Most Common Pests in Cannabis: Stink Bugs

Learn how to identify the most common pests in cannabis and save yourself a disgrace
22 January 2021
7 min read
Most Common Pests in Cannabis: Stink Bugs

  • 1. What are stink bugs?
  • 2. How to identify a stink bugs pest in cannabis plants
  • 3. How to get rid of a stink bug pest in cannabis plants
  • 3. a. Clean your plants' surrounding areas
  • 3. b. Remove the stink bugs by hand
  • 3. c. Shower your cannabis plants with a hose
  • 3. d. Using pesticides to get rid of a stink bugs pest in cannabis
  • 3. e. Using a net screen
  • 4. The bottom line

When you grow cannabis outdoors or indoors, you are making the decision to face certain pros or cons. For example, indoor cultivation rooms normally require spending some more money than planting marijuana outdoors.

However, while growing marijuana indoors involves more expenses than doing it outdoors, on the upside, indoor cultivation translates into having control over the whole growing process, which, when taken advantage of properly, can deliver amazing results

Indoor grow rooms provide marijuana plants an enclosed environment which you are fully in control of and in which you can dodge some frequent inconveniences such as external contaminations, a.k.a. common cannabis pests


Stink bugs are a common pest found in cannabis plants.

Stink bugs are a common pest found in cannabis plants.

Cannabis pests aren't all that unusual when it comes to growing marijuana outdoors. We simply can't avoid certain things from happening when we have our baby plants sitting outside all day. The key here is learning how to identify and treat each different cannabis pest. 

So, if you're growing cannabis plants outdoors, it's time to find out how to prevent, identify and get rid of one common pest in cannabis: stink bugs. 

1. What Are Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs or shield bugs, scientifically known as Pentatomidae, belong to the Hemiptera order, and they make the largest family in the superfamily Pentatomoidea, which contains more than 900 types and over 4700 species. 

The stink bug species most commonly found in cannabis plants are known as Halyomorpha halys, the brown or brown marmorated stink bugs. These pests are migratory pests, which means that they originally come from eastern Asia, and have spread around the world, first through North America, later reaching Europe as well. 

Some of the most common characteristics among these stink bugs insects include:

  • Stink bugs' color can vary from light green to brown, metallic, or even ink-black, with some details in other colors;
  • Like most insects, their body is made of three parts: head, thorax, and abdomen;
  • Three pairs of legs;
  • Triangle-like body shape with a shield-shaped outer shell, ranging between 5 and 17mm long;
  • One pair of antennas; 
  • And two pairs of overlapping wings.

Stink bugs earned that name because they release a strong odor when you crush or bother their peace, which helps them shoo away predating lizards and birds. And while these little bugs could look as if they were too small to be harmful, the lil bastards can and will attack your cannabis plants when they have the chance.


Find out how to cure cannabis plants with a stink bug pest and their eggs

Find out how to cure cannabis plants with a stink bug pest and their eggs.

A stink bug pest can dangerously damage your weed plants, especially seedlings since they like feeding off them which ends up killing them. Stink bugs will also eat out your plants' leaves and buds, which stresses the plant leading to a possible stunted growth. Therefore, if you notice a few signs that stink or shield bugs might be taking over your cannabis plants, take action to get rid of them as soon as you can.

Let's go through the main and evident signs of a stink bug pest in cannabis plants so that you can identify and fight the pest fast. 

2. How To Identify a Stink Bugs Pest in Cannabis Plants

While stink bugs aren't going to kill your cannabis plants, being threatening only for seedlings, still the stress they'll cause to your plants is something we'd rather avoid. Therefore, if you want to preserve the final results of your cannabis plants, you should do everything within reach to keep these insects and any others away.


Be careful where you place your seedlings and baby greens because pests such as stink bugs or grasshoppers have a special taste for small plants. 

The first step to getting rid of a stink bug pest is learning how to identify it. So, if you want to keep up your future plants' results then you'll need to make sure you get rid of these evil insects as soon as you can. 

Here are the most common signs and indicators that your cannabis plants are suffering from a stink bug pest: 


Eggs The first sign most growers notice when dealing with a stink bug pest is finding white egg patches on the leaves, usually coming from the conchuela stink bug. 
Visible bugsThese stink or shield bugs operate during the daytime so you'll be able to spot them sitting on your plant, almost laughing at you as they eat out your plant. 
Damage on the stems, buds or leaves

If you find bites on stems, leaves or eaten out buds, then you might have bumped into a stink bug pest.

Slowed growthWhen a cannabis plant is going through stressful situations, a.k.a a stink bug pest, then you might notice a sudden stunted growth. 


