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Stop Stink Bug Project

Posted by Sharon Durham, Public Affairs Specialist, USDA, Agricultural Research Service in Animals Plants Research and Science
Feb 21, 2017
The brown marmorated stink bug, a winged pest from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are launching a campaign to ask volunteers to count the number of stink bugs in their homes. USDA-ARS photo by Stephen Ausmus.
The brown marmorated stink bug, a winged pest from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are launching a campaign to ask volunteers to count the number of stink bugs in their homes. USDA-ARS photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Calling all insect enthusiasts and frustrated gardeners!  USDA scientists need your help in documenting Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) in your home. Beginning September 15th through October 15th, we’re asking citizens across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to record daily counts of this pest on the exterior of their homes, along with their location and the time of each count. While USDA scientists are focusing on the Mid-Atlantic region, any data they can get from other U.S. regions would also be helpful to their research.

The quest to find out just how many stink bugs there are, and how they behave, is the brainchild of a consortium of researchers from USDA, the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Virginia Tech, the Northeastern IPM Center, Oregon State University, North Carolina State University, Cornell University, the University of Delaware and Washington State University. This project is represented on the website, “Stop BMSB (,” which was launched in 2011.

The project involves more than 50 scientists who are investigating the impact BMSB have on grapes, orchard crops, small fruits, ornamental crops and vegetables, as well as ways to prevent or minimize the pest’s impact. BMSB have been found in 40 states and have caused the most damage in the Mid-Atlantic region. The value of at-risk crops where BMSB have been established or identified exceeds $21 billon.

Because landscape features such as woodlands, structures, roads and different land use types affect the spread of the insects, it is important to collect data related to BMSB locations. BMSB survive cold winter temperatures near farmland in homes, office buildings and warehouses.

Scientists are just beginning to understand how landscape features will be a key component in combating stink bugs. Volunteers willing to count their stink bugs can contact USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologists Tracy Leskey (, Doo-Hyung Lee or Torri Hancock at (304) 725-3451, at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory in Kearneysville, West Virginia.

Participant forms to record BMSB counts can be printed by going to

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Sep 13, 2013

People dont understand how these stink bugs can destroy crops. Recently on out blog at we spoke about how bad these bugs can get. It can really ruin someones garden, or even farmers whole crops. Stink bugs stink!

Sep 20, 2013

killing them by the hundreds each day with 50/50 dawn and water

Sep 24, 2013

I am also killing them by the hundreds. We live in a log house and they are every where. Using dawn dish detergent and water. And knocking them in the solution. But every warm day there are thousands more. They are easier to get in late afternoon when it cools off, they get slower. But I am looking for a better way to get rid of them.

Jen Main
Sep 24, 2013

It's funny, because we all assume that what's eating our crops is the Japanese Beetle Bugs, so that's what we spray for and try to exterminate. Thanks to social media, we only hear about those insects, and therefore feel that those are our only threat. However, I have noticed and abundance of the stink bugs right here in southwest Missouri!! My grand mother started noticing them in her garden and came up with her own spray that included tobacco to keep not only the stink bugs away, but several other insects as well! I think that farmers need to be more educated on the fact that there is more than just one type of really big insect problem!

Henrietta Harvey
Sep 25, 2013

Sept 25, 2013 Today marks the start of the stink bug invasion from the mountain woodlands of Western Maryland. I watched today as hundreds of these defiant bugs started their journey in search of warmer accommodations for the cold winter months ahead. Unfortunately their size and population appear to be greater than that of last year. The major migration appears to be about a four week timeline and generally starts the last week or so of September based on weather conditions. They migrate from the forest and agricultural lands where they feed on trees and crop during the summer months. They gain access through any crack,crevice or chimney in your home. I have spent thousands of dollars refitting a brand new home to get rid of the infestation. We found multiple sources of entry and spent weeks replacing ridge vents, adding chimney caps, removing soffits and adding screens, caulking all interior and exterior trim and siding. I actually felt like I was at war with this BUG. This year will determine who wins... and with all due respect the USDA wants you to complete some ridiculous form and count how many bugs you find where.. Really, How about this: Western Maryland area, thousands of bugs every year, cant enjoy the outside for weeks when the migration starts because it is so bad, Can't count because there are too many, Cant open windows to conserve energy and get fresh air because they enter through the openings in the new casement windows,Cant use the fireplace because they enter through the chimney, Cant stand it anymore and you want me to complete a form. This is unacceptable that this problems is not solved. For the first time I would like to see my tax dollars do something for me and every homeowner who is suffering from this same problem!!Somebody better get on this problem and now before the populations becomes totally uncontrollable. I cannot conceive there is yet to be a solution to this problem.

