How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Stink bugs

Stink bugs are shield-shaped bugs with a large scutellum or triangle on their backs. Most bugs are brown or green with red, pink, or yellow markings.

Identification of species | Life cycle


Stink bugs attack a variety of fruits and vegetables from stone fruits to pears to beans to tomatoes, often leaving blemishes, depressions, or brown drops of excrement. On green tomatoes, damage appears as dark pinpricks surrounded by a light discolored area that remains green or turns yellow when fruit ripen. Areas beneath spots on tomatoes or depressed areas on pears become white and pithy but remain firm as the fruit ripens. On peaches, fruit turns brown and corky.


Handpick bugs or their eggs. Eliminate groundcovers or weedy areas in early spring before populations build up. Insecticides are generally not recommended in gardens for stink bugs. Parasites and general predators may contribute to control.

Consperse stink bug adult
Consperse stink bug adult

Damage to tomato
Damage to tomato

Damage to apple
Damage to apple

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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