Life Cycle of Stink Bugs
Stink bugs mate once the winter season is over. Come spring, these bugs get ready for their population to explode. Females lay their eggs (around 20 of them) on the underside of leaves.
There are three stages in the life cycle of the stink bug, from egg to nymph to adult. Nymphs, or hatched stink bugs (which come out 5 days after the eggs have been laid), resemble smaller versions of the adult stink bugs. They are yellow in color, with red eyes. They undergo molting in order to accommodate a bigger body. Each phase of molting is known as ‘instar’. During the fifth and final instar, the stink bug develops wings and becomes ready for the outside world.
Stink bugs thrive in warmer regions. The brown marmorated stink bug can live for eight months. Other species of stink bugs have varying life spans. There are around 5000 species of stink bugs around the world. Stink bugs have adapted well to the climate and environment of America. They have few natural predators, which explains how they breed so easily.
Purpose of Stink Bugs in Ecosystem
It can be hard to imagine any important role for this stinky insect, but stink bugs are actually important members of the environment. Although they can damage crops, they have been known to eat other insects that attack plants. They also unintentionally help wasps and bees feed on plants and trees by creating cuts in the plants. They allow pollinators to successfully do their job!
Stink Bug Facts
Here are some fun facts about stink bugs –
- The brown marmorated stink bug was first found in Pennsylvania in 1996.
- Over 200 species of stink bugs are found in the US.
- Stink bugs feed on more than 100 different plant species.
- The rice stink bug lives only for 50 days.
- Stink bugs are often eaten by pets in the house. This can cause vomiting and nausea in the pet.
- Stink bugs do not eat or breed during the overwintering phase.