stink bug

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Stink bugs

Stink bugs belong to the Pentatomidae family of insects and are also known as "stink bug" or "shield bugs" (because all adult stink bugs are shield-shaped). They derive their name from their tendency to eject an extremely foul and strong smelling fluid from their thorax when disturbed, handled, injured, squashed or threatened.  

Even though they look menacing, stink bugs do not bite or sting people, and will not cause structural damage to properties.

Stink bugs are considered an agricultural pest to commercial farmers due to the huge losses they incur in the produce industry every year, especially growers of apples, peaches, and pears. When it comes to stink bugs control and prevention methods are needed to ensure they are removed from a property and kept away.

Call Rentokil Pest Control at 1300 306 148 or more information about stink bug control, or to schedule a FREE pest inspection online.

Stink bug infestations

When the temperatures change in autumn, your business could become more vulnerable to a stink bug infestation.

Once brown marmorated stink bugs gain entrance into your business premises, via shipping containers and imported goods, a serious infestation can quickly spread throughout your property.

Getting professional treatment at the earliest sign of an infestation can greatly help to reduce the length of time needed to effectively control your problem.

Call Rentokil today at 1300 306 148 to learn how we can help you get rid of stink bugs with our fumigation service for your business.

Signs of stink bug activity

You can actively look for typical signs of stink bugs at your business premises, such as their distinctive smell or the presence of live or dead bugs.

  • Live Stink Bugs - If you’ve spotted a live stink bug at your business premises, you may be experiencing an infestation as the brown marmorated stink bug is known to invade structures in large numbers.
  • Dead Stink Bugs – It is also common to notice dead stink bugs around frequently used entry points, including doors, window frames, and utility pipes.
  • Foul Odors - True to their name, stink bugs release a foul-smelling odor when threatened or handled. This odorous chemical toxin is a defensive mechanism used primarily to discourage predators - like birds and lizards - from eating them.


Brown marmorated stink bug

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive stink bug species that pose a high biosecurity risk in Australia’s agricultural industry.

Besides its pungent odor, the brown marmorated stink bug is most notorious for their high mobility, inclination to hitchhike, and the lack of effective control measure such as traps and lures. They are frequently found on cargo, shipping or air freight goods arriving in Australia between September and April, coinciding with the late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere.

If you have discovered the brown marmorated stink bug on your premises, they must be reported immediately to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources hotline 1800 798 636



  • Adults emerge from their overwintering sites in the spring, usually in early May. After they feed for about two weeks, they mate, and the females begin to lay eggs.
  • Eggs are pale green, elliptical-shaped, laid in clusters of 20-30 eggs on the undersides of leaves from June to August.
  • A single female can lay up to 400 eggs. Eggs hatch in three to seven days.
  • Nymphs range in size from 2.4 mm 1st instar nymphs to 12 mm 5th instar nymph.
  • Dark red eyes; abdomen yellowish-red in 1st instar, off-white with reddish spots on abdomen of later instars.
  • The nymphs pass through five instars (sub-stages), with a molt between each instar. Each instar lasts about one week, before the final molt into the adult stage.
  • New adults start to appear in late July or August.


  • When handled or crushed, stink bugs release a foul smelling secretion from glands on the top side of the thorax & underside of the abdomen.
  • Stink bugs feed on plants by piercing fruits and stems. Known food sources include: pear, peach, apricot, cherry, mulberry, persimmon, and apple trees; buddleia, honeysuckle, rosa rugosa, and abelia shrubs; raspberries and grapes; and legumes, including beans.

Rentokil's brown marmorated stink bug contol service

When you’re dealing with an infestation or interested in preventative services, we can provide you with expert brown marmorated stink bug control advice and solutions. Rentokil Pest Control specialists are experts with treatments for the exotic (notifiable) Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs in the commercial shipping industry.

While stink bug traps and other products are available for purchase, a professional container fumigation, or shipping fumigation service is the best method to both prevent and manage stink bug infestations. Our preventative solution creates a treatment zone around your business premises to keep stink bugs away.

Call us at on 1300 306 148 or contact us online to arrange an appointment to discuss the benefits of fumigation service for your business.

Stink Bug FAQs

  • Where do stink bugs come from?

    The brown marmorated stink bug (the species most commonly encountered indoors) is native to East Asia - namely China, Taiwan, North & South Korea and Japan - and has been introduced to the United States and parts of Western Europe. The stink bugs are exotic pests to Australia, and have been suspected to have arrive as hitchhikers to Australia on cargo/shipping goods, vessels or personal effects, and may be more common during certain times of the year. Stink bugs pose a high biosecurity risk to Australia's agricultural industry.

  • Can stink bugs fly?

    Stink bugs are strong fliers and can fly to a new habitat - up to 2km a day - or may even hitch a ride in shipping containers or on cars.

  • Can stink bugs bite or sting?

    The brown marmorated stink bug is not capable of biting or stinging humans.

  • Why do stink bugs stink?

    Stink bugs rely on their foul smell for protection against predators such as birds, lizards, and mice or any other animals that prey on them. The noxious chemical flows from the two glands on the stink bug’s thorax.

  • What attracts stink bugs?

    Like many other exotic pests to Australia, stink bugs are attracted to the warmth that can be found inside businesses. Stink bugs are attracted to bright lights so it is advised to keep exterior lighting turned off and window blinds pulled down.

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