For the past few years, a stink bug in Ontario has become a recognized issue.

As a pest, it is invasive, and it can be tricky to get rid of. The stink bug in Ontario is an enemy of your crops and leaves a foul smell behind, a source of extreme annoyance.

Whenever you encounter an inconvenience, such as an ant infestation or the emergence of grubs, we always come to the rescue.

Similarly, today, we’ll discuss stink bugs in detail and answer your question, “Are stink bugs dangerous?”.

So, let’s get started!

What is a Stink Bug in Ontario?

A post explaining what is a stink bug in Ontario

Both large, oval-shaped insect and shield-shaped insect fits the description of a stink bug.

An adult stink bug can reach about 2 cm in length. It is almost the same width as its length. 

An adult stink bug in Ontario appears even larger because of the way its legs protrude from the sides. 

A brownish-coloured stink insect is the brown marmorated stink bug. Its wings have darker stripes, and its antennae are paler in colour.

A brown stink bug in Ontario is light brown when it is in its nymphal stage. It becomes yellow-brown as it grows. 

There is no spine in the abdomen of an adult stink insect. Their shoulders get rounded.

Types of Stink Bugs in Ontario

An infographic on the types of stink bugs in Ontario

Stink Bug with Red Shoulders: The rear of the red-shouldered stink bug is formed like a triangle with pink stripes. Adults lack a spine and are green as well.

Spined Soldier Bug: It is the most distinctive of all the stink bugs. This predator’s body is dark red in the early stages of growth, and the abdomen thereafter becomes white in strips. A definite abdominal spine separates its legs.

Rough Stink Bug: These pests are also known as arboreal stink bugs, and tree stink bugs. Compared to other stink bugs, they are larger and dark brown in colour. Their tough shell allows them to blend in with the trees.

You may find these types at your home, workplace, or yard. However, the stink bug in Ontario that you are most likely to spot is the brown marmorated stink bug.

How Does a Stink Bug in Ontario Grow?

Stink bugs have a slow transformation process, emerging from eggs and residing as nymphs until they mature into adults. 

In mid to late June, adult females of a stink bug in Ontario lay hundreds of eggs each, generally in clusters of approximately 36 on the stems or leaves of plants. 

After hatching, the nymphs undergo five moults to become fully grown adults. The average adult lifespan is eight months, and the development process takes around five weeks. 

The number of generations that the stink bug in Ontario can produce annually varies based on temperature and other environmental factors. 

Nymphs, or immature stink bugs, are quite little as they hatch from their eggs. 

The brown marmorated stink bug in Ontario has red and yellow nymphs. The yellow turns to white as they become bigger. 

During the nymph stage of their life cycle, the nymphs’ eyes are vivid red. They go through five skin-shedding cycles. 

Why Does a Stink Bug in Ontario Attack Your Lawn?

An infographic on the reasons a stink bug in Ontario attacks lawns

If you have the following produce near your house, it will be heaven for the stink bug in Ontario:

  • Legumes
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Snap beans
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Figs
  • Mulberries
  • Elm trees
  • Oaks 

Tree fruit, berries, grapes, vegetables, agronomic crops, ornamental trees, and ornamental shrubs are just a few of the many hosts of a stink bug in Ontario.

Indication of Stink Bug in Ontario

Adults and nymphs alike are capable of harm. 

When nymphs and adults pierce and suck mouthparts into fruit, seedpods, buds, leaves, or plant stems, damage occurs. 

At the feeding site, tiny necrotic patches grow as the plant inserts digestive enzymes.

The following are some signs of stink bugs ruining the plants and crops you have set up with much effort:

  • Discolored and distorted fruits 
  • Abscission
  • Dying of the buds
  • Leaf-stippling seeds that are discoloured, withered, or absent
  • Split kernels
  • Delayed maturity
  • Trees with discoloured bark

Stink Bugs in Ontario

In 2010, BMSB was discovered for the first time in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The BMSB has been found and intercepted in five Canadian provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, and PEI.

Brown stink bug in Ontario is generating minor agricultural issues and nuisances in other areas as well, where it has established itself.

The two white stripes on the antennae of the adult BMSB are its most distinctive feature. Because their mouthpiece is made especially for feeding on plants, BMSBs do not bite.

Considering the fact that a stink bug in Ontario doesn’t bite, you may have the question, are stink bugs dangerous?

So, let’s dive into the comprehensive answer to this question below.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous? 

A stink bug in Ontario won’t bite you.

The majority of stink bugs are herbivores that consume plant matter by drawing fluids from leaves, stems, and roots. 

A stink bug in Ontario doesn’t have mandibles or teeth, which would allow for painful bites. 

Rather, the mouth consists of a long proboscis (tube-like structure) that resembles a straw intended to pierce the thin skin of stems and leaves. 

Its body emits a smelly substance that serves as its main defence against predators, including people. 

However, it is not a good idea to kill a stink bug in Ontario on the skin because it can discharge a liquid that could result in minor symptoms like dermatitis or skin irritation.

