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Are Stink Bugs Harmful?

Learn About Their Effects on Humans, Animals, and Crops

are stink bugs harmful?

Stink bugs are adaptly named for the unpleasant odor they produce when threatened. Most people find this pest more annoying than anything because they don’t come off as particularly scary and they move slowly enough that they’re easy to capture. Have you ever wondered if there is something that you should be concerned about? Read on to learn if stink bugs are harmful to humans, animals, or crops.

Are Stink Bugs Harmful?


Fortunately, stink bugs truly are mostly just pesky pests for humans. They do not bite or spread disease. For most people, all you have to worry about is the offensive smell they emit when they feel threatened. For a very small part of the population, however, the presence of stink bugs might cause allergy symptoms to occur. The compounds released may cause a runny nose, and there could be skin irritation if you come in contact with a crushed bug.


Like with humans, stinkbugs aren’t harmful to your pets. Some dogs and cats have been observed chasing stink bugs around and trying to capture and eat them. Fortunately, they are not poisonous, and if your pet only consumes a few, you shouldn’t expect any adverse side effects except possible excessive drooling or vomiting that should go away without intervention.

In very extreme cases, if your dog has eaten a significant amount at one time, it could cause a mass to form in his stomach. Consult your vet if you think your pet has consumed too many stink bugs.


Crops are not as safe from stink bugs. In 2010, this pest produced severe losses in some apple and peach orchards by damaging peaches and apples. It also has been found feeding on blackberry, sweet corn, field corn and soybeans. In neighboring states it has been observed damaging tomatoes, lima beans, and green peppers.

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