The question, “what do stink bugs eat?” has surprisingly been one of the most searched articles on the internet, and our web page (@pestclue).
Stink bugs are insects native to some Asian countries (mainly: China, Korea, and Japan). They belong to the family Pentatomidae and are a great threat to orchards in the eastern parts of the United States. Are they good or are they bad? well, it is left for you to conclude on that.
Before we get deeper into the stink bug’s diet, did you know that the stink bugs feed on over 100 species of plants, including agricultural crops? That’s an expo though, read on to find out more about the sting bug’s regular eating pattern!
Did You Know Facts About the Stink Bugs?
The stink bug is the common name of insects in the family Pentatomidae.
- Name Origin
Why are they called “stink bugs”? well, it is because of the unpleasant odor they produce when they are threatened.
- Defense Strategy
Scientists believe the stink bugs use their unpleasant odor as a defense tactic against predators.
In the United States, there are believed to be over 100 species of these bugs.
- Body Color
- In the adult stage, they are green or brown in color.
- In the nymph stage, their colors may vary from black to white.
- Body Length
The large adult stink bugs can reach about 2 cm in length.
- Color Change
Some nymphs have white spots, which disappear as they mature.
What are Stink Bugs?
Before knowing what these bugs eat, you should know what they are.
Stink bugs are large, oval-shaped insects, and are members of the insect order Hemiptera belong to the family Pentatomidae. As mentioned above, they get their common name due to the odor of the chemical they produce in their abdomen.
Depending on the species of stink bugs involved, the adults can reach about 2 cm in length. They keep their wings folded over their backs when they land and can barely fly well.
As adults, a few species are brightly colored, some are green or brownish. The nymphs can range in color from black to white. The nymphs of the brown marmorated stink bugs have red eyes.
What do Stink Bugs Eat?
Now over to the long-awaited question, “what do stink bugs eat?”
A few species of stink bugs are predators as they feed on other insects (harmful pests like caterpillars and even other stink bugs). Although stink bugs are a threat to agricultural crops, predatory stink bugs are beneficial since they help protect plants.
The first generation of stink bugs in the spring often feed on weeds or grasses. As they develop into adults, they migrate into fields, orchards, and residential regions.
- In the home
Stink bugs may feed on ornamental plants
- In the field
They may feed on:
- And some crops (sorghum and cotton)
They have piercing mouth-parts which they use to pin through the skin of fruits. Do you know why stink bugs are called “cat-facing insects”? here is why:
- When they pierce fruits, they inject a small amount of saliva into the fruits. This saliva is toxic to the cells of the fruits and gives it a scar when it grows. This scar causes the fruit to resemble the face of a cat.
A few species of stink bugs do not feed on plants as they are predators of insects that attack plants. These predatory stink bugs have been found to attack pests such as:
- Velvet bean caterpillars
- Root weevils
- Colorado potato beetles
- Southern green stink bugs
In conclusion, the stink bug is of two categories:
- The Predatory stink bugs
- The Non-predatory stink bugs
If in future occurrences you notice an invasion of stink bugs, don’t fail to mention it in the comment section as we’ll be anticipating positive feedback.