Stink bugs are relatively large insects, from 1/2 to 1-inch long as adults, with a characteristic “shield” shape. Stink bugs are attracted to soybean plants in the bloom to early pod-fill stages and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on developing seed.
There are several species of stink bugs common in northern soybeans including thegreen stink bug and brown stink bug. Several other species of stink bug are found in southern states and may be moving north. These include the redshouldered stink bug, the redbanded stink bug, and most recently, the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive species making its way across the continent.
Two beneficial stink bugs may also be encountered in soybean: the spinedshouldered stink bug and the twospotted stink bug. These stink bugs are predators of crop pests and should not be included in calculations for monitoring and treatment.
A new field guide, Stink Bugs on Soybean in the North Central Region, is available to assist growers and scouts identify and monitor stink bugs and their damage in the North Central region.
For a detailed review of stink bug biology and management, see the publicationIdentification, Biology, Impacts, and Management of Stink Bugs of Soybean and Corn in the Midwestern United States, Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 2017.