Illinois’ Stink Bugs: Some Stuff You Maybe Didn’t Know
In a piece a few weeks back, I told you all about the varying bugs here in Illinois that are doing their level best to find a way into your house before the weather turns too cold. Some of the bugs on the list were boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles, Western conifer seed bugs, millipedes, centipedes, sow bugs, and of course, the stink bug.
Last week, I gave you some information about boxelder bugs that you may not have known, so today, let's take a look (at a safe and scent-free distance) at Illinois' stink bugs.
Here's Something I Didn't Know Before Researching This Piece: Illinois Has 11 Types Of Stink Bugs, Not Just One
Not to get all Shakespearean about it ("would a bug by any other name smell as stinky..."), but I thought we only had one type of Illinois stink bug, not the nearly dozen types that call Illinois home. Here's what we've got lurking around your doors and windows:
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (pictured above). They don't bite people or pets, but will release a foul-smelling order if threatened or squished.
The Green Burgundy Stink Bug. Like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, this guy doesn't bite, and won't eat your food, but they will stink up the joint if you smash them.
The Blue Shield Bug (not affiliated with Blue Cross/Blue Shield). This stink bug eats the larvae of various beetles, caterpillars, and moths but will also feed on plants. No biting, no eating of your food.
The Rough Stink Bug. A pain to food producers here in Illinois, since they voraciously attack over 18 different types of plants, including apples, soybeans, and corn. No biting, no eating your food, and a soon as it's warm outside, they're out of your house.
The Spined Soldier Bug. This bug gets its name from its habit of eating other nasty bugs. They also chug some plant juices, but will cause you no indoor problems.
The Black and Red Stink Bug. Not much different than the other stink bugs, except for the markings.
Mormidea Lugens. Again, a lot like others in the stink bug family, just different markings.
The Two-Spotted Stinkbug. They'll eat certain crops, along with other bugs. These guys will stab their prey with their harpoon-like tipped beak and inject digestive enzymes which paralyze their victim. They eat the bugs that damage crops, and they won't bite you.
The Anchor Stink Bug. According to BirdWatchingHQ.com, "this stink bug feeds on beetle larvae and caterpillars such as the Mexican Bean and Japanese. Unfortunately, the Anchor Stink Bug is a frequent predator of Monarch Butterfly caterpillars."
The Rice Stink Bug. This bug is a grain-lover. They'll chow down on rice, oat, barley, wheat, and sorghum. Not a human biter.
The Black Stink Bug. These guys like to eat the bugs that damage crops. If they get into your house, you'll find them sleeping in big piles, hidden from view.
Your best bet to keep these bugs away is to sweep them up when you find them around. Don't smash them or they'll stink up the place, and don't vacuum them, either. Being sucked into the vacuum triggers their stink reflex.