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What Are Stink Bugs?

May 6th, 2011 admin No comments

Stink Bugs, also sometimes referred to as shield bugs, are members of the hemiptera order. They are aptly named because these bugs have small glands located on their thorax that are capable of emitting a malodorous liquid. This ability is believed to be a defensive mechanism they employ against predators and when a stink bug is mishandled, it will in fact defensively release an odor.

There are several different families of stink bugs, ranging in color from brown to brilliant green and they exist in various parts of the world. They are recognized by a triangular shaped plate on their backs. Most stink bugs are plant eaters, making them an agricultural pest insect, but a few are predatory and are welcome because they eat other pest insects. Stink bugs have the ability to reproduce rapidly and can pose a threat to crops if they become abundant. However, many times they feed only on one host plant and may cause only minimal, cosmetic damage. They tend to prefer fruit, though vegetable and cotton crops have been known to be affected by stink bugs.

Stink Bugs have a beak that they use to perforate and siphon the juices out of fruits and vegetables.  They use their sharp beak to bore holes in apples, corn, soy beans and any other vegetable in the fields.  The current apple crop in Pennsylvania has suffered 30% damage courtesy of these voracious hitchhikers. Because of their real threat to farms, people have studied and designed ways in getting rid of this agricultural menace. In Asian countries there is type of parasitic wasp that controls the growth of the stink bugs.  The United States is years away from introducing the wasp into our ecosystem since the process involves studies and quarantine. The use of pesticides to control stink bugs is also problematic since stronger pesticides may also cause lasting health issues to consumers as well as beneficial bugs that are needed in the field to assure the health and reproduction of the crops.

 

Recently the adults Stink Bugs have begun to invade homes seeking shelter for the winter. Some of the hardest hit areas have been Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and certain locations in Canada.  According to the Department of Agriculture, the stink bugs are spreading in record numbers across the United States.  Ohio has begun to see specimens recently as well as many homeowners across the Nation.

The Natural alternatives are currently limited and the success, so far, has been minimal.

A current option includes black pyramid traps that contain scents that trigger sexual arousal.  However, these traps are only effective on young stink bugs throughout the season and adult stink bugs only seem to respond late in August.  By this time, the adult bugs have done irreversible damage to the crops, travelled far to other crops and begun to find a permanent location in which to spend the winter months.  The last one typically involves the warmth found in family homes.

Stink Bugs have brought trouble to farms in Asia. Now they have made their way to the united states and continue to destroy farmlands across states. There are many ways to control this insects and the only thing we need is proper knowledge. Knowledge of this insects is vital in dealing with them if we ever we have stink bugs problems in our lives.