For us, both insects are pretty much harmless, if not always pleasant. Stink bugs can be a nuisance because, as their name suggests, they stink. The bugs emit aldehydes and other smelly organic compounds as a defense to ward off predators (or when humans at, say, a certain desert event try to slap the bugs away with their hands). Seed bugs can also be annoying if you're caught up in one of their swarms. Some reports from Burning Man suggest that the seed bugs have been biting. According to Berenbaum, though, this is just a case of an “optimistic gamble." When the bugs encounter people—an unusual thing out in the middle of nowhere—they may be testing out the skin to see if it’s actually a tasty plant.