The stink bug, which emits an unpleasant odor, is familiar to almost everyone since childhood. This is a common insect that lives in many countries with a temperate climate. Because of the sharp, unpleasant smell, he was rightly called “stink”. Most often this is called a garden bug. However, other types of bugs also secrete a special secret in case of danger, so they are also often called stink bugs.
Origin of the species and description
The stink bug is a broad species of members of the Pentatomidae family. It belongs to an extensive order of bedbugs, stands out for its specific aroma. This fragrance is not just a stench. This is a special signal for better orientation in the area, a specific way of communicating with each other, a method of protection from dangers and a way of surviving in difficult conditions. For an insect, it plays a significant role.
Stink bugs are vegetarians. They prefer to eat the juice of various plants. Only in exceptional situations can a beetle kill and eat another insect. For example, in a hopeless situation, when there is no more suitable food. Another important function of an unpleasant secret is to attract a partner for mating. Thus, the beetle shows its readiness for reproduction, scares away other insects that are nearby.
The unpleasant odor exuded by the animal can be compared to the smell of rotten cognac, rotten raspberries. By the sharpness of the stench, one can judge the number of insects. For example, with a large accumulation of bed bugs, one of the stink bugs, an unpleasant smell will constantly be present in the apartment. It's hard not to notice.
In addition to bed bugs, garden, there are other types of stink bugs:
- birch ;
Of all the representatives, garden and tree bugs have the most pungent aroma. Their glands secrete a pungent, highly persistent fluid.
Appearance and Features
Due to the huge number of stink bug species, it is difficult to give a general description of them. Species differ in size, body color. The most common type of these beetles is the tree bug. He exudes the most caustic, pungent smell. The wood bug has a light green color. An adult can reach fifteen millimeters in length. In spring and autumn, such a beetle changes color to a darker gray color.
The body shape of the bug is round, has small protrusions on the sides. This body structure is characteristic of all representatives of the order of bedbugs. The outer covering of the body is chitinous. At the end of the back of the beetle are wings. The wings are usually brown in color. The chitinous cover of the stink bug is its main protective shield against other insects. He is very tough.
Young stinkers are not much different from adults. They hatch from eggs with a light green cover that has an oval shape. The only differences are: the smaller size of the individual and the absence of wings. The wings of the beetle appear only after puberty. Before puberty, a small bug manages to shed its shell five times. This is due to the fact that it becomes tight over time. Dropping stops only when the stink bug stops growing.
Where does the stink bug live?
The stink bug is an almost ubiquitous insect. It is widespread throughout the globe. In large numbers, these beetles are found in Asia, Europe, Russia, Africa, Australia, North and South America. Individual species of individuals are found even in Alaska and Chukotka. Basically, the polar species of beetles lives there.
Bedbugs are not very whimsical insects. However, they prefer a predominantly temperate climate. In such climatic conditions, animals feel more comfortable. The place for breeding, habitat depends on the variety of stink bugs. Some individuals prefer to live close to humans. They live in private houses and apartments. They choose cracks, places with high humidity, sofas, beds for their home.
Under natural conditions, bed bug settlements live in tree hollows, bird nests, and burrows of various animals. In the city, insects choose fallen leaves, sand, cellars, cellars, where there is high humidity, to live. In many countries, green bugs are used as medicine. With their help, alcoholism is successfully treated. Bodies of insects insist on moonshine for several days, little by little they are given to a person who is addicted to alcohol. This miracle recipe has more than once allowed you to completely get rid of the addiction.
What does the stink bug eat?
A separate group of bedbugs belongs to hematophagous parasites. They prefer to eat only blood. At the same time, they equally like both animal blood and human blood. The most prominent representative of the “bloodsuckers” are bed bugs. They live in houses and apartments. At night they bite people, feeding on their blood. However, this group is quite small.
Most species of stink bugs are herbivorous and predatory. Herbivores feed on the sap of various plants. Many of them cause significant harm to humans – they destroy agricultural land. Predators, on the contrary, are of great benefit. They destroy the larvae of harmful beetles, eat caterpillars, aphids, and many other insect pests.
The type of plant food depends on the type of stink bug:
- the harmful turtle feeds exclusively on grain crops . Such beetles feast on oats, wheat, corn;
- barbed shield beetles prefer to eat carrots, parsley, dill;
- the cruciferous bug feeds on radish, cabbage, colza, and other similar plants;
- berry bugs eat currants, gooseberries, raspberries.
