New York State IPM Program

An Unwelcome House Guest: the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The shield-shaped adult brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are between ½ to ¾ inch long with grayish-brown speckling on the top and bottom. “Marmorated” refers to the light and dark bands along the edges of the body. Now (April – May) is the time that they emerge from their overwintering places in our houses to mate and lay eggs through the summer. Although the BMSB is not a threat to human health, people become alarmed when large numbers invade their homes (and even hotel rooms).

Note the light and dark bands along the edge of the body.

Note the light and dark bands along the edge of the body.

Did You Know…?

  • Unwelcome, but not demanding: Indoors, BMSB do not form a nest, do not feed, do not reproduce and do not cause damage to the structure.
  • Northward (or Eastward) Ho! The majority of insects will enter on the south or west facing side of a building, which are warmed by afternoon sunlight throughout the winter.
  • Just pretend we’re not here: Once inside, they will hide in protected and dark places, such as wall voids, folds of curtains, and furniture.
  • They stink! While they do not form health risk, they will give off an unpleasantly pungent smell if crushed.
  • Build them out: This summer, seal cracks, crevices, corners, and other dark areas around windows and doors, gutters, flashing, etc. with a highly elastomeric sealant.
It's spring! Time to go! Photo: Dr. Matthew Frye

It’s spring! Time to go!

See The Unwelcome House Guest: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug —A Guide for Residents, Property Managers, and Pest Management Professionals fact sheet for more information on BMSB and how to manage them.

Author: Joellen Lampman

As the NYS IPM Program School and Turfgrass IPM Extension Support Specialist located in the Capital District, I spend my days educating about and conducting research on pests.

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