Sep 27, 2013

During the worst times, (starting now) I use a small shop vac that I bought specifically for stink bugs (it smells too bad to use for anything else!). I spend hours in the afternoons sucking them off the outside of the house where they are the thickest (yes, thickest). That is my weapon of choice and it is kind of fun and cathartic. As soon as I clear a wall, there are more. Not sure if it helps, but it can't hurt and it feels good.

Oct 20, 2013

We've found them in the vast majority of homes we service. While you'll never totally stop them from invading your home, the only way to reduce stink bugs from entering is exclusion.

Oct 23, 2013

We missed the "count" but have tons around our house if you still need input :)

Nov 05, 2013

I didn't know about any of this stuff until just now.came across it while reading up on stuff. I missed the count as well,but I live in south-central PA and had tons and tons of these nasty little critters around my home this fall!i will tell you from personal experience,they LOVE trees!!I live in the woods and now thanks to these bugs,it's very hard to even go outside during the warm fall weather.summer seems to be too hot for them because as soon as fall gets here,they hover around our house.they love our wood stacks,they hunker down in our fire wood that we save for winter time (we use woodstove for heat).I'd give more information if anyone needs it,especially if it helps to get rid of these pains in the butts!!! thanks!

Richard II
Feb 01, 2014

Quick question. Where does the $21 billion damage estimate come from,


Feb 08, 2014

Just to share (since it seems odd to me) - caught a stink bug in my home in Rockland county NY today, a very cold 8th of February.

Kiersten M
Feb 11, 2014

Lori, funny you say that--the whole reason I came on here was because I just recently moved upstate NY(Ulster county) and i have been seeing sooo many of these bugs in my apartment--that's what made me come online to search. Although it may be odd, they are looking for someplace warm and without wasting any household products -- i find that all i need to do is capture them quickly (cup or paper towel) and simply place them outside. They die within a minute from the cold.

Perfumes Femininos
Feb 25, 2014

I hear that they usually stay away from strong smells like perfumes and things of this nature.
Is it true or it is another bs from the net?

Bill Swan
Apr 05, 2014

WOW. Such an awesome article. Thank you for sharing. Pest pest pest. Such a nuisance but we need them. Have a pleasant day.

Sep 15, 2014

If I'm outside with my pets I'll bring a squirt bottle with dawn dish detergent and water and just squirt away. Last summer/fall my back deck looked like a stink bug cemetery. I've bought a stink bug trap for outside what a waste of money.

Eloise Neiss
Sep 16, 2014

I'd like to help with recording my stink bugs, but the link was not on the article on Yahoo, and is not working on this site. Bad timing!

Dan B
Sep 16, 2014

I couldn't find the form for recording stink bug counts on this site..Maybe Yahoo could do a better job of proving links

Donna D
Sep 17, 2014

I'm in Northern NJ. So far, they are limited but I anticipate 50 to 100 per day soon. They fly from our maple tree to the house siding. Flicking them into a bucket of soapy water does the trick to kill them. The question is: once they get into the house (usually the attic where they fall from the air conditioning vents), how do you get rid of them?

Donna D
Sep 17, 2014

PS - the link to track them didn't work for me either.

