When you come across stink bugs, you will have a chance to understand why they are called “stink bugs.” I’m sure most of us have experienced this unpleasant smell from touching or killing one of those insects. As a child I had this experience that made my mom laugh at me and my son’s naiveté.

Here’s what you need to know about the stink bug odor:

1. The smell that insects emit is a protective reaction against predators that makes them leave and not touch the bug.

2. It comes from special glands that are located in the chest of the Shield Bugs.

3. The glands are producing a fluid that contains toxins in case of imminent danger. The liquid itself is not poisonous, but it has a rather unpleasant “aroma”.

4. The liquid contains aldehydes such as CH3-(CH2)2-CH=CH-CHO. This is where the horrible smell comes from.

5. If you’re not touching or squashing the bugs, you usually won’t smell them; however, if you have a lot of them in an enclosed space (like your house), your senses will be put to the test.

6. If a shield bug gets on your hand and leaves its scent, do the following to get rid of it:

• Try to replace the smell with a stronger one; washing dirty dishes usually helps, as the combination of the greasy smell of food and dish soap seems to do the job.

• If your hands smell like food after that, clean them again with a dish soap.

• Consider using a hand cleaner that contains alcohol.

• A good shower as soon as possible after the “attack” can also help. Pay more attention and rub the smelly part.

• You can use any fruit or vegetable that contains acid to rub the spot: tomatoes, lemons, lime, etc.

7. If you have an infestation in your home and the smell seems to be everywhere:

• Keep in mind that if you leave the smell and the bugs inside you will get bad results.

• The stench can last 4-8 months and if you still have bugs in the house, they will make sure it is “renewed”.

• The “scent” also attracts other insects inside.

8. What to do to clean your house:

• Find the source of the infestation and kill and eliminate everything you see: adult species, “babies” and eggs.

• Start treating where you find the most bugs. Clean it with strong chemicals that contain bleach or use acid-containing liquids like vinegar.

• If the smell is all over the house, then it’s a little more difficult. You should treat the walls and lamps with vinegar. I say lamps because during the night when the light is on they will most often be lit on them.

• Of course, you also have another option. Get rid of the infestation completely and leave the odor until it clears up on its own. However, keep in mind that you should seal all the cracks in your house and buy protective netting for your windows to prevent others from entering.

As a conclusion, I can say that it is difficult to fight this new home pest, since you have to get rid of the insects first, and then decide what to do with the smell. However, don’t be discouraged because I have succeeded, which means you can definitely succeed too.