Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
The (brown) Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha Halys) is an interesting creature overall… Durable little insects, able to walk along after smacking into a window or door at full speed or being swatted away multiple times, as if nothing ever happened. The downside is they are a laid-back creature, so calm and carefree that they don’t always realize they’re in danger. If you’ve got a cat at home, and it spots one of these bugs, chances are it’ll smack it off of a vertical surface and watch it climb back up.
Cats play with their prey before eating it, and the stink bug doesn’t realize that the cat’s probably going to try and eat it, so it’ll constantly keep climbing back up that surface until the cat’s done with it.
Stink bugs are known to release a foul-smelling odor after being squashed or disturbed, and these are no different. However, like I stated before, they aren’t the smartest and may not release anything at all. Be careful handling them. They won’t bite, and I’ve never had them release their foul odor, but they might just do that if you handle them wrong.
These creatures are an invasive species, native to China and Asia. It was presumed to have arrived overseas in the mid 90s. Since they’re invasive, you’ll most likely have to exterminate them.
Humane traps are best, and pesticides may not be the best alternative (since some creatures will feed off of them, and the poison could kill other animals). Squashing them, setting up dunk-style traps with soapy water, having a few pet/tame spiders around the house (like the Jumping Spider) to hunt them, owning a trap crop (like a Venus fly trap) or a pitcher plant. You may also want to check your local hardware store for a stink bug trap.
These bugs share some similarities with insects like Assassin Beetles, but they aren’t from the exact same family. They all have a needle/probe/beak folded beneath their underbelly but, unlike Assassin Beetles, they don’t feed on other bugs. Instead, they feed on fruits, veggies and plants.
They’re notorious for causing millions of dollars in damage to crops. If you have a small farm or garden and don’t want to use pesticides, you can use the natural/humane alternatives (as mentioned before) or rely on native predators to take care of them.
Some predators to these stink bugs are: Wasps, Assassin Beetles, spiders and birds. Some birds may not like the foul scent they secrete, but chickens don’t seem to mind at all. In fact, from my own experience, they’ll go absolutely bonkers once they’ve found one, running away from the other chickens as they follow it along, trying to steal the stink bug from it!
While fascinating, these stink bugs are damaging to crops and gardens and when they start to swarm in fall they are all over the place trying to find a warm place…usually trying to get in to your home, so they can hide in your warm attic over winter. Your best bet is to get them while they are young in April, but either way you want to keep their population down. Good luck on eliminating this evasive Corky Creature.
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