Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.
What are Stink Bugs?
Stink bugs are bugs that give off a very bad smell when they are bothered, moved, hurt or crushed. This nasty smell comes from glands by their legs that produce a stinky, bad-tasting chemical. They use this chemical to defend themselves and drive off predators that might want to eat them. They are the skunks of the bug world!
Stink bugs are usually brown or bright green, but they do come in other colors, too. They are a little under an inch long and shaped like a triangular shield. They also have six legs, antennae and wings.
Stink bugs are considered true bugs, which means they are part of a special group of insects. True bugs have mouth parts that look like bird beaks and can pierce and suck. They use their mouth parts the way you might use a straw to drink a soda or shake.
What do Stink Bugs Eat?
Stink bugs eat mostly plants and fruit, but a few kinds also eat beetle larvae and caterpillars. They use their special mouth parts to suck the juices out of fruits, vegetables, leaves, stems and flowers of trees, shrubs, crops and other plants.
Both the green and brown stink bugs are considered pests because they damage the fruit and plants that they eat. They cause harm to crops such as apples, corn, pears, peaches and tomatoes. This costs farmers money because they can't sell the damaged food.
Stink bugs are growing in number because there are only a few natural hunters in the United States who eat them for food. People are working to find ways to control them before the number of stink bugs continues to go up, and they damage even more plants, trees and crops.
Where do Stink Bugs Live?
The common brown stink bugs we now see in our yards, gardens and farms were accidentally brought into the United States from Asia. They also live in many other areas in the world.
When the weather is warm, most stink bugs live outside on plants, shrubs, bushes and farms. You may even see large groups of them hanging out on the sides of buildings when they aren't eating.
When the weather cools off, they look for a warm place to spend the winter. Some will find shelter outside under dead leaves or rocks, but many will find their way into houses and other buildings. They like living in your home as much as you do!
If stink bugs do make it inside, some people trap them using aluminum pans filled with water and a little dish soap. The pans are put near lights, which attract the stink bugs. Then they get stuck in the soapy water and can't stink up the room.
Stink bugs are bugs that release a nasty-smelling chemical when moved, scared, hurt or squashed. Their special mouth parts that pierce and suck and look like bird beaks make them true bugs. They live all over the world and are considered pests because they cause damage to plants, fruits and crops.
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