Is Stink Bug in Ontario Poisonous?

Sometimes, small bugs excrete substances that are harmful to children and pets.

So, the question of whether stink bugs are dangerous is completely valid.

They don’t have any poison or toxins that can hurt people or animals. Although some individuals may react negatively to their smells, this is usually only a slight allergic reaction and not a major health risk. 

Although the chemicals that stink bugs produce make them inedible, inadvertently swallowing one does not offer a risk of poisoning. 

They may cause symptoms like an upset stomach or mouth irritation if you consume them accidentally.

Does A Stink Bug in Ontario Poison Cats and Dogs?

Stink bugs themselves are not poisonous to pets, despite the fact that dogs and cats may be curious about it and even eat it. 

However, pets may respond adversely strongly to the bitter chemicals present in stink bugs. Symptoms including vomiting, excessive drooling, or mouth discomfort may arise from it.

Thankfully, these symptoms are usually transient and will go away on their own. 

Nevertheless, you should keep an eye on your pet and make sure they don’t eat an excessive amount of stink bugs. Eating too many stink bugs may cause a hard mass in their stomach, known as a bezoar.

If you suspect your pet has consumed a stink bug, you should take immediate medical action to treat any possible gastrointestinal distress.

Furthermore, cleaning your pet’s mouth after it eats a stink bug may help get rid of the bad taste and soothe any inflammation.

Learn More: List of Native Plants in Ontario: Choose the Best Ones to Grow in 2024

5 Methods for Eliminating Stink Bugs

An infographic on the top methods for eliminating stink bugs

If a stink bug manages to get inside an inaccessible space, there’s not much you can do except wait for it to come out.

You can take the following actions to get rid of a stink bug in Ontario and prevent it from coming back:

Use pesticides with caution: In any indoor space to take care of a stink bug in Ontario or other overwintering pests, you can use pesticides. A stink bug can spread to other locations, aggravating the issue. Exterior pesticide treatments are possible, but they need to be done before early October when the pests start to grow in numbers. You can make pesticides at home if you don’t want to get the ones with chemicals.

Use a vacuum: To get rid of any pests you find, use a vacuum. We recommend using a shop vacuum rather than your home vacuum because stink bugs have the ability to stink. Seal the plastic garbage bag tightly after emptying the canister, vacuum bag, or filter inside. Any residual smell can be alleviated with a fabric refresher. 

Caulk and seal in late spring or early summer: Gaps and crevices in the structure, such as those surrounding windows and doors, allow stink bugs, ladybugs, and kudzu bugs to enter structures. After all overwintering pests have fled, late spring or early summer is the ideal time to seal these cracks and crevices. Because they are warm, the external walls facing south are the ones that draw pests the most. Pay particular attention to the walls.

Check the attic, ceiling, and crawl spaces because these pests may make their homes there. Check these areas every year in the late summer or early fall to see whether pests are hiding there. If stink bugs are discovered, you can advise your pest control specialist where to apply non-repellent dust.  

Maintain landscaping: Stink bugs can harm common garden plants, including corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Sadly, it can be difficult to determine when they have struck. Keep the plants surrounding your lawn well-maintained. This will cut off entry points for stink bugs into your company. 

Stink bug traps: These are useful tools for managing these pests in your yard. Stink bugs just drain everything of their juice, as opposed to other insects that gnaw through and devour plant material. Thus, it’s possible that when you open an apparently healthy ear of corn, every kernel has dried up. To make a trap at home, add soapy water to a pan with a lamp on top.


Are stink bugs able to fly? 

Yes. When they land, adult stink bugs fold their wings over their bodies because they are skilled flyers. The wings of nymphs are immature. The nymph develops wings once it reaches adulthood. Adult stink bugs have fully developed wings. So, if you discover them flying, you are dealing with the fully grown ones.

What is the severity of stink bugs?

A stink bug in Ontario can harm gardens, fruit trees, and decorative plants. They do not propagate illness or create structural damage, although they do pose certain problems.

Why does a stink bug in Ontario have a bad odour?

Stink bugs have glands between their legs that release an odour that intensifies when you crush the bugs. It fills rooms with an unpleasant scent and requires homeowners to clean up after them on a regular basis.

What is the most obvious sign of stink bug in Ontario?

Homeowners may spot stink bugs inside their homes as the weather cools off in the late summer and early fall. The presence of living or dead stink bugs is a clue of an infestation.  


A stink bug in Ontario can ruin a wide variety of crops as its colonies adore plants.

Fortunately, they are not the most prevalent pest in residential gardens. Large agricultural areas are typically the targets of severe infestations. For plants, a few stink bugs here and there won’t spell disaster. 

Certain plants remain green even after the stink bugs attack them. This only becomes a problem when they get together in large groups.

The strongest line of defence against stink bugs is where they enter. A professional may assist you with an exclusion strategy to keep trouble regions out and an annual inspection to help identify potential issue areas.