110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Nature Scenes: In warm climates, stink bugs reproduce all year
By Lynn Bowen
posted Aug 25, 2013 - 8:18:15am
A stink bug looked quite mysterious sitting in the sun on the little wooden ledge that overlooks the water at Blue Spring State Park. Perhaps Hollywood could consider making this tiny creature into a giant one for a scary movie! This bug was three-fourths of an inch long, and had blue eyes, six long red legs, long antennae, and a gray body.
Bugs really don't interest me, but I do wish some birds or other animals would love to eat stink bugs. However, it's apparent that this insect is of no interest to them either!
Stink bugs smell like sweaty feet when they choose to stink or if they are crushed. To get rid of them, one must grab them and flush them down the toilet or vacuum them and quickly toss away the vacuum bag. There are a few pesticides to spray on them to decrease their population.
In warm climates, they reproduce all year, but in colder climates, they hide under stones and weeds until spring. Then they lay their eggs on the back of leaves. The young are called "nymphs," and develop throughout the year, feeding on fruits, seeds, nuts and plants.
Stink bugs are harmless to people and pets, but can destroy crops, gardens and orchards. They live a few years unless killed first.
They were originally found in East Asia, and were not reported in the U.S. until the late 1990s when they came to the U.S., probably in cargo. They live all over North America and most of the world. Looking like mini-monsters from outer space, they visit when and where they wish, whether it's at a park, forest or farm! At least these insects are interesting to look at, even though they're not food for wildlife.
— Bowen lives in DeLand. Send email to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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