Aug 022011
 

What Are Stink bugs? Know Your Smelly Enemy

What are stink bugs, you ask? well, if you haven’t had a chance to get to know them up close, consider yourself lucky. Unfortunately, with the rate this smelly insects invade North America it is likely you’re going to know everything you need to know about these little menaces. You’re going to have to, as Stink Bugs control is a nasty business, and neglecting the problem makes things even worse.

What are stink bugs and where do they come from?

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Stink Bugs, also known The brown marmorated stink bug or Shield Bugs are members of the hemiptera order, with families ranging in color and sizes. There are recognized by a triangular-shaped armored plate coveting their back. Stink bugs rightfully earned their reputation by their ability to spray a smelly chemical from special glands hidden in their thorax which is used to fend of predators.

Stink Bugs come from Asia on a contaminated agricultural cargo that was shipped to Pennsylvania in the late 90s. Since they have managed to quickly invade most countries and although primarily found in southern Us, they have already been located in 33 of the nations countries.
Carpocoris fuscispinus, photo by J. Coelho

What are Stink Bugs feeding on?

Stink bugs are plant eater, and are using their long needle like proboscis to puncture leaves, fruits and other plant parts and suck on its sap. Stink bugs therefore are considered garden pests. The damage they infect to corps is mainly superficial but yield significant losses as infected product are considered unmarketable.

Learn more about what Stink Bugs eat here

What are stink bugs attracted to?

Knowing what think bugs are attracted to is probably the first step you can take to get rid of stink bugs. There are three main things stink bugs like:

  • Stink Bugs Food. Obviously, stink bugs are attracted to what stink bugs eat. Follow the link to find out exactly what food these smelly baggers crave for, and you’ll know where to find them.
  • Light. like many other bugs, Stink bugs love lights, so leaving lights on on you porch is a recipe for disaster.
  • Other Stink Bugs Scent. Yep, another use of that horrible smell is to attract other stink bugs and to mark a spot stink bugs like. That means avoiding dealing with the issue may result in a far more serious problem in the near future.
  • Dark, warm places. During the cold months, since early autumn Stink bugs will start making their way to their hiding places, and what’s better than our homemade homes. Stink bugs will enter your house through small crevices, vent holes and open windows and find their warm dark place easily. They’ll stay at their hideout till early spring when they leave outside to mate.

What are stink bugs hiding places?

Stink bugs will hide anywhere where its warm enough to pass winter. That means you’ll find the behind curtains, in drawers, laundry or even your bed. This can easily lead to unexpected stink bug bites or a spray of smelly chemicals when approached.  Sometimes they don’t even seem to mind us at all crawling out from all over the place:

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What are stink bugs predators?

There’s no surprise Stink bugs find it very easy to spread across the country. Stink bugs are invading species and have very few natural predators in their new environment. Much like the newly introduced Japanese Bugs, Stink bugs found a new ecosystem where they can live and reproduce  nearly undisturbed. However, there are a few predator that are not deterred by the stink bug smell and taste.

Praying Manatees have proven they will eat stink bugs, so do garden spiders, ants and some small birds.Some predatory Stink bugs pray on herbivore species.

Parasitic wasps kill stink bugs by laying eggs inside the insects. The eggs will eventually hatch through the bug, but it takes a while for it to happen and damage to your plants can already be done.

Researchers and scientists are studying the possibility of introducing into the United States of America,  Though recent similar trials have produced terrible results such as the unsuccessful case of introducing bull frogs to Australia to fight locusts.

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What are stink bugs pesticides

Unfortunately, Stink bugs have proved  resilience to pesticides comparing to their predators, thus as mentioned earlier scientist are constantly looking for ways to treat the menace naturally. Additionally, while using pesticides might remove some of the insects away from you property, it is a costly process both financially and ecologically with short-term positive affect on removing the stink bugs and a long-term negative effect of chemical abuse of your property.

How do you get rid of Stink Bugs?

While we’ve managed to find several resourceful manners to kill Stink Bugs, the best way to deal with them is by getting rid of them. We have found this guidebook a very informative and well thought out guide to getting rid of Stink Bugs and we highly recommend it.

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