The brown marmorated stink bug is a serious agricultural pest that has been readily causing damage to crops across the Eastern United States. They feed on a wide array of plants including apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and soybeans. This makes them extremely versatile as they do not require a specific plant to feed on. To obtain their food stink bugs use their stylets to pierce the plant tissue in order to extract the plant fluids. In doing so, the plant loses necessary fluids that can lead to deformation of seeds, destruction of seeds, destruction of fruiting structures, delayed plant maturation, and increased vulnerability to harmful pathogens. While harvesting the plants juices, the stink bug injects saliva into the plant creating a dimpling of the 's surface, and rotting of the material underneath.
The most common signs of stink bug damage are pitting and scarring of the fruit, leaf destruction, and a mealy texture to the harvested fruits and vegetables. In most cases the signs of stink bug damage makes the plant unsuitable for sale in the market as the insides are usually rotten. In field crops such as corn and soy beans the damage may not be as evident as the damage seen in fruit plants. When stink bugs feed on corn they go through the husk before eating the kernels, hiding the damage until the husks are removed during harvesting. The same damage is seen in soy beans as the stink bug goes through the seed pods to acquire the juices of the seeds. One visual cue of stink bug damage to soybean crops is the "stay green" effect, where damaged soybean plants stay green late into season, while other plants in the field die off normally. One can usually tell that a field of crops is infected because stink bugs are known for the "edge effect", in which they tend to infest crops thirty to forty feet from the edge of the field. Farmers or individuals who suspect having stink bugs in their crops should contact their respective State Department of Agriculture for information on how to manage the infestation and possible ways to prevent future incidences.
During courtship, the male emits and to communicate with a female, which replies with her own vibrational signals, as in all stink bugs. The animals use the signals to recognize and locate each other. Vibrational signals of this species are noted for their low , and one male signal type is much longer than any other previously described signals in stink bugs, although the significance of this is not yet clear.
Control of stink bugs is a priority of the which has developed an artificial which can be used to bait traps. Because the bugs insert their proboscis below the surface of fruit and then feed, some insecticides are ineffective; in addition, the bugs are mobile, and a new population may fly in after the resident population has been killed, making permanent removal nearly impossible. In the case of soybean infestations research shows that spraying only the perimeter of a field may be the most effective method of preventing stinkbugs from damaging the crops. However even this method is limited as new populations move back into the area, or the existing population simply moves to unaffected areas. There is also evidence that stink bugs are developing a resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, a common chemical used to combat infestations. Other insecticides currently in field trials that are showing promising results are oxamly (96% mortality rate) and moribund (67% mortality rate). Many other commonly used insecticides are merely used to keep the insects out of fields, rather than actually killing them. The most successful method of protecting apples found thus far is the use of . As of 2012, native predators such as wasps and birds were showing increased signs of feeding on the bugs as they to the new food source. Managing this pest species is challenging because there are currently few effective pesticides that are labeled for use against them. Researchers are looking into ways to effectively control this species but many more experiments are needed to develop a consistent pesticide.