pairs of wings, and 3 pairs of legs. Adults are usually ⅓ in to ¾ in long. They have piercing and sucking mouthparts, which vary in thickness depending on if the feed on plants or insects. Their scent glands are located on their thorax and release a foul smell when the insect is agitated or crushed. 

Plant-feeding stink bugs often overwinter on weeds, in garden debris, in cracks in buildings, or in tree bark. In the spring, females lay their eggs on the end or the underside of leaves. The eggs are typically light colored, elliptical-shaped or barrel-shaped, and clustered from 25 to 60 eggs, depending on the species. Stink bugs have five nymphal stages, or instars. The nymphs are smaller than adults, but similar in shape. Green stink bug nymphs are predominantly black when small, but as they mature, they become green with orange and black markings.

Predatory Stink Bugs:

Predatory stink bugs have a thick piercing and sucking mouthpart, which they use to suck the fluids out of their prey. Predatory stink bugs are effective biological control agents. The spined soldier bug (Podisus maculiventris) preys on caterpillars and insects that damage crops. They can be found throughout New England.

Plant-feeding Stink Bugs:

Stink bugs that feed on plants have a thin piercing and sucking mouth part. Many of these species are harmful to fruits, vegetables, and other plants. They suck plant sap from leaves, buds, blossom, and fruit which leads to seedling death, stunted plant growth, and deformed or absent fruit.


Jaelyn Kassoy
Last Updated: 
April 2022