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Bug Files: Meet the Stinkbug

stinkbug on leaf

Today, there’s an invasion occurring. Originally hailing from Asia, the stinkbug is steadily marching its way through Pennsylvania and Ohio. Although these small insects won’t bite you, they do pose a significant threat to your crops, your garden plants–and, if frightened, your nose.

Suspect: Brown marmorated stink bug (halyomorpha halys). Stinkbugs are members of the diverse Hemiptera order, which includes everything from the ninja-like assassin bug to the humdrum plant bug. Although there are many varieties, the brown marmorated stinkbug is the most common in Ohio.

Physical Description: All Hemiptera members feature piercing and sucking mouthparts and clear wings that harden at the base of the shell (or “shield”). They are 0.5 to 2 inches long.

Most are herbivores and feed on plant juices; some are predatory and feed on other small bugs. All possess a unique defense mechanism: the ability to secrete a potent fluid from their bodies. Natural predators include birds, spiders and other insects.

Offensive Activities: Stink bugs pose a significant threat to fruits and vegetables. They also sneak into your home for the winter.

Suggested Tactics:

  • Seal all cracks and crevices in your home with caulking. Stinkbugs can enter through the tiny space around window-unit air conditioners.
  • Keep the stripping around your windows, chimneys, and AC units in good repair.
  • Replace exterior rotted wood.
  • Minimize the number of lights left on at night by your windows.
  • If you sweep them up with a vacuum cleaner, immediately dispose the bag.

For Back Up: Even the best operatives need backup sometimes. If these preventative measures fail, contact Epcon Lane for professional backup. Together, we can conquer your pest control problems and restore your home to its happy, healthy state.

 

Much thanks to Stopstinkbugs.com, The University of Florida Department of Agriculture, The University of Kentucky Department of Entomology: Kentucky Critter Files, Cleveland.com, and NJ Agriculture Experiment Station.