What Do Stink Bugs Eat?

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Updated on March 8, 2023

Stink bugs are members of the insect order Hemiptera and the family Pentatomidae.

These insects are large, oval, or shield-shaped and are good flyers.

They get the name from the odor of the chemical they produce in the abdomen’s glands. Scientists suspect that this odor can be a defense against predators.

They are a common pest and can wreak havoc on your fruit and vegetable gardens. However, many people still don’t know what exactly stink bugs eat, so today we are going to unravel this mystery.

What Do Stink Bugs Eat In the House?

It may surprise you that the stink bugs don’t typically eat anything when they enter your home.

These household pests only invade the homes for warmth which is usually in the late summer or fall. They will remain hidden through the winter and will only become active in the spring.

As the bugs move around to find an exit, they often can come out into your home’s living areas. These bugs can cluster on the walls or inside of your windows.

The best defense against stink bugs is simply to not allow them easy access to your home by sealing any cracks and openings from the exterior.

Vents and open space in the attic is normally used by stink bugs order to enter, so these need to be regularly checked. Any missing or torn screens in the house should be properly repaired or replaced.

Read Also: What Do Earwigs Eat?

Stink Bug Diet FAQs

spider eating stink bug

Do Stink Bugs Eat Spiders?

No, stink bugs don’t feed on spiders for food. Though the spiders can easily feed on the stink bugs.

Related: What Do Baby Spiders Eat?

Do Stink Bugs Eat Ladybugs?

There are several insects that kill and feed on ladybugs. Similarly, stink bugs can also eat ladybugs or lady beetles to fulfill their food requirements.

Do Stink Bugs Eat Tomatoes?

stink bugs eating tomato

Most stink bugs are plant eaters and they do like to eat tomatoes.

The severity of this leaf-footed bug damage to tomatoes will depend on the size of the tomatoes when this bug attacks.

When these bugs feed on tiny new tomatoes, the tomatoes won’t mature and develop; you may find that the little and the underdeveloped tomato will drop off the vine.

Similarly, when they feed on medium-sized tomatoes, they will cause damage, usually enough where the tomato can’t be eaten by humans.

After penetrating the tomato plants, the insect will suck the juice out. If they encounter seeds, they will inject their digestive enzymes to dissolve them.

When the bug feeds on large, nearly mature fruit, it will cause minimal damage, and the fruit is often good enough to eat.

Do Stink Bugs Eat Other Plants?

do stink bugs eat plants?

Since stink bugs are commonly known as “plant feeders”, yes, they will attack plants for their fruits and feed on their juices.

Adult stink bugs mostly spend their winter under stones or various places. They also hide in ditches and along the fence line during winters.

When spring arrives, these bugs become active. They come out of the hiding places and will feed on any plants that they find.

They will eat fruits including apples, peaches, and berries but they will also feast on various garden produce such as beans, green peppers, and tomatoes.

Stink bugs don’t really feed in large numbers like some other insects. But, if their population grows, it can cause serious widespread damage to the plants in the garden.

Many successful gardeners have managed this problem by controlling the environment in which they develop.

They remove as many boards, boxes, and clutter as possible from their property. They will often trim the weeds and the grass around the property and remove any clippings piles.

Read Also: What Do Baby Box Elder Bugs Eat?

Do Stink Bugs Eat Clothes?

No, stink bugs will not feed on and eat clothes. They normally don’t get attracted to the cloth’s fabric and have no desire to feed on it.

Do Stink Bugs Eat Bed Bugs?

No, stink bugs don’t feed on bed bugs.

However, they do feed on species like velvet bean caterpillars, root weevilscolorado beetles, and southern green stink bugs.

Do Stink Bugs Eat Wood?

No, stink bugs don’t eat wood. They feed on stems of plants, but they don’t eat wood.

Eliminating Stink Bugs With Professional Help

Stink bugs don’t usually attack in larger groups, however in case of a serious infestation due to their rapid reproduction, it is recommended to hire an exterminator to deal with this problem.

To help you find the right exterminator, click the link below to receive free quotes from multiple local pest control services that can take care of this stink bug problem more professionally and permanently for you.

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Final Words

In essence, stink bugs feed on apples, peaches, berries, peppers, beans, and various other plants. They use their mouth to dig into and inject a small amount of saliva in the fruit.

The saliva is toxic to the cells of the fruits which further damages them and renders them useless.

However, there are a few stink bug species that don’t feed on the plants. Instead, they are predators of the insects that attack plants.

So, it can be summed up that most stink bugs eat plants and are detrimental while a few stink bug species instead feed on other insects that may be damaging your plants. Too bad we can’t keep the bad stink bugs out while keeping the good ones in.