Do Birds Eat Stink Bugs? What About Chickens?

It doesn’t matter if you live in a quiet home in the suburbs or out in a rural area. You will probably run into more than your fair share of stink bugs now. These smelly pests hopped a boat from Asia in the 1990s, and have quickly infested the US.

They often invade gardens and cropland, but also love to get warm inside your home, particularly during the winter.

Do birds eat stink bugs? Do chickens?

  • Many types of birds eat stink bugs, including blackbirds, wrens, bluebirds, and cardinals.
  • Chickens do occasionally eat stink bugs, and stink bugs should not do chickens any harm (though their breath may be a bit, well, stinky)
  • Besides birds, reptiles and rodents also like to snack on stink bugs.

Birds can be your allies in controlling stink bugs, including chickens. Let’s explore that further below!

What Birds Will Eat Stink Bugs?

The truth is several bird species will eat stink bugs, though many birds find them unpleasant to eat due to their scent and flavor. Among the birds that will eat stink bugs are:

Several bird species will eat stink bugs, though many birds find them unpleasant to eat due to their scent and flavor.

1. Cardinals

Cardinals are a bird that does not migrate and specifically eats things like cactus fruit and insects. When it comes to the insects they like the most, these can include cicadas, grasshoppers, and stink bugs.

2. Bluebirds

Some birds will eat stink bugs, but they only get a taste for them at certain times of the year. Bluebirds like to find insects while they are going into their hibernation or nesting phases. These birds will eat everything from wasps to spiders to those horrible little stink bugs during this time.

3. Wrens 

Wrens like to find a large group of hibernating stink bugs and go to town. These birds like digging into holes and tight spaces to find their meals, so it’s perfect when they find a bed of stink bugs.

4. Blackbirds

These birds are another species that like to munch down on those stink bugs. These are birds that like to help out by finding them out and about, especially in your garden or around your home.

Is There Anything Good About Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs are significant pests that can really cause some damage to crops, fruits, and garden plants if you’ve got a sizable-enough infestation of them. But they may keep away other insects that are even worse like aphids and beetles.

A minor stink bug infestation may not be the worst thing to have, if you’re avoiding a significant aphid infestation, for example.

Still, most people prefer to control stink bugs in the garden, if for not other reason than to avoid them coming into the home over the winter.

What are Stink Bug Predators?

So now that you know that certain birds (including many chickens, of course) will eat stink bugs, you may be wondering if they have any other predators. They have quite a few, including bats, wasps, frogs, and other predatory bugs.

To clarify a little clearer, most people separate these bug predators into two categories. These are divided by the way they attack the stink bug itself. One of those is a parasitoid, a parasitic fly, or even an assassin bug that lives off the host until it dies.

The second category is predators, and these are where the birds that we discussed above will fall into, as well as bats and other creatures like this. These are ones that truly attack the stink bugs just by eating them.

To get a better understanding, let’s look at two of the biggest predators when it comes to stink bugs. One of those is wasps. There are many different types of wasps out there, but in the late 20th century, they particularly liked stink bugs.

Some of them will attack the stink bugs and lay their eggs in them, making them more of a parasitoid than a predator.

Another enemy of the stink bugs is the spider. These eight-legged insect-eating friends of ours can’t get rid of stink bugs altogether, but they do help control the population greatly (same with roaches — don’t kill your spiders unless you have to!).

Some reptiles also like to snack on stink bugs.

So these stinky bugs have plenty of natural predators that will help you maintain their population.

Spiders can’t get rid of stink bugs altogether, but they do help control the population greatly.


Though not all birds will eat stink bugs, plenty of predators can help manage the population around your home. Chickens will often happily much on stink bugs if given the opportunity, just as they will most other bugs they come across.

So if you’ve got some backyard chickens, they will happily help keep your stink bug population under control.