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Stink Bugs: Equal Opportunity Pests

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on August 2, 2011

Stink bugs, in one form or another, are pests on most agricultural products.  They damage things as different as peaches, pecans, and cucumbers.  Most of them bite or sting humans, too.  Not nice bugs.

Stink bugs are true bugs and look like little armor plated creatures.  I do not have a good picture of them because I do not like them, so avoid the critters.  The adults and babies are sap suckers, piercing the buds and young fruit or vegetables and leaving scars behind.  Sometimes the damage is so severe the bud, fruit, or vegetable falls off the plant.  Other times, it is not that severe but causes malformations.  This makes the fruit or vegetable useless for market.

Adults over winter in leaves and other debris, then lay eggs in the spring.  These hatch into nymphs that go through several molts as they grow.  Clearing debris from the area around your fruit trees and vegetable gardens is a good way to control these pests.  If they have no place to over winter, you have fewer bugs.

Parasitic wasps lay eggs on stinkbugs to feed their young.  This control method is slow, though, and only works if you do not use pesticides that kill the wasps.  Stink bugs are hard to kill with chemicals because of the way they are made.  Chemical recommendations change, so you have to check with your Extension agent for the currently approved chemical to kill the bugs on their target plant.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Stink Bug Trap August 4, 2011 at 12:15 am

Stink bugs are huge pests and they are so numerous on the east coast now. There are some effective DIY traps that use light to lure them into a container that they can’t escape from. Not fool proof, but pretty effective.
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Maryland Stink Bugs August 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I’ve been battling the Stink Bug for two years now and although they are not gone for good I have been able to control them (see the site). For those folks who are infested it’s important to become proactive because the problem will get worse. I found a man who caught 12,000 bugs. The RESCUE trap has been great at catching the babies which do not fly so as the seasons change we won’t have problems. Strube’s trap is also another great product which I use @ night outside. That’s where they are but will be looking for warmth soon…Stay tuned GREAT Post

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Ben from Green Powder August 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I do definitely hate stink bugs, but I’m not quite sure I’d trade them for wasps 🙂 That’s a good tip about not allowing them to over winter in debris. Just another reason to keep things clean around the house.
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