Seasonal changes in temperature and day length cue stink bugs to find winter quarters. These insects naturally spend winter holed up outdoors, but they’ll also seek shelter in structures like your home. While stink bugs don’t bite, raid the pantry or munch clothing, they do have one problem: They stink.
Stink bugs release a foul odor when they’re disturbed or threatened. In the wild, this smell gives predators the brush-off. In a home setting, the smell lingers long past the time the stink bug may be dead, because it clings to whatever the insect touches.
Outdoors, stink bugs feast on plant material. They cause millions of dollars in economic damage by feeding on commercially produced fruit. Stink bug feeding lowers fruit value by roughly 90 percent, making it unfit for the fresh consumption market and destined for processing.