Stink bugs are naturally annoying, little pests that can be found in homes. Here, we will tackle some types of these creatures, their description, the level of harm they pose before you get rid of stink bugs.
The Green Stink Bug is a relative to the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Both are important pest species, which affect mostly the southern regions of the USA.
However, we have to distinguish between the lighter green and larger Chinavia hilare and the pale green and smaller Nezara viridula (also known as Southern Green Stink Bug).
The Green Soldier Bug (common name) is the most widely spread species in the US. It can be seen from Northern US to the Pacific Coast and in the northwest from Florida to California.
This insect has many host plants, which it uses as a food and as a hiding place during the breeding period. That fact makes it a dangerous enemy to a number of orchards and gardens across the country.
The adult bugs are shield-shaped and light green. Their size varies from 13 mm up to 19 mm (0.51 in – 0.79 in). Another distinctive mark is the orange line separating the head from the body.
The Stink Bugs are laying their eggs in masses on the host plants (on the fruit or on the leaves), which can be recognized by the yellow-green color and the rows in which the eggs are laid.
The nymphs are usually black with round shaped bodies, but as they approach adulthood, they are turning green and transform into the Shield Bugs we already know.
The Southern Green Stink Bug is originating from Africa (most probably Ethiopia) and is smaller and darker compared to the Green Soldier Bug. Today it can be seen in Europe, Africa, Asia and South, and North America.
In the US, the population is mostly limited to Virginia through Florida in the east, Ohio, Arkansas and Texas.
The adults are shield-shaped and pale green with a size reaching up to 14 mm (0.55 in).
The females are laying eggs usually in mid-April, but also can be noticed in December.
They are deposited in large masses (30-130 eggs), and you can notice them on the upper parts of the host plant leaves or on weeds. The eggs are developing in five days during the summer and two to three weeks during late autumn.
The “babies” are usually light yellow with red eyes and transparent legs and antennae.
The Green Stink Bugs are using their sucking mouthparts to feed on the juices of different fruit trees and farm crops.
The damage usually depends on the development stage of the fruit. The earlier and younger the fruit is, the bigger the damage caused by the Shield Bugs.
The insect will inject digestive fluids into the plant through its sucking “needle” and then pump back the liquefied food. The result is brownish or dark brown spots, which may damage the fruit entirely or just leave “cosmetic” traces, lowering the market price of the product.
Usually, the biggest damage is caused by the adult Stink Bugs, as the nymphs are not mobile enough. However, they can also have a severe impact on the garden and farm production.
Even though the Green Shield Bugs are notorious for their agricultural impact, they can still infest homes.
The house infestation is usually related to the worsening weather conditions in the late fall, which provokes the insects to search for a warmer place to hide and breed. Their ability to hibernate when it is cold is making them a real annoyance.
You will be surprised that they will appear during the winter (activated by the heat produced in your home) and effectively reproduce.
When given the right conditions (heat and hiding place), they will stay for long.
Although there are available DIY methods to eliminate stink bugs, the assistance of a trusted pest control company is still advised.