Do Stink Bugs Stink?

Well, if you are browsing through this website you should already know the answer to the question “Do Stink Bugs Stink?”, but if you keep asking yourself, or you came straight on this topic of my website from a search engine, I will give you the answer: Yes! Stink Bugs do stink and this is where their name comes from.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the Stink Bug smell and find the answers to: Where does the smell come from? Why they smell? What do they smell like?

Where does the Stink Bug odor come from?

“Shield Bugs” is another name for these true bugs, and the name comes from the shield body shape of the insects. It’s interesting, but whenever I look at them, they remind me of soldiers. As every true soldier they need their weapons. Mostly not predators, but rather digging for plants and fruits as their main “treasure”, the Stink Bugs need some sort of protection.

The odor of the bugs comes from a toxin releasing gland they have in their bodies. They are situated on their thorax between the first and the second pair of legs, and the toxin is in the form of a bad smelling liquid.

For those who truly love chemistry, I would reveal the secret – the smelly liquid contains aldehydes such as CH3–(CH2)2–CH=CH–CHO.

NOTE: People who don’t love and have a genuine interest in chemistry, please read this and go on and please don’t ask me what it means as I truly have no idea. Chemistry was never among my favorite subjects at school.

I personally don’t like the smell, and I don’t recommend you smelling them for fun. However, you may want to do it, and I cannot stop you if you like extreme adventures but most probably you will come to the same conclusion as me.

Why do Stink Bugs smell?

This is a protection against any outside threat they may feel. Generally, the nature gave them the toxic odor as a bird and other predators repelling “spray”. However, humans are not excluded from the list of enemies.

When you take a Stink Bug in your hand, chase it to kill it or simply kill it with your slipper you may experience the true smell coming from them. Furthermore, if you have a lot of them in your house you will feel this smell everywhere as they will be releasing it quite often.

What do Stink Bugs smell like?

Well, honestly, I cannot say exactly. This is a topic where I truly have no answer for you (but I think this will vary from a person to a person). The only thing I can tell you that to me the smell is disgusting and this is probably because I am not an insect lover. I would also describe myself as a Stink Bug hater, as I had a very bad infestation in my home, and it took me two years until I find an effective way to get rid of them permanently.

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