Stink bugs are a common pest in North America. Farmers and gardeners alike hate to see them invade their crops.
A great way to cut down the population in your garden is to get rid of the eggs before they hatch.
Where do stink bugs lay eggs? Stink bugs lay eggs on the underside of leaves. They can be difficult to spot since they’re usually light green or white and blend in with the foliage. You can easily remove the eggs by scraping them off into a container so you can dispose of them.
Because these are destructive bugs, it’s not wise to allow a stink bug population to grow out of control.
Knowing where to find their eggs, how to destroy them, and different methods for eliminating the existing adults is critical in order to stay on top of the situation.
Stink bugs are a very common problem, but you don’t have to let them take over your yard. Read through all of our stink bug articles for key prevention advice and to discover your options when it comes to elimination methods.
Stink Bugs in North America
“Stink bug” is usually a term for the Pentatomidae family of bugs.
They’re shaped like shields and release a foul odor when squished, which is how they got their name.
There are about 4,700 different species of stink bugs in the world (more on that amazing fact here), and you probably have several of them living in your area.
Even though there are thousands of stink bugs, the brown marmorated stink bug has caused the most problems in the United States.
It was accidentally introduced to the country in the 1990s, most likely by a shipment of produce.
However, its natural predators weren’t introduced, so it quickly spread across most parts of the country without anything to stop it.
If someone mentions stink bugs in the United States, it’s most likely the brown marmorated stink bug or the southern green stink bug, which is solid green and can be found in almost any country.
Not all stink bugs look the same, but when it comes to their eggs, they’re pretty similar.
The advice given here is general, so you might notice some variation from species to species, but that’s to be expected with so many of them running around the world.
What Do Stink Bug Eggs Look Like?
Stink bug eggs are easily identifiable because of their barrel shape. They’re rounded and oblong, just like a barrel.
Some varieties of stink bugs might lay eggs that are more round and look like little pearls. If you have brown marmorated stink bugs, you’ll see the barrel shape.
Eggs are laid in clusters. You’ll never find one by itself or in a small group – eggs are usually laid in groups of at least 20, though there may be as many as 100 in one group.
You’ll find them in clusters made of neat rows. Sometimes, the eggs will be piled on top of each other, but they’ll still be in uniform rows.
Where You’ll Find Stink Bug Eggs
Stink bugs live on plants where they can access the fruits that are produced. They’ll go after small plants or fruit trees.
They suck the juices out of the plant, mate with another stink bug, and then lay their eggs on the plant.
Stink bugs can easily move around from plant to plant, so they likely won’t spend their entire life on one single plant, especially if they use up all of their food resources.
Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. You’ll probably never see eggs laid on top of leaves or on the stem of plants, although it will occasionally happen.
Stink bugs don’t prefer one plant over another. If the location is good and there’s enough food nearby, they’ll lay their eggs on any plant.
This makes it difficult to locate the eggs since your entire garden is suitable for the eggs.
When Stink Bugs Lay Their Eggs
Stink bugs reproduce in the warm months and seek shelter once it gets cold. They won’t reproduce while they’re hiding out in the cold months.
This is great news since they often seek shelter in houses, but it does mean that spring, summer, and fall will be filled with new stink bugs.
In areas where most of the year is warm, six generations of stink bugs can be born in one year. In areas where it’s cold, as little as one generation will be born in a year.
Stink bugs only live as long as eight months, so they have limited time to reproduce.
How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs
If a stink bug takes shelter in your home over the winter, it’ll leave once it warms up in the spring and will begin laying eggs as soon as it can.
Getting rid of them as soon as possible is important if you don’t want your plants to die.
Practicing good prevention techniques along with elimination methods is critical! See our Complete Prevention Guide to learn how to keep stink bugs away.
You’re more likely to find stink bugs inside when it’s cold.
Though it may be tempting to call an exterminator to take care of the uninvited guests, this may prove to be a waste of time. Find out why in this article.
It’s not difficult at all to get rid of indoor stink bugs yourself. Places you’ll find them hiding include:
- Inside walls, baseboards, and pipes.
- In attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces.
- Under debris such as dead trees or leaf piles.
On warm fall and winter days, you’ll see them sunbathing on the walls of your home.
(Light is a major attractant for stink bugs, but you can use this against them. Discover how here.)
