Stink Bugs vs. June Bugs – What to Know

Stink bugs and June bugs look quite different. Stink bugs tend to look woody, while June bugs, which are also called May beetles, look like beetles. But both species can be destructive and cause a nuisance

These two bug species have some similarities. Neither bite people. Both are attracted to light, called phototropic. And both are known to pester people around homes and businesses.

Differences in them include the foul odor stink bugs release, the seasonal schedule, and how they pester humans.

Let’s spend some time looking at what you should know about stink bugs vs. June bugs. Here are some of the questions we’ll cover:

  • What do stink bugs look like vs. June bugs?
  • Are they the same thing?
  • Which is worse?
  • Which one is more likely to infest your home?
  • Where do they hide in your home?
  • Should you kill stink bugs or June bugs?
  • Do these bugs harm people?
  • Can they cause property damage?
  • How can I get rid of stink bugs or June bugs?

Keep reading for the answers to all these questions and more.

What Do Stink Bugs Look Like vs. June Bugs?

Player 1: Stink bugs

Stink bugs aren’t quite an inch long. Their bodies are shaped like a shield. They have six legs and three body sections, though it’s hard to differentiate between the segments. They also have long antennae on their heads.

Some stink bugs are broader than others. They also come in different color variations. North America is home to upwards of 200 species of stink bugs.

Common varieties are brown and gray. You’ll usually see black spots or speckles on their backs, too. 

Player 2: June bugs

June bugs are classified as beetles. Beetles are included in the scarab family. Like stink bugs, June bugs may have different colors.

Many of them are brown or green. Green June bugs sometimes have green stripes with an orange-yellow trim going down the middle of their wings. 

Adult June bugs look like beetles. They have stout bodies with hard-looking shells on the outside. People sometimes confuse June bugs with stink bugs, but they don’t look much alike at all.

Are Stink Bugs and June Bugs the Same?

These two bugs are not the same. June bugs aren’t even bugs, they’re beetles. They look quite different once you know what to look for. 

They also behave differently. Though both are phototropic, meaning they are attracted to light, they aren’t typically found acting the same way around it.

June bugs do a lot of busily flying about. Stink bugs can fly but are usually found crawling around. 

While both species are found throughout the U.S., the June bug season is generally shorter than that of the stink bugs.

Stink bugs are out and about mating and living life from spring through fall.

June bugs usually appear in May, hence their other name May beetles, and disappear in the middle of July

However, in warm climates like in the southern states, you could see either of these bugs year-round.

Which of These Is Worse?

It’s hard to say which of these bugs is worse. Stink bugs are known to infest people’s homes. Most of us don’t want a house full of stinky bugs. They can also destroy gardens and houseplants.

They feast on leaves, flowers, and fruit. Add to that the foul smell they’re capable of producing and you’ve got an unpleasant pest.

June bugs are famous for pestering people trying to walk into retail locations and other types of businesses. They dive-bomb customers at the front of stores where the entrance is well-lit.

People often get startled and feel like the beetles are attacking them. 

June bugs also lay their eggs underground. Sometimes this happens under your lawn. The larvae sometimes live there for years, eating and growing bigger. This is highly destructive to your grass

We’re going to say the June bugs are worse, but you don’t want either of these hanging around in groups. 

Which One Is More Likely to Infest Your Home?

Stink bugs are far more likely to infest your home. They usually come in looking for warmth. All summer long they’re outside soaking up the sun and enjoying the hot temperatures.

Then when the weather changes and the temperatures decrease, they start looking for somewhere to do their overwintering. They’re attracted to the light and heat inside your home.

Where Do Stink Bugs Hide in Your Home?

You’ll first notice them around the windows and entrances into your home. They’ll move further into a hiding spot once the weather really gets cold. 

Look for stink bugs hiding in your attic, basement, or crawl space. Sometimes they hide inside closets and walls, as well.

Should You Kill Stink Bugs or June Bugs?

You may want to think twice before killing any stink bugs. When you crush a stink bug, it releases a foul odor from the glands located between the first and second set of legs.

Should you find you have an infestation in your home, you should call a professional pest service to get rid of it. 

You could also just wait for the warm weather. Stink bugs don’t mate inside your home. Once the warm weather comes back, they’ll leave to go mate outside in the sun. 

Killing June bugs could be advantageous. It depends on whether you get to them before they’ve laid eggs under your lawn.

The egg-laying season is in the middle of June. You might do well to place a birdbath and some feeders in your yard. Birds are natural predators of June bugs, so they’ll deter them from laying eggs in your yard.

Do Stink Bugs and June Bugs Harm People?

Neither of these bugs is harmful to humans. They don’t bite. The shape of a stink bug’s mouth doesn’t allow it to bite you. The same is true of June bugs. 

Stink bugs shouldn’t be allowed to live around babies and small children.

Should they encounter one that releases the foul-smelling liquid in defense, and the child gets it into his mouth and swallows, it could result in stomach issues. It’s not toxic but can cause discomfort and vomiting

June bugs aren’t harmful either, but they do scare people. They fly around bumping into doors and windows.

They can easily get stuck in your hair or sometimes slam into your face. It’s an unpleasant experience that often startles some people. 

Can They Cause Property Damage?

We mentioned above that June bug larvae can cause a lot of damage to your lawn. Adult June bugs also damage plants when they eat them.

Stink bugs may infest your home but don’t damage buildings. They do cause damage to plants, though.

How Can I Get Rid of Stink Bugs or June Bugs?

Prevention is the key with stink bugs. Prevent them from coming into your home. In the warm months, seal up gaps, cracks, and other openings. Do what you can to keep them out. 

June bugs are repelled by natural sprays containing garlic. Birds will also keep them away.


Whether you have stink bugs around or June bugs to deal with, the more you know the better off you’ll be. Now you know what to look for with regards to these two varieties of bugs.

You can take the proper steps to ensure a comfortable home and undamaged property.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Stink Bugs vs. Squash Bugs- What You Need to Know

11 Plants That Repel Stink Bugs

Do Stink Bugs Go in Your Bed? 3 Signs Everyone Should Know

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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