Subject: Need help identifying bug!
Location: Chicagoland, IL
December 19, 2013 6:52 pm
I work at a library and we had a program the other evening where we made centerpieces out of live greenery. When one of the people pulled their greenery apart, they found this little guy/girl. I have no idea what kind of bug it is or what to do with it. I can’t turn it loose outside because of the wintery weather. Right now, I’ve got it in a jar with some of the greenery (juniper) it was crawling on. First, I’m wondering: what is it? Second, what should I do with it?
Signature: Librarian M
Dear Librarian M,
This is a Stink Bug in the family Pentatomidae, and we are uncertain of the species. We cannot even say with any certainty that it is a native species. Where did the greenery come from? If it came from a florist or wholesaler, it may be imported from a distant land. You do not want to introduce a nonnative, potentially invasive species to Chicago, so we would encourage you not to release it. You can try to keep it alive by keeping fresh greenery with it. If it was found on a specific plant, chances are good that is a plant it feeds upon. Stink Bugs have mouths designed to pierce and suck fluids and most feed on the nutritious fluids they obtain from plants.