What are Stinkbugs, and Why are They Common this Spring Season?
Stink bugs are a common sight this spring season. You know what it is if you are in humid weather and see the yellowish, red-striped insects. But what exactly is a stink bug? Why are they so prevalent? And how should you be treating your home for them? Join us to learn more about stinkbugs and what is in store for your property this season!
What are Stinkbugs?
Stinkbugs are a type of shield bug, including other insects like ladybugs. They are also known as shield-backed bugs because their backs have an armor-like covering that protects them from predators.
Stinkbugs belong to the order Hemiptera (“half-winged insect”), which includes bugs with forewings smaller than their hind wings. This makes it easier for them to jump by propelling themselves forward with their legs instead of flapping their wings like most insects do when they fly. This is why stinkbugs are sometimes called jumping bugs!
Stinkbugs are a type of species of shield bug.
They resemble green or brown beetles ranging from 3/8 to 1 1/2 inches long. They are often confused with stink bugs but do not have the same shield shape as pillbugs.
Stink bugs are generally beneficial because they feed on plant sap rather than sap-sucking insects such as aphids and whiteflies. These harm plants by sucking up plant juices when you do not want them to do so! However, some people may find stinking stinkbugs annoying because they emit an odor similar to dead fish when disturbed or crushed underfoot.
Where do stinkbugs come from?
If you are wondering where stinkbugs come from, the answer is that they are native to the tropics. Their origin can be traced back to South America and Central America. They were first introduced into North America by Europeans, who brought them over when they arrived on this continent.
The fact that these insects are not native to Europe or Australia does not mean they won’t make their way there—they have not yet set up homes in those areas.
What are the signs of stinkbug infestation?
Stinkbugs are nocturnal insects that hide during the day, but they have been known to come out of their hiding places when it is dark. They can be attracted to light, heat, carbon dioxide, and even sweet smells. If you see a stinkbug on your windowsill, in your houseplants this spring, or if you find one flying around inside your shower, it is because they came from outside looking for food or shelter from the cold weather outside.
While they may look harmless, stinkbugs will bite if disturbed or threatened.
Stinkbugs are not aggressive, and they do not bite humans. They do not bite animals or other bugs, either. They also do not bite plants or birds—though you may still see them on plant leaves if you look closely enough!
When encountering a stinkbug, the best thing to do is leave it alone and move on as quickly as possible. If you find yourself in direct contact with one of these hard-to-kill insects, wipe away any bits stuck in your clothes or hair with some rubbing alcohol and then wash off what remains in warm water.
How do I get rid of stinkbugs?
Stinkbugs are a common problem in spring when they arrive to feed on the new growth of plants. They do not eat the leaves or flowers — they munch down on the tender stems and shoots.
Here are some ways to get rid of stinkbugs:
- Use a hose to spray them with water.
Spray them with a hose or garden sprayer so they get wet and cold, making them move away from your plants.
- Spray them with insecticidal soap.
This organic soap is made from natural ingredients and kills stink bugs and insects. You can find it at most garden stores or online retailers.
- Place sticky traps around your plants.
The traps can be made from plastic wrap or duct tape, or you can cover one side of a jar to stay sticky all day! Place these traps where you see stinkbugs congregating, but do not place them near any pets or children, so they do not accidentally get trapped inside.
Why are They Common this Spring Season?
There are two reasons why stink bugs are common this spring:
- First, they are looking for a place to live.
The weather has been warm and dry, so stink bug eggs have been hatching. The young stink bugs will start as nymphs and become adults over the summer. The nymphs may not be able to survive if they do not find a place to live before they become adults. They need to find businesses that are warm, dark, and damp. This could include the walls of your house or attic space, where they can wait until nightfall and then emerge from their hiding places at dusk when it gets dark outside.
- Second, it is mating season for these insects.
Male stink bugs have a special gland on their backside called a “neotenous gland” that helps attract females during mating season by releasing chemicals into the air around them. This process is called “pheromone signaling.” If you see large numbers of males flying around your house at night or attracted to lights at night (like porch lights), it is mating season in your yard for stink bugs!
Consider calling a professional if you observe numerous stinkbugs in your yard.
If you have kept your eye on the news this summer, you have likely noticed an infestation within America. In the last month or two, thousands of brown marmorated stinkbugs have been reported in at least twenty-eight states. They are most active from May through June, which is why we are seeing so many now.
Suppose you see a bunch of stinkbugs in your yard. In that case, it is best to call in a stink bug exterminator in Loganville, PA. Stinkbugs are dangerous because they can cause illness and even death and tend to get out of control very quickly.
If you are dealing with these pests alone, do not try to handle them yourself—unless you want to get stung.