Of all the beautiful things that could be increasing in population—you know...butterflies, hummingbirds, swans—it has to be stink bugs? They release an odor when they are disturbed that smells a lot like stinky feet, so learning that their population is increasing is disturbing to a lot of people.
The brown marmorated stink bug has been a problem since it arrived in the United States from Asia in 1996. Luckily, they don't harm humans and don't breed indoors. However, they have become more than a little bit irritating to people in the agricultural areas of the eastern United States, much like squash bugs and boxelder bugs.
But just because they don't breed indoors doesn't mean they won't come inside. When they do enter your home, you might find them buzzing around your head or on your lights, draperies, or any window covering. By all means, don't grab a tissue and squash one because your whole room will be filled with an odor that is unpleasant, to say the least. If you didn't know how this creature got its name, you will if you squash him with a tissue.
This is the brown marmorated stink bug. Not known to bite humans, but their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be extremely frustrating. They release an odor when disturbed or crushed much like the smell of dirty feet.
Stink bugs, especially the brown marmorated ones, enter a home and spend the winter months living in an attic, crawl space, or even a crack in the wall. In the spring, they emerge from hiding only to go outside and begin feeding on your plants.
Depending on who you ask, the stink bug is large and oval-shaped or shield-shaped. They have six very long legs extending from their side, which makes them look deceptively large. They are, in fact, pretty large, with their width being almost the same as their length.
It is rare for a stink bug to bite a human, but they have on occasion when they were disturbed. Being herbivores, they prefer to eat fruits and vegetables like apples, green beans, peaches, pears, and soybeans to name a few.
If you do get bitten, you are likely to experience some swelling in the area of the bite, but that's about it. The stink they emit, although unpleasant, is harmless. Small children and pets, however, might have a more severe reaction though, so it is best to keep them away from the bugs.
This is the green stink bug.
If you have a stink bug in your house, don't antagonize it because you know what will happen when it panics. It is better to get a plastic bottle, using the lid to collect the bug. If it does decide to release its odor, the bottle will trap the smell inside. Then, just toss it outside. There are many people who would prefer to handle the bugs in this manner, but others who don't mind taking a more drastic approach to getting rid of these little stinkers.
For example, once you have the bug captured, flush it down the toilet. If it is freezing cold outside, you can put the bottle outside where the bug will freeze. In the summer, you can just put the bottle in the freezer and get the same result.
If you decide you want to set a trap for stink bugs, you will need the following supplies:
Using the razor blade, cut off the top 1/3 of the bottle, then wrap the bottom of the bottle with black electrical tape. Don't discard the top part of the bottle.
Set the LED light in the bottom part of the bottle in a position that will allow you to turn it on later, then place the top part of the bottle that you cut off upside-down into the bottom, creating a funnel.
You will need a way to enable the bugs to climb the slippery sides of the bottle, so stick strips of masking tape on the outside of it. They will be able to climb the sides, then fall into the funnel.
The LED light will need to be turned on, so you can do so by using a pencil (or any other long, slim object). Put the trap outside and leave it there overnight. The light will attract them and once they get into the bottle, they won't be able to climb back out.
Dispose of them in any manner you wish.
https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/occasional-invaders/stink-bugs/ Retrieved 02/21/2018
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/bean/southern_green_stink_bug.htm. Retrieved 02/21/2018
Paiero, S.M., Marshall, S.A., McPherson, J.E., Ma, M.-S. 2013. Stink bugs (Pentatomidae) and parent bugs (Acanthosomatidae) of Ontario and adjacent areas: A key to species and a review of the fauna. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification No. 24, 1 September, 2013
© 2018 Mike and Dorothy McKenney
Mike and Dorothy McKenney (author) from United States on April 21, 2018:
Thank you very much!
Sharlee on April 21, 2018:
Enjoyed the read... I agree why not more butterflies ? Wonderful work.