Squash one of these critters and you will quickly know how they get their name. The foul smell comes from a fluid they secrete from a special gland and it is probably meant as a deterrent to predators.

These insects are part of the plantbug group and range from 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch in length. Most of them are a dull green, gray or brown in color but the harlequin bug also has bright orange markings. Stinkbugs fall into the category of sucking insects and they feed on tender foliage or fruit. In large numbers, their feeding may cause a distortion of the leaves. A few species are actually predators of other insects.

On the rare occasion that stinkbugs are causing damage to plants, they may be controlled in a similar manner to most beetles.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

Types of Insects

"Name That Bug Page"

 

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