Abstract Current scouting techniques for stink bugs are variable, time-consuming, and costly. The overarching goal of this research was to develop effective and affordable tools for detecting stink bugs and damage induced by stink bugs in cotton. A commercially available electronic nose (Cyranose 320) comprising an array of 32 carbon-black composite sensors was used for this purpose and its performance was evaluated under laboratory and field conditions. Volatile compounds emitted by stink bugs were confirmed to be trans-2-decenal and trans-2-octenal. Four of 32 sensors responded to volatile chemicals produced by bugs and showed responses (smell-prints) to pure trans-2-decenal that were identical to those obtained from stink bugs. Under laboratory conditions, internal boll injury (interior walls of bolls and locks with raised callus growths or obvious damage to lint and seed) was predicted 95% of the time and the presence of stink bugs 100% of the time. There was a strong correlation ( R 2 = 0.95) between the number of stink bugs in a sample and the response of Cyranose sensors.