Stink Bugs

Brief description

Stink bug, which is often an occasional guest of city apartments, scientifically is called acanthosomatidae. It is a known pest of forest and garden plants, feeding on their sap, and often leads to death of the whole plant.

Many people wonder why these pests so stink and why they need this very peculiar smell. In fact, these insects have pretty good sense of smell, which enables to perceive and classify odors emitted by others. All stink bugs, even water, have special glands, located at the back of the cephalothorax. In these glands are odorous liquid, which can use a bug in case of danger. It is toxic to other insects and can cause spasms, paralysis and even death.

Stink-Bugs

Also, the stink bugs use their smell to find and attract appropriate marriage partner and for scaring away rivals due to food or female. All family of acanthosomatidae has one characteristic feature, by which they are distinguished from other bugs: acute angle handpieces in the front part of the body. They somewhat resemble folded wings and give the insect form of a shield, for which they got their name. In the lower part of the back you can see a dark brown membrane of wings. Sturdy shield from chitin provides protection from external influences.

The habitat

Habitat of stink bugs is berry bushes, grass, and crown of deciduous trees. Stink bugs lay their eggs directly on the plants, where they are parasites, so these places are used for nest locations.

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They live and breed exclusively in the natural environment, so if you notice this insect in your home, the more likely it is a mere accident. You do not need to worry, because the behavior of the stink bugs in the house shows that they are not in any way cause harm to humans and does not create a colony in captivity.

Harm to human

Stink bugs deserve special dislike, especially because of the characteristic unpleasant odor that exudes insect at danger. A second serious reason to treat it negatively is the ability to cause damage to agricultural crops. Stink bug adversely effects on the plant, in the foliage of which it hides. Of course, for large shrubs harm is almost insignificant. Only small brown spots on the leaves indicate that stink bug was here. Their jaws are adapted for feeding on plant juices. Especially, stink bugs like raspberries.  They can also feed juices of deciduous trees and lush grass, but sometimes damage the grain fields.

Stink bugs in the apartment – this is only coincidence, as in captivity, they do not breed and will soon die. For a human these insects are not dangerous absolutely, so their detection in the home does not threaten. The bite of stink bug is not dangerous, the more, that these insects are not inclined to bite people. Many people confuse these insects, with ticks, but it is fundamentally wrong: ticks are parasites of warm-blooded animals (and their bite can lead to health problems), while the stink bugs are parasitic on plants.

Causes, why appear such insects in the houses

It is unclear how stink bugs appear in human homes with such eating habits. There is nothing for them to eat. In rural areas, stink bugs quite frequently fly into the houses.

You may notice that stink bugs brazenly crawl into a window leaf, making clumsy attempts to fly into the house. They are also alarmed by unaccustomed conditions. There is, of course, not a good life. Stink bugs have good reasons for such atypical behavior.  This can be caused by several factors:

  • forest fire;
  • flood;
  • sharp cold snap;
  • wind gust.

The most common insects are disoriented by premature sharp cold snap, that is why the stink bugs looking for cozy place not in the shade of trees, but in our warm homes. Stink bug can not bite a person, so do not be afraid of it. Just let it out of the apartment to the street.

Period of activity of the pests

Stink bugs are hibernating throughout the winter, their condition is very close to suspended animation. In this period, they prefer to look for a safe shelter – leaf litter in the forest, rotten trees or stumps, holes and spaces under stones.

With the onset of spring and warmth they wake up and come at a time of reproduction. At the same time, the insects spread over area on which is suitable for feeding of the plants. Food of stink bugs basically comprises juices of plants and fruits. Most often they settle on the fruit trees and shrubs: raspberry, elderberries, cherry tree. They can live also on the usual deciduous trees, as well as directly in the grass.

In summer, quiet and unremarkable stink bug usually modestly sits on the branches. It does not show particular activity, flies very rarely, only in case of special need, being in full confidence, that it is waiting for a hearty meal. Too much energy is required to move up into the air. Its wings have small amplitude, and do not provide sufficient lifting force.

Life Cycle

Under favorable conditions, the stink bug lays eggs twice. They have a green color and the shape of ball, also are located on the underside of the leaves.  In couple of weeks appear the nymphs, which are capable to feed actively. In the process of development they several times change their color. Life cycle of stink bugs includes the steps: eggs – nymph – adult.

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Nymph is different from the adult pest only in the absence of wings. Chitin shell prevents the growth of the larvae, so for the stink bug molting is serious challenge. At this stage most of the posterity die, as many nymphs can not get out from the cramped shell. Having undergone five molts, insect reaches a size of 15 mm.

Methods of dealing

Stop-Stink-Bugs-2In most cases, only single individuals penetrate into the house. To control the insects is not difficult. You just need to let go astray bug out of the window and be sure it will not disturb you anymore. If the number of stink bug in the home is growing by the day, it will still have to take the following control measures. You need to catch all the insects that settled in your rooms. stink-bug-window-netStink bugs, unlike of bed bugs, can not hide from the eyes of owners of the house. To catch them is quite simply, they do not have a special agility.

Also, you need to block all the possible ways of penetration of stink bugs into the apartment. We are talking about the doors and windows. It is possible, for example, to use mosquito nets. But for gardens and vegetable gardens stink bugs can sometimes be a real threat. Malathion and chlorophos are effective against these insects. But it is better to use mechanical ways to deal.

 

Preventive means

stop-stink-bugsExperts do not recommend using chemicals or disinfection. They recommend simply protect your apartment using mosquito nets to prevent the penetration of parasites inside. Because the stink bug has sufficiently large dimensions of the body, it simply will not be able to penetrate into the apartment through the mosquito net.