Stink Bugs


Stink bugs that can injure corn are brown, shield-shaped insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts. Adults have two

Brown stinkbug

Brown stinkbug

University of Kentucky Dept. Entomology

pair of wings held over the back. The insects may be found feeding near the base of the plant or crawling along the surface of the soil.


The bugs insert their needle-like mouthparts into the plant to remove liquid. Symptoms on the leaves appear as small, round, yellow holes in a line across the unrolled leaf. These insects can kill young seedlings or cause plants to tiller from the base. Stunted plants will recover and produce a normal yield. Yield from plants that tiller will be reduced by about 70%. Damage may be localized or may occur over a wide area.

IPM Techniques and Scouting Procedures

  • The brown stinkbug occurs in Kentucky from early May through early June. Check corn from time of emergence until the plants are 12 inches tall.
  • Examine 20 plants per location for symptoms of stink bug feeding or the insects themselves. Stink bugs feed at the base of corn plants.
  • Economic Threshold: A rescue treatment should be considered if stink bug numbers average one or more per 3 foot row and plants are less than 12 inches tall (extended leaf height).

References and Additional Information

Corn Diseases and Corn Insects Menu