Stink Bugs eat on fruit crops, leaves, flowers, soybean, and corn. Major fruits like apples, pears, and stonefruits are their favorites. The food that has fluid/soft inside but hard outside is their preferred choice to feed on.
The list of plants that Stink bugs feed on are apples, apricots, Cherries, Corn, Asian pears, raspberries, peaches, peppers, grapes, lima beans, soybeans, and tomatoes.
The brown marmorated stink bugs damage the fruits or corn kernels, that will be suitable for sale in the market. The inside of fruits will be rotten due to their saliva injection.
In the USA alone during late May or early June, the stink bugs eat many fruits, vegetables, and feed on plants like peaches, beans, soybeans, pears, raspberries, and apples. They target most of the agricultural crops, in 2010 a loss of $37 million dollars in apple crops and 90% loss to stone fruit growers. In Japan, they affected soybean and fruit crops.
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How Do Stink Bugs Eat?
The brown marmorated stink bugs have a needle-like mouth called a proboscis/stylets to pierce the host plant/fruit to feed. They are sucking insects that consume nutrients like we use a straw. It will pierce like a syringe and suck nutrients through a straw.
The Stink bugs while eating extracts all the fluids necessary for the plant to grow. The plant loses the necessary nutrients that will affect the seed formation, delayed plant maturation, destroy the fruiting structure and expose plants to harmful pathogens.
While Stink Bugs eat they inject saliva into the plant/fruit, causing dimpling on the fruit’s surface and rotting inside.
What do Stink Bugs eat in the house?
Stink bugs eat fruits. Their primary source of food in the house is ripened fruits. If you have a garden with fruit trees then that is an open invite to Stink Bugs.
Why do stink bugs get into the house? It’s not only for food. But also for the warmth. The stink bugs have a low affinity to stay outside in the colder months, so they tend to keep themselves warm inside the house. They attract other stick bugs by releasing the pheromone, to attract other members of the same species.
The Stink bug or shield bug releases a pungent odor when it is in danger. If you try to catch it, it will emit the pungent odor as a defense mechanism in order to avoid being eaten(birds or lizards).
What keeps Stink Bugs away?
Keeping Stink bugs away is the best measure than letting them inside your house. Stink bugs find residence at your place during cold winters. Once the spring is up, they will come outside to your backyard garden to feed on plants/fruits. There are simple steps to keep Stink Bugs away
Simple home remedies to Getting Rid of a Stink Bugs
- Kill them when you find them(only outdoors), the pungent odor released from stink bugs will warm others to flee.
- Stink bugs love dampness, so hang a damp towel over the deck in the night. You will find many stink bugs(if they are in your backyard) over them in the morning. Rinse the towel in the hot soapy water, all the Stink bugs will be dead.
- Scented Dryer sheets can repel Stink bugs from entering. If the mesh screen is all with Stink bugs, rub them with Dryer sheets, the smell of it will prevent from coming near to your windows(mesh screen).
- Weed your garden.
- Seal all the entry points like cracks, chimneys, air vents with high-grade silicone caulk.
- Vacuum the stink bugs, throw the bag or flush them.
- Hand-picking them is not recommended. But you can pick them using plastic bags, again flush them. The Stick bugs are not fast-moving, so you can think about all the options before hand-picking them.
- You can freeze the bugs to death, if its winters throw them out or if its summer put the bug in a plastic bottle into the freezer.
- A soapy solution can kill stink bugs. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap with a 1 gallon of water. You can drop Stink bugs into the soapy solution, they will drown to death.
What bugs eat Stink Bugs?
The two most dangerous Stink bugs that affect many farmers are Brown marmorated stink bugs and kudzu bugs. Like all pests, there are natural predators that will eat Stink Bugs.
A parasitic wasp found in Asia (India, Pakistan) region has been praying on Stink bugs eggs in the soybean field, a research study from Virginia Tech University. Still, the research is going on to determine, will the wasp affects the ecosystem, after their introduction.
Common natural predators that eat Stink Bugs are Birds, Parasite flies, Bats, Lady beetles, and spiders. Even the bugs eat Stink Bugs like Big-eyed bugs, Damsel bugs, Assassin bugs, and predatory stink bugs.
Surprisingly the stink bugs feed on other stink bugs. They go after their same species, to mark their feeding preferences.
Do Stink Bugs eat spiders?
No, it’s the other way around. The Spiders eat Stink bugs. Spiders are common predators for Stink bugs. Some Arthropods other than spiders have eaten by Stink bugs. Stink bugs use the stylets to pierce to host bodies to draw the nutrients.