When You Kill a Stink Bug, What Happens? – Answered

Ever wonder what happens when you kill a stink bug? Does it stink? Will it bring other bugs around? Should you feel bad about it? Is it messy?

When you kill a stink bug, you’ll notice a foul smell. It’s not called a stink bug for no reason. You may not want them around, but there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t kill stink bugs.

There are some things you should know before trying to get rid of these pests. 

  • Stink bugs release a foul odor when they’re crushed.
  • Stink bugs are known to infest homes, sneaking through cracks and crevices.
  • Stink bugs are attracted to light.
  • Stink bugs are more apt to come into your home when the weather starts to get cooler.
  • The stink bug mating season starts around May.
  • Stink bugs won’t bite you.

It’s important to understand stink bugs before you try to rid your home of them, or you smash one. You may find you create a larger problem than you had, or that the smell is too unsettling.

Keep reading to learn more about these strange pests, so you know what to do should you encounter them.

Stink Bugs Stink

Most of the time, our first instinct is to smash a bug when we see one. It’s especially true if that bug is inside our homes. But you shouldn’t do that with a stink bug.

When you crush a stink bug, it releases a foul odor. They release this odor when they feel threatened as a means of self-defense.

The stink releases involuntarily if you crush a stink bug. Stink bugs have glands right behind their first set of legs. Those glands are where the odor comes from.

What Does a Stink Bug Smell Like?

People describe the smell as strong and sharp. It smells weirdly like cilantro. You can take our word for it, or you can find a stink bug to smash and decide what it smells like yourself.

Read further before you do, though.

Stink Bugs Are Sneaky

These insects are good at finding their way into a home. Even if you keep your doors and windows closed all the time, they have a way of finding cracks and gaps to sneak through

A stink bug infestation is not something you want to deal with reactively. If you live in an area known to have these insects, be proactive in having someone inspect your home for any gaps that need sealing up. 

It’s important to seal up your home if you’ve found any stink bugs inside. If you crush a stink bug and it releases that smell, you could end up attracting more stink bugs.

They are known to follow the smell, and they’ll sneak through any opening available.

They Like Light

As is true of many types of insects, stink bugs are attracted to light. That means that when it’s dark outside, they are more likely to come into your home. The lights in your home bring them in. 

That’s not to say you need to turn off all your lights and live in the dark. It just means those living in areas populated with stink bugs should be aware of lights left on near openings

It also means more stink bugs may try to get inside your home during the colder seasons of the year because that’s when there’s less daylight.

They Like Warmth

On that same note, when the weather starts getting cooler, you’ll likely see stink bugs trying to make their way inside your home. They prefer the warmth

Late spring and throughout the summer are ideal times of year for stink bugs. The long days and hot sun keep stink bugs from trying to get in your home because the climate is right for them.

If you live in a region that experiences distinctive seasonal changes, you should be more vigilant to prevent a stink bug infestation when the temperatures drop. Your home starts looking inviting to these bugs when it’s cold outside.

Stink Bugs Start to Mate in May

It’s not likely the stink bugs will mate inside your home, even if they came in during the winter. The mating season isn’t until the end of spring.

Once the temperatures start going back up outside, stink bugs are drawn out of homes naturally. They partner up to mate.

Then, the female lays clusters of eggs on the bottoms of plant leaves. The season continues throughout the summer.

Generally, females lay around 20 to 30 eggs. They hatch in just five days. In five weeks, they become adult stink bugs.

The average life span of stink bugs ranges from only 50 days to 8 months. It depends on what type of stink bug it is.

There are about 5,000 types of stink bugs.

Stink Bugs Don’t Bite

The reality is, stink bugs can’t bite you. The structure of their mouths doesn’t allow for it. They don’t have teeth, and they can’t use their mouths to pierce your skin.

Generally, all stink bugs eat plants. They don’t feed off humans, animals, or other insects. 

While they won’t bite you, they can scratch you. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Here’s why.

Stink bugs have a hard exoskeleton. Their body shape is wide and flat. The outer edges of the exoskeleton come together in a sharp edge. When a stink bug touches you, you may feel that edge scratch against your skin. 

How Do I Get Rid of a Stink Bug Infestation?

You can deter stink bugs from coming into your home by taking steps outside to keep them away from it. Don’t put attractant plants in your garden.

There are plants that certain types of bugs like. Do your research before choosing plants for your garden.

Also, use insecticides with a broad spectrum. It will kill any eggs and nymphs living on your plants and in your grass. 

Do your best not to leave lights on near doors you go in and out of. Lights attract bugs that may enter your home when the door is open.

At the end of summer, work on sealing up your home. Replace torn window screens. Seal cracks around windows and door frames. Use weather-stripping anywhere you notice gaps. 

Many pest services specialize in stink bug infestation, do prevention too. In regions where stink bugs are prevalent, you may want to enlist the help of a professional.

Are Stink Bugs Harmful?

While they don’t bite, stink bugs can be harmful to small children and pets. They’re not poisonous but can cause issues for kids and animals that swallow the foul-smelling liquid these bugs release.

If you see a stink bug in your home, make sure to get it out. Should you smash a stink bug in your home, make sure to clean up the mess it leaves behind.

The smelly liquid may come in contact with kids’ toys or other items they put in their mouths. The same is true for pets.

If swallowed, stink bug liquid can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain in the mouth and throat. It’s not toxic, but it can be harmful.

Where Do Stink Bugs Live?

Stink bugs live throughout the United States. Few regions of the country don’t have stink bugs. Warmer climates tend to have more of them because they mate for longer in those regions.

Dynamic climates with season changes see less of them because stink bugs hide out during the winter. 

What Plants Attract Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are plant eaters. Several types of plants attract them. Certain grasses and weeds attract them, so it’s a good idea to use insecticides on your grass to keep them away. 

They also like corn and many grains. Fruit trees attract stink bugs, as well. They like pear, peach, and apple trees. Pecan trees bring in stink bugs, too. 

They’ve been known to be attracted to several ornamental plants, such as holly, Eastern redbud, and mimosa.

Try to avoid keeping these kinds of plants around your home in areas prone to stink bug infestations. The best way to keep them out of your home is to keep them as far away from it as possible.

Do Stink Bugs Provide Any Benefits?

For the most part, stink bugs eat plants. However, some species feed on other insects. Those that do, eat moths, aphids, some beetles, and caterpillars. 

These are all pests that often destroy gardens and trees. So, some stink bugs help to protect plants from other insects. 

Final Thoughts

The best way to protect your home from a stink bug infestation is to seal it up. They enter homes through any opening they can find.

Do what you can outside your home to deter stink bugs from coming around, and it will help keep them out.

Though your first instinct may be to kill a stink bug, don’t. You might cause yourself more trouble. Stink bugs are often attracted to the foul smell of other stink bugs.

When you crush one, it releases that smell. So, next time you see a stink bug, think twice before you smash it now that you know what will happen if you do.

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 https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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