What is a Stink Bug?

What is a Stink Bug?

The family of stink bugs has an estimated 900 genera in its group and more than 4,700 species. Stink bugs are of the Pentatomidea and considered to be a super-family from the suborder of Heteroptera that is a part of the Hemiptera order in the insect world.
The subject of this website in particular is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs that have been plaguing the Eastern United states in recent years. These stink bugs are brown, gray, and black with six legs, is triangular in shape, about thee quarters of an inch in length. They have true antennae for feeling their way around in the dark.
True to their name, stink bugs have the characteristic of releasing a foul smelly odor when they are disturbed or crushed. The bad smell is secreted from pores on their bodies and is for a defense against other insects that prey on them. Such insects as the assassin bug, spiders, and even birds feed on stink bugs. Some of them feed on their own kind.
Some stink bugs are considered to be predatory due to the fact that they feed on other insects such as caterpillars and are considered to be a pest. However the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug mostly feedd on plants by biting into the plant and sucking the juices from it with their sucking mouthpieces.
These bugs become active starting in the spring and remain active until late in the fall of each year. In the fall they seek shelter for the winter. This is when you are most likely to see these critters in your home. Lights attract many of the species at night which is one reason they are drawn to your house.
Female stink bugs lay their eggs on the underside of stems and leaves in warm months. The nymphs are born without wings and after going through several stages of molting become adult stink bugs with wings. When the nymphs first hatch they do not have sexual organs, however, they will have both wings and sexual organs after they reach full maturity in the late fall. Eggs can be laid anytime from the middle of April to the middle of December depending on what the temperature of the weather is in the area where they are laid. They can hatch in as little as five days or in some cases a few weeks. An entire group of eggs will hatch withing a couple of hours after the first egg hatches.

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