Bugs have external digestion. Most predatory species do not immediately consume their prey. First they kill them, then wait for decomposition. Only then do they begin to suck out nutrients for themselves.
Peculiarities of character and lifestyle
The stink bug belongs to the order Hemiptera. They are characterized by the presence of special glands on the cephalothorax, which, under certain conditions, secrete a smelly liquid. The nature of these animals is quite peaceful. There is only a separate group of predators that hunt and eat other insects. In this case, the smelly liquid is used as a weapon. It has a paralyzing effect on prey. Sometimes it can lead to the death of small insects.
In other cases, odorous liquid is used only for protection, communication and better coordination on the ground. She scares off enemies, allows you to attract partners for reproduction. Also, for their protection, beetles use a flattened body shape, the color of the cover. They easily penetrate into small cracks, disguise themselves among green plants, leaves.
The way of life of stink bugs is measured. In the warm season, the beetles spend in search of food or a mating partner. They live in gardens, apartments, wet basements, forests, and vegetable gardens. Stink bugs have wings, but they rarely use them to move. The wings have a small span. They help the beetle only slightly rise above the surface. Beetles have to get food, look for a place to sleep with the help of tenacious paws.
With the onset of the first cold weather, the beetle begins to look for a suitable, secluded place for hibernation. The stink bug most often chooses fallen leaves for this. It burrows deep into it and hibernates until warmer weather sets in.
Social Structure and Reproduction
In the social structure of bedbugs, the strongest always takes precedence. Especially competition is clearly manifested during the breeding season. Males at this time become quite aggressive. They can attack other males and even representatives of other insects. For example, cockroaches often become their victims. There is no clearly defined mating season for these animals. They can breed almost all year round.
They need only two conditions to mate:
- comfortable air temperature. For them, this is a temperature of twenty to thirty degrees above zero;
- a nearby power source. For each type of bug, it has its own. Some need berries, some need crops.
Maturity in stink bugs occurs at the age of 1.5 months. They have a traumatic method of procreation. They penetrate the genital organ into the abdomen of the female, leaving their seed there. Then the female can use the resulting seed at her discretion. Usually, females lay eggs in very small portions as needed. The rest of the seed can be in the body of the female for a long time.
This method of laying eggs is a high guarantee of the safety of the stink bug family even during periods of lack of food. However, in general, the fecundity of this bug is small. Females lay 20 to 200 eggs. Stink bug eggs have a special “lid”. At some point, this lid opens and a first-instar larva emerges from the egg.
Natural enemies of the stink bug
The main enemy of skunks are telenomines. They parasitize eggs. Phasia fly brings similar harm. These pests are destroying the bedbugs' future legacy. They lay their offspring directly into bedbug eggs. The emerging larvae eat the remnants of organic tissue. Hedgehogs also love to eat bedbugs. They eat both larvae and adults. Also, the enemy of stinkers can be called a green toad. Amphibians prefer to eat not only water striders, but also other varieties of stink bugs.
Birds are natural enemies of such bugs. They are eaten not only by forest birds, but also by domestic birds. For example, chickens. Chickens are often released for a walk in the garden, garden in order to destroy pests. Less often, bed bugs become victims of small rodents, such as a vole mouse, as well as cats and dogs. The latter can play with it for a long time before eating the beetle.
Population and species status
Stink bugs are more likely to be classified as pests. Many representatives of their species eat berries, spoil plants, crops. In large numbers, certain types of stinkers cause significant harm to agriculture. Only a small group of bugs is beneficial – it eats caterpillars, aphids, and many other pests.
Today, the species of stink bugs is not endangered, it is not listed in the Red Book. Beetles are widespread almost all over the world, their population is considered normal, in some countries — even excessive. Almost every year, several countries have to fight against the invasion of these pests.
Basically, natural methods of control or physical destruction are used for these purposes. For example, some farmers hand-pick beetles and then burn them. And in winter, various preventive measures are actively carried out in such countries.
The stink bug is the most controversial insect. On the one hand, some types of bedbugs help a person in the fight against pests, on the other hand, individual representatives of the detachment themselves cause great harm to agricultural land. A feature of this green beetle is a bright, sharp aroma, specific appearance.