Are stink bugs bed bugs?

If you’ve ever woken up with tiny, itchy bites on your skin and immediately assumed that bed bugs must have infiltrated your happy abode, then this article is for you. However, if you’ve ever seen a stink bug in the wild (or worse yet…in your own home) and spiraled into an uncontrollable panic attack about whether or not they’re bed bugs in disguise…this article is definitely for you.

The Similarities

It’s true, stink bugs and bed bugs do share some similarities that can make them easy to confuse:


Both insects are small and brownish/red-colored with elongated bodies.

However, upon closer inspection, there are actually key differences between the two:

  1. Stink bugs have a shield-shaped body while bed bugs are more oval.
  2. Bed bugs have short antennae while stink bug antennae are much longer.
  3. Stink bug legs protrude from their sides while bed bug legs point downwards.

So although they may both be deemed “gross” by some individuals (ahem, me), visually speaking they’re pretty distinguishable.

Bite Marks

The bite marks left behind by these sneaky creatures also bear some resemblance to one another – typically resulting in redness, itchiness and irritation at the site of infection- a delight!

Here’s where things get tricky though…

According to pest experts [source needed], unlike their blood-sucking cousins (<– referring to the BEDBUGS here!), adult stinkbugs do not feed on human blood- which means when it comes down to it,…if you spot a straight-up stinky buggo lurking around your backyard or basement—while its presence may be questionable enough as-is—it likely hasn’t been responsible for leaving those strangely familiar-looking bite marks on your skin.


That brings us to another point in favor of distinguishing these two nefarious creatures- aroma.

It’s true that stinkbugs are very aptly named! Here: a quick 101 — when they feel threatened, stink bugs can produce smells from their bodies that help protect themselves agains predators by deterring them with an odor so pungent it’ll make your eyes water (would huffing gasoline be less painful I wonder?).

Bed bugs on the other hand have no such natural defence mechanism and thus do not produce any foul odour other than the one emanating from dirty sheets – however one may pose astutely as a relationship deal-breaker if allowed unchecked for too long!

Summary: So far, based purely our findings…If you got bites AND smell something funny nearby while reading this article— congrats, there’s still a solid chance you’ve got bed bugs (or chickenpox)

Treatment Options

Now let’s say we’re well past our first sign of noticing itchiness and welts all around us! Let’s look at some recommended interventions:

  1. Vacuuming
  2. Heat-based treatments applied directly to affected areas via bedbug heat chambers/heat-treatment services.
  3. Chemical sprays.
  4. Call pest control teams for highly experienced experts capable of only bringing in ambient-temperature lunch boxes near multiple door fronts before announcing stratospheric fees (and also fumigating areas that require treatment).

All signs lead up to an indicative assertion– bug infestations suck any way you cut it!
But know that STINKBUGS..are typically considered more of an outdoor-to-indoor nuisance pest than “true indoor invader” — unlike notorious pests like rodents HOORAY FOR LESS-GROSSNESS

However; due diligence requires… if suss-related-bites can’t be visibly conclusively correlated with one of these bugs- pest-management professionals should always get involved in the event that an actual bed bug infestation is suspected.


It’s important to educate ourselves on our stinky ‘friends’ and their less aromatic counterparts- good hygiene practices, using your nose for a second opinion when you’re unsure, avoiding cluttered areas/storage boxes or items that may invite critters will likely help keep them away [insert thumbs-up emoji here].

And more importantly: If by any chance you find yourself face-to-face with either of these unpleasant creatures— be sure to run…even if it’s just out of sheer disgust, do Not hesitate! You can call us cowards all day long but we’re not going anywhere near those things!

Stay sane during this creep-crawly-period! Note: Some possible visible side effects brought upon from reading such an article as above contain mentions leading to extreme paranoia – reader discretion advised.

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