Now that you know how to identify a stink bug pest, it's time to switch into SpiderMan mode and catch some bugs! 

3. How To Get Rid of a Stink Bug Pest In Cannabis Plants

When you take up the job as a marijuana cultivator, you're assuming a whole bunch of responsibilities. These include feeding the plants, watering, pruning and trimming, training them, and most of all, taking care that nothing, cough-cough, a pest, ever tries to do them any harm. 


Watch out for any stink bugs on your cannabis plants as you do your daily checks.

Watch out for any stink bugs on your cannabis plants as you do your daily checks.

And while a stink bug pest is much more likely to happen on outdoor cannabis plants, these insects can find their ways to infest your indoor marijuana plants as well. Pay close attention during your daily checks on your babies so that you can tackle the issue from the beginning. 

If you've identified a shield or stink bug pest in your plants, it's time to get things done! Here are the most effective ways to fight a stink bug pest on cannabis plants. 

Clean Your Plants' Surrounding Areas

The first step towards getting rid of stink bugs pests or any other sort of pest in cannabis is cleaning your garden area, whether it's indoor or outdoor. Actually, keeping a clean garden is essential for a good and controlled marijuana cultivation, so make sure you meet the aspects mentioned in the following article to keep your garden clean. 


When your garden is clean, the odds of your plants being contaminated are lowered to the minimum possible, so get rid of excess leaves, debris, or weeds lying around near your plants. This way you prevent these from becoming intruding bugs' homes and food. 

Remove The Stink Bugs by Hand

When we talk about removing the stink bugs by hand, we mean taking them somewhere else far away from your plants. Why? Well, these guys aren't called stink bugs for no reason, they will indeed stink as you squeeze them dead. 

Unless you want to go around with a smelly stench on you, definitely chuck on a couple of gloves before you start removing the stink bugs by hand. 

Besides, the dead bodies of these bugs will likely attract other predators, so you should make sure you discard the stink bugs way far from your marijuana plants unless you want to catch a new pest. Don't forget to pull out any leaves you find with eggs nested on them, as they'll turn into newborn bugs any time soon. 

Shower Your Cannabis Plants With a Hose

Another good approach to getting rid of stink bugs on your cannabis plants is showering them with water. It's slightly faster than removing each of them by hand and you save yourself the risk of catching the stench they release. 


Shower your cannabis plants with water to remove a stink bug pest.

Shower your cannabis plants with water to remove a stink bug pest.

But don't just splash your plants with water and expect it to do all the work. You'll still need to double-check the whole plant for remaining bugs and eggs, as well as get rid of the bugs that have fallen off. A good idea is moving the pot somewhere far from the usual place for that extra security that they won't be able to come back easily. 

Using Pesticides to Get Rid of a Stink Bugs Pest in Cannabis

When you take your marijuana cultivation seriously, and you should, then perhaps you'd rather take absolutely no risks when it comes to your plants' wellbeing. If this is your case, and you are slightly frightened or doubting the efficacy of the previous methods, then maybe you should turn to pesticides

A great alternative to throwing highly toxic pesticides straight off is neem oil, a natural pesticide that works great for targeting several types of pests, including stink bugs pests. 


Neem oil, however, might not be the greatest at getting rid of adult stink bugs, but it does aid with eggs and younger bugs, so combining a water shower and some neem oil applications afterward might be the best call. 


Spray neem oil on your cannabis plants to get rid of a stink bug pest.

Spray neem oil on your cannabis plants to get rid of a stink bug pest.

Make sure that when you apply the neem oil to your plants you're not letting it get to the buds since it has a strong flavor which will negatively affect the taste and aroma of your weed as you consume it. 

If you're still not convinced with the neem oil, you could always turn to proper insecticides, although do try to remove bugs before you spray your plant with the pesticide, since the dead remains surrounding your plants will stink and attract more pests. 

Using a Net Screen

If you want to keep away any stink bugs from nearing your weed plants, using net screens is a plausible idea. These nets aren't too expensive and they will not only help keep away stink bugs but other common pests as well. 


At the same time, nets are a great source of protection from strong winds and birds. As the last step to keep the bugs away, you should definitely check on your plants thoroughly on a daily basis. 

5. The Bottom Line

Contaminations and accidents are unpredictable, but we'll always have a few options within reach to fix up these anomalies. 

As a main rule, if you want to cultivate your own marijuana plants at home, then you should be aware that it requires some responsibilities and effort. Take an honest look at yourself and consider whether you're willing to put the time and effort into your plants. 

We hope this article helped you identify, get rid of, and prevent a stink bug pest with efficiency. 


22 January 2021