Currently viewing the category: "Stink Bugs and Shield Bugs"

MY name is joey. Today a bug fell of my wall the bug is mostly orange with black stripes and when i squeshed it it smelt really bad. it had six legs and like a spout like thing under its head the back is like a oval. I was just wondering what it was and if it was harmful. I live in VA to if that helps please write back sone the bug was half a starburst or a little more
JOEY
Dear Joey,
The reason your bug smelt so badly is because it was probably a type of stink bug (family Pentatomidae) of the harlequin variety. They are true bugs, hence the sucking mouthparts which may look like a spout. They are not harmful to humans, except for the foul smelling odor which they emit from glands near the hind legs. The odor serves to discourage or repel enemies. The harlequin stink bug can be harmful to plants, especially those of the cabbage family, and they use their sucking mouthparts to withdraw vital fluids from their hosts, occasionally causing major damage when large numbers of bugs are present.
—Daniel Marlos "What’s That Bug?"

I live in New Hampshire and am having a problem with stink bugs. It is winter and we keep finding them in the house, on the windows, in the bathroom, etc. We seem to find one a week, where are they coming from?
Jane H.

Dear Jane H.
Stink bugs are notorious plant eaters, and they use their sucking mouthparts like a syringe to withdraw the vital fluids from their host plants. The most common species are either green or harlequin (red and black) and the green varieties are sometimes attracted to lights. These are the true stinkers in the insect world as well as being true bugs with incomplete metamorphosis. Without more information regarding the actual species I cannot conclude anything more than that perhaps the warm fall weather increased their survival rate outdoors and they entered the house for warmth, or else a houseplant, especially one that was outside this summer, has become their indoor host. Check your plants.

—Daniel Marlos