Name: Thyanta spp.

Alias: Stink bug. That can be a confusing name, because many bugs that emit a foul odor tend to be called “stink bugs”. However, the members of this genus are true stink bugs. Obviously, stink bugs get their name from their ability to release a terrible smell from special glands between their legs. They are generally green in appearance, although yellow, brown and grey are also options. They have a shield shape, like their other true-bug cousins like box elder bugs and lygus bugs.

Crimes: They are known for feeding on all major tree fruit crops. As they feed they distort the look of fruit, giving it a “catface” look. While the fruit is still technically edible, it is completely unmarketable.

Redeeming qualities: None

Sentence: There are pesticides that are labeled for stink bugs, but caution should be taken. Many pesticides are hit and miss in their effectiveness to control stink bugs. The Sevin pesticide label reads “Regional differences have been noted in the susceptibility of… stink bug to carbaryl.” In other words, it may or may not work, and an application will guarantee that only those that are not affected survive. When applying a pesticide to control stink bugs, spot applications are best as opposed to treating an entire orchard.

For more information on dangerous and beneficial bugs, call UI Extension educator Joseph Sagers at 208-745-6685 or email

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