Stink bugs, also known as marmorated stink bugs or shield bugs, come from the family of Pentatomidae and from the order of Hemiptera. This order is comprised of more than 50,000 different insect species. The many species belonging to this order are called “true” bugs, meaning they have mouthparts meant for piercing and sucking.
Stink bugs are true bugs and like butterflies they have proboscis or straw-like tongues to dine on their daily meals. Dieting mainly on fruit and vegetable plants, this makes stink bugs huge pests for farmers. When they dine on a plant, they inject it with their proboscis and then drink away the juices. This in itself almost destroys the plant.
Stink bugs did not originate in the U.S. nor were they intentionally introduced here. Back in 1996, stink bugs were accidentally transported from Asia in a packing crate and by the time the first documented specimen was discovered in 1998, they had already reproduced all over the U.S.
Relevant to their name, stink bugs are called this for a reason.
With the capability of releasing a very foul odor onto birds, humans and other predators, they only do this when they are mishandled or when defending themselves.
A stinky smell is their only real threat against humans. Stink bugs are harmless, cannot bite and only want to be left alone. These insects are peaceful, crop eaters just like grasshoppers and other veggie munching insects.
Addie T. Lindsay is 16 years old. She is an accomplished writer and photographer of wildlife creatures, big and small. She can be reached at CritterChatter@live.com.