Massachusetts
Introduced Pests Outreach Project

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

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Scientific Name: Halyomorpha halys
Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Yellow-Brown Stink Bug, East Asian Stink Bug

Known Hosts:
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug feeds on a wide variety of shade and fruit trees, vegetables and legumes. Reported hosts include apple (Malus domestica), peach (Prunus persica), pear (Prunus pyrifolia), citrus, figs (Ficus), mulberries (Morus), soybean (Glycine max), butterfly bush (Buddleia), Paulownia sp. and some weeds such as burdock (Articum sp.)

Key ID Features (Adults, Larvae, Eggs):
  • Adults emerge from overwintering in April.
  • Adults are about 3/4 inch (14-17mm) in length. They are shield shaped and a dark marbled brown color. The antennae have an alternating dark and light pattern. The rear edges of the abdomen have alternating white and black markings.(Figure 1)
  • Eggs are laid on the undersides of leaves in clusters of 20-30 from June through August. The eggs are elliptical and light green in color (Figure 2).
  • This insect has 5 nymphal instars (immature stages) before reaching adulthood. Nymphs have bright red eyes. The first instar is very small (2.4 mm) and has a yellowish red abdomen. By the fifth instar the abdomen has progressed to an off-white color with reddish spots. (Figures 3 and 4)
  • Flight of adults to overwintering spots begins at the end of September and peaks the third week of October. Adults can become a nuisance during this time if large numbers of them congregate on and invade buildings in search of these overwintering sites.
Description of damage:
  • Small necrotic areas on the outer surface of fruits and leaves.
  • Cat-facing on fruits including apple and peach.
  • "Stippled" areas, roughly circular and 1/8 inch wide, have been observed on Paulownia and butterfly bush (Buddleia). (Figure 5)
Similar species or symptoms:
  • The western conifer seed bug is also known to invade homes in the fall. This species could be confused with the brown marmorated stink bug. One distinguishing characteristic of the western conifer seed bug is the flattened, leaf-like expansion on the hind legs. This blog post provides more information about the difference between these two species:
    http://massnrc.org/pests/blog/2010/09/the-scoop-on-stink-bugs.html
  • This insect does not harm people. The best way to control it is by preventing its entrance into homes and other buildings by caulking gaps around windows and doors and screening openings to the outside such as fireplace chimneys, attic and wall vents.
  • Rutgers has photos posted of insects similar in appearance to H. halys.
    http://njaes.rutgers.edu/stinkbug/similar.asp
  • Stink bugs in the genus Brochymena are also similar to H. halys. Brochymena do not have alternating light and dark markings on the antennae and the margins of the pronotum (the structure behind the head) are strongly "toothed" as compared to the smooth margins of Halyomorpha halys. (Figure 6)
Fact sheets and references:

last reviewed Sept. 11, 2012


Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape Program. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.