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Stink bugs, also sometimes referred to as shield bugs, are members of the hemiptera order. They are aptly named because these bugs have small glands located on their thorax that are capable of emitting a malodorous liquid. This ability is believed to be a defensive mechanism they employ against predators and when a stink bug is mishandled, it will in fact defensively release an odor.
Stink bugs are found on a variety of hosts in addition to peaches. Hosts include many broadleaf weeds, especially legumes, as well as crops such as soybeans and snapbeans.
Stink bugs are broad insects with a flattened, shield shaped body, and a narrow head. The green Stink bugs is the largest in this complex, attaining a length between 5/8 and 3/4 inch (16-19 mm). The brown Stink bugs is brown to grayish-brown, slightly speckled, and about 1/2 inch (13 mm) long. Dusky Stink bugs is dark brown and slightly smaller, about 3/8 inch (9 mm) long. There is a small, sharp projection on either side of the shoulder, or prothorax.
Adults overwinter in protected areas such as fence rows, under dead weeds, ground cover, or stones, and in the bark of orchard and other trees. Stink bugs become active during the first warm days of spring. They may be seen as early as bloom through shuck-fall. The green Stink bugs has one generation per year, while the brown and dusky species have two generations per year. Green Stink bugs activity peaks in mid to late June and tapers off through July and August. Brown and dusky Stink bugs may show peaks of activity from May through June, but little activity in July. Populations increase again during a second generation in late July to August. Adults are strong fliers and will readily move between weeds and other alternate hosts, and peaches. Ground cover practices that eliminate seed heads and broadleaf weeds help minimize stink bug populations.
The stink bugs eggs are yellow, yellow-red, white, or pale green in color and can be found on the underside of leaves in clumps of 20 to 30 eggs. Eggs are only found outdoors on plants because stink bugs cannot reproduce indoors. Thank goodness for small favors. Crop plants are the primary source of food for stink bugs. They typically feed on fruit plants and nuts. They particularly enjoy honeydew, tomatoes, beans, corn, squash, peppers, cabbage, and any type of fruit, using their beaks to pierce and suck plant juice. This activity can cause major damage to gardens. If you discover stink bugs on your plants you can scoop them up using a pill bottle or other small container. This is time consuming, but the containers help you avoid the smell they emit.
Mechanical exclusion is the best method to keep stink bugs from entering homes and buildings. Cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings should be sealed with good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Damaged screens on doors and windows should be repaired or replaced.
Damage â€“ Stink bugs inflict mechanical injury to the seed as well as transmit the yeast-spot disease organism. The degree of damage caused by this pest depends to some extent on the developmental stage of the seed when it is pierced by the stink bugâ€™s needlelike mouthparts. The younger the seed when damaged, the greater the yield reduction. Although late season infestations may not affect yield, bean oil content and germination will be reduced.
Prevention: Exclusion is the key to avoiding stink bug invasions. Sealing your house by closing doors and windows will help keep them out of your home. If there are cracks in your siding, windows, doors, utility pipes, behind chimneys, or other openings, good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk will help stop their entry. There are also exclusion products like Xclude, which is an easy to use material for stuffing cracks and crevices. Replace ripped window and door screens and install screens on attic vents. Inspect entries to crawl spaces to make sure they are properly sealed
If you ever have any bug related questions feel free to call us either at Beyond Pest Control. Once again, and I canâ€™t stress this enough we are on call twenty four hours a day seven days a week to kill those bugs, we arenâ€™t kidding whether you call us at 9 am or midnight we will be available to take your call and either get rid of the bug infestation, or answer any questions you may have concerning the bug issue. I can honestly guarantee that there will be someone to answer that call. We make it our business to make you bug free!
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