Oct 07, 2014

October 7th 2014
I have had the worst time this year with the stink bugs. Have killed thousands of the darn things by swatting them with a wooden paddle on the west side of our home. The smell is disgusting. Then I heard of Terro stink bug killer. I sprayed it all around the doors, windows, wood stacks, we heat with wood, and any other cracks or crevices I could reach. IT WORKS LIKE A DREAM ! The seven skylights will be recaulked this Thursday as they are coming into the house that way. I have also been starting a fire in the fireplace each evening to kill any that have entered the chimney. We live on a creek, heavily wooded area in SE Portland Oregon. At least five of my neighbors also have tons of them as well. Friends in Dateland AZ are just crazy with truck loads of the darn bugs. Just told them about Terro.
To many to count, but thousands of them. After spraying the side of the house though, a couple of days ago, they are pretty much gone.

Oct 08, 2014

Diatomaceous earth dusted around doors and windows works. They die within 24 hours once they get it on them. It's all natural. But you do need to reapply it from time to time. You'll have drifts of dead bugs. It's not a miracle cure, but it helps!

Joel Dobson
Nov 28, 2015

This is a modest request that the USDA consider modifying the website name from "Stop Stink Bug Project" to something like "Stopping Stink Bugs." The reason is this: There is a very good charity program in the Rocky Mountain region that was started by a young girl who had cancer. She called her chemo treatment "Stink Bugs." She has recovered, and begun a very nice small charity several years ago named the Stink Bug Project where other kids with cancer could receive a dog as a pet. And the dogs are trained by inmates of the Colorado Prison System. These are not service animals, just pets that do nothing but love the kids that adopt them.
This is not a big deal, but people searching on-line for it may mistakenly assume there is something nefarious about the charity.
Thank you, and please check out the real "Stink Bug Project."

Vickie g
Oct 04, 2016


Ben Weaver
Oct 07, 2016

@Vickie g - ARS has research applicable to Indiana. The StopBMSB project at (NIFA-funded Specialty Crop Research Initiative) has information that homeowners may find useful. On the right side of the screen are two videos that describe strategies to deal with issues surrounding home invasion of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

The video series itself describes the research being conducted – including biological control – the truly landscape level solution to this invasive pest.

Moreover, we now have researchers working on BMSB as part of this collaborative project in Midwest/Great Lakes region (OH, MI and MN).

Lizzy Anderson
Sep 27, 2017

Thanks that really helped

Rhonda Junkin
Sep 28, 2017

I am infested with these stink bugs. I kill inside my house at least 50 to 60 I kill every day, it's time the agriculture finds a way to do away with them. I have pest control come in and it does not help because of their breeding season. I even duck tape my windows and they still get in, there is at least 300 or more around my home, dive bombers. I am not able to sit outside on my own porch which is screened in. Do something about these pest

Alexandra (Lexie) Holle
Oct 04, 2017

We have stink bugs I live Central New York near Ithaca. They are everywhere. Please help

Tammy Qualls
Oct 08, 2017

I have been battling stink bugs in my bedroom for a week. They were all in the folds of my drapes, in and outside of my windows. I removed my window AC Unit and closed my windows. Since then I have only had to drown 2 in soapy bleach water. I live in Wyoming, Michigan.

Charylene Stowell
Oct 29, 2017

We have had a minimum of 2000 stink bugs. We live next to a farm. The true number may be in the 100 of thousands

Apr 15, 2018

I know its years later but I just found this site. 2018 in Raleigh, NC. Recently moved 4 blocks down from my parents house to live with my boyfriend. For 28 years at my parents house, I may have seen, MAYBE, one stink bug. Not even dead ones in the window sills [lots of June bugs though]. In our new place, in the SAME zipcode, they are an absolute terror, they make it inside the apartment [we're four flours up and its newly built]. On the balcony on any given day during the summer we count at least 7. During March we found our first stink bug in the outside storage closet, today April 15th, I saw my first one outside on the porch. We don't know if its the height or because our balcony looks over the retaining pond, but WOW.

Dec 24, 2020

Is this project still in effect? I found a stink bug, and someone mentioned it should be reported to the department of agriculture.