what’s up what’s that bug?
Hello there.
I enjoy the site which I stumbled upon in trying to help my nephew learn more about his favorite past time, looking at bugs. Nonetheless I know think I have an appropriate question with which I need help. A few weeks ago, as the night temperatures began to dip into the 30’s (Fahrenheit), I removed the air-conditioner from my apartment window. Falling from the unit’s crevasses were tens of these bugs, which I have never seen before. This specific window faces the NNW and gets no direct sunlight as well there a number of tress about 30 feet away from my 4 th story, multi-dwelling apartment building in the heart of Georgetown, Washington DC. The pictures a crude, but can you identify these creatures? To be honest I am not typically ‘grossed-out’ by a bug or two, however the quantity here (as shown in one photo) and the proximity of my hands, arms and bare feet to tens of falling, semi-lifeless bugs was odd… Hope all is well. Thanks!
Washington, DC

Hi Victor,
Your home is being invaded by Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae. Many True Bugs, including Stink Bugs, Western Conifer Seed Bugs and Boxelder Bugs, invade homes to excape the cold of winter. Your photo does not have enough detail to get an exact species identification, but there are individuals in several genera pictured on BugGuide that look very close. These include Apateticus, Banasa, Euschistus, Menecles, and the predatory Spined Soldier Bug in the genus Podisus.

Update: from Eric Eaton (11/28/2007)
I have the unfortunate answer to the “stink bug home invasion.” The species in the image is the recently introduced “brown marmorated stink bug,” Halyomorpha halys. It is well known for its habit of congregating on, or in, homes to overwinter, in contrast to our native stink bug species. So far, Halyomorpha halys is known mostly from Pennsylvania and adjacent states (and District of Columbia, obviously), but other populations have turned up in Oregon and elsewhere. It is a good idea for anyone with invading stink bugs to alert their state department of agriculture to positively identify the offending insects.

3 Responses to Stink Bug Home Invasion: But What Species???

  1. Dianausmcwife says:

    Ok I love this site. We just moved here to Washington DC on military orders in late summer. I am a smoker so I step outside often. I would see this bug all the time well not that it is cold, they are invading my home. Ok well more like my upstairs bathrooms. It is odd cause they never fly out. But anyway. My son and I just had a encounter with one while brushing his teeth and I said enough is enough I need to find out what this ugly and loud bug is. When it flies it sounds like a mini lawn mower..

    Ok so from Eric’s last post I was able to tell what that icky bug was. (and thank you V.M from Washington, D.C cause your picture helped me a lot) and anyway was able to do some more research on it.. There is a study going on right now of these things and here is the link.

    There you can put your info in and they said they will call you to confirm. Also they said if you can send a live sample in, that would be great too. Right now my bug is locked in the bathroom.. so when my husband wakes up, he will have the honors.

    I am thinking though that we have really poor bathroom vents and they are coming though that way. We live on Bolling AFB (navy side, so not kept up as much) and they are housing them selves in our bathrooms. They never leave even when the door is open. I am not about to go after one of those they look like bug tanks so I make the Marine do it 😉 I just have no idea why if they worked so hard to get into my home, why wouldn’t they look for food?

    Maybe someone knows why they like our bathrooms so much? Is it all my super girly smelling foo foo stuff that attracts them? LOL

    Semper Gumby,


  2. LadyStang2k says:

    I have the same problem for the past 2 years with these stink bugs. I live in Central New Jersey, about 15 minutes out of Pennsylvania. I go out on my deck, and they sneak in through my sliders and screens. It does get quite annoying. I grab a napkin and toss them back out the door! I had a “battle” with them one day. I had 3 or 4 in the house, by the time I got the last one out, I had about 10 that came back in! They’re just annoying and I don’t want them scaring my 4 month old baby!!!

  3. beauford says:

    I am having the same invasion problem in Washington state. Looks like the same bug from the picture. Also they are entering my upstairs bathrooms. I looked at the link above but could not find any information on notifying the study but I would like someone involved to know that these critters have made it over to the west coast!

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