Hitchhiker pests: Brown marmorated stink bugs

​The risk to Australia

The exotic brown marmorated stink bug is not found in Australia and is a pest of considerable biosecurity concern to Australia’s agricultural industries. Juveniles and adults feed on, and can severely damage, fruit and vegetable crops. It is also a nuisance pest as adults enter vehicles, homes and factories in large numbers in autumn months, looking for places to shelter over winter.

Hitchhiker pests can arrive in Australia on cargo and containers and may be more common at particular times of the year. The brown marmorated stink bug is one such pest which originates from Asia and has spread to North America and Europe in recent decades.

What the brown marmorated stink bug looks like

Adult brown marmorated stink bugs are 12 to 17 millimetres long and mottled with a faint reddish tinge. While there are species of stink bugs in Australia that may look similar, adult brown marmorated stink bugs have distinctive black and white banding around the edge of the abdomen with white bands on the last two antennal segments.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs 


  1. Brown marmorated stink bugs on leaves
  2. Brown marmorated stink bug
  3. Front view of brown marmorated stink bug intercepted by the department in personal effects ex Korea (Oct 2005). Source: Ken Walker Museum Victoria

For more images of the brown marmorated stink bug please visit the Pest and Disease Image Library.

What to look for

Brown marmorated stink bugs can be found in large numbers seeking shelter from cold weather in crevices or protected areas of shipping containers, vehicles, boats, caravans, machinery and personal stored items.

When to look for them

Brown marmorated stink bugs are more frequently found on goods arriving in Australia between September and April, coinciding with late autumn and winter in the northern hemisphere.

What to do if you find any suspect brown marmorated stink bugs


If you see a biosecurity risk, secure the goods to limit the movement of any animals or insects and immediately report it to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on 1800 798 636.

When reporting your find, ask a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources entomologist for advice on handling the specimen.




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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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