They enjoy the light and heat from the sun and will venture out of their hiding spots to enjoy the warmth.
While the bugs are sunbathing, fill a jar with soapy water. When stink bugs are scared, they drop straight down.
Approach the bugs and hold the jar underneath them. If necessary, knock them off the wall. They’ll fall straight into the jar and drown.
Don’t squish the bugs! Squishing them causes a bad odor to be released. Choose removal methods that will leave the bugs intact, such as traps and sprays.
(Head over to our article “Best Spray for Stink Bugs” to see our top recommendations for both natural and chemical sprays.)
Sticky traps can catch stink bugs quite effectively, provided they contain a lure to attract them.
The Bug Beater Stink Bug Trap utilizes pheromone technology to lure the bugs to the sticky surface, where they get stuck and eventually die.
This trap kit contains one lure, which lasts up to four weeks, and three disposable traps. It can be used outdoors and inside your home safely.
There are many, many pesticide options on the market, but you want to use caution when considering that you’ll likely be using them on backyard, edible plants and on indoor surfaces.
Natural sprays are a safer option.
Peppermint oil or peppermint oil-based sprays, like Mighty Mint use the powerful scent of peppermint to naturally repel stink bugs and many other bugs as well.
Spray doorframes, around windows, and anywhere you typically find stink bugs to deter them from entering your home.
Because it’s a natural product, you can spray Mighty Mint directly on any infested plants without worry.
Killing adults is crucial in the winter so you don’t end up with a new generation in the spring, but the focus shifts to killing eggs in the warm months.
You should still kill adult bugs when you see them, and you can still use the winter methods mentioned above.
However, if you get the eggs before they hatch, you can disrupt the life cycle and get one step closer to ending their reign of terror.
This is the best way to remove eggs:
- Fill a jar with soapy water.
- Locate the eggs under leaves with a mirror taped on a long stick.
- Scrape the eggs off into the jar of water.
- Dispose of the eggs and water far from your garden.
Using a mirror is an easy way to find the eggs since they’re on the bottom of leaves, but you can always turn over every leaf if you’re patient enough to do so.
You can also squish the eggs, but this is a messy and unpleasant process. It’s easier to drown the eggs and dispose of them after they’ve been submerged for a while.
Neem oil is a great way to naturally deter adult stink bugs.
While it isn’t a solution for existing eggs, it will repel nymphs and adults and will break up the life cycle in your garden by causing the pests to relocate.
Verdana Cold Pressed Neem Oil is a great option. Not only is it 100% biodegradable and safe for beneficial bees, but it is also USDA-certified organic and can be used with confidence in organic gardens.
In fact, it is considered so safe that it is a common additive to DIY shampoos and skin care products as well as pet cleansers and skin treatments.
Pesticides aren’t recommended because they’re highly toxic, but they can be used all year long and are effective against adults, nymphs, and eggs.
BUGGSLAYER Insecticide is made specifically for outdoor infestations. It won’t wash away easily, so it will continue to work for several weeks.
This contact insecticide will not only kill stink bugs but over 50 other insects as well.
Use this product outdoors only to create a protective barrier around your home and prevent stink bugs from gaining access.
Raid Ant & Roach Barrier Spray can be sprayed on the edges of your property and by doors to prevent the bugs from entering your yard or home.
This spray does not leave any lingering odor and can be used both outside and indoors.
Spray along your home’s foundation, around windows and doors, along floorboards, and in hard-to-reach places to form a barrier.
Any stink bug that crosses over the barrier will soon die.
Pesticides can kill plants, so if you choose to go this route, do thorough research to find a pesticide that is deemed safe for plants.
If you want to have an organic garden, don’t use pesticides.
Organic gardening doesn’t use any kind of chemical but instead relies on natural pest control methods like essential oils, repelling plants, or removing the pests by hand.
Stink bugs lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves of almost any plant. They can lay them on leaves of fruit trees or anything that produces fruits or vegetables.
It’s crucial to get rid of the eggs as soon as you see them so you can disrupt the life cycle.
You can also get rid of the adults when you see them.
This is usually easier in the winter since they’re not reproducing and tend to find their way into your home to get away from the cold.
Don’t forget that there’s lots more where this came from. Check out our stink bug page for more information, advice, and recommended products.