What Do Stink Bugs Eat? Insects, Corn, Tomatoes?

Stink bugs are pests commonly found in the garden but on some rare occasions, they make entry into our homes.  But do ever wonder what do stink bugs to survive?

  • Well, stink bugs are well known for their pungent smell. There are many species of stink bugs and you can tell from their different colours.
  • Though the most common colour is brown other colours ranges from brown to red, yellow and white.
  • Stink bugs have mouth parts that have needle-like appendages that help in the consumption and uptake of nutrients in their bodies.

Stink bugs are not a common bug in the house but when you find them, they are most probably hiding for winter. 

What Do Stink Bugs Eat? Food.

Stink bugs eat a lot of things in our garden and also in the house. But their favourite food is tomatoes, ears of corn, leaves, flowers, fruits and soya beans.

  • In some cases, they also attack and eat other small insects.
  • Through their needle-like mouthparts, they are able to pierce through the fruits and food and extract the delicacy out of them. 

This mouth part has the capacity to absorb the food extracts into the insect’s body.

1. Fruits

Stink bugs are fond of fruits especially those on trees because they are soft and sweet. They like sticking around fruits like pears, apples and peaches.

  • This is because of their soft skins that are easy to penetrate and also suck the juice and the delicacy out of it.

To most farmers, this attack by the stink bugs results in huge losses because the affected fruits cannot be sold. Infested fruits develop scars that make them hard to consume.

2. Tomatoes 

Stink bugs also like feasting on tomatoes too. They enjoy sucking of the juice from them just like they do on fruits.

  • They feed on tomatoes by piercing through their soft skin and flesh, sucking as much as they need.

Just like fruits, infested tomatoes cannot to eat or sell to farmers making them suffer loss.

3. Soybeans

If you have soybeans, better be prepared to see stinky bugs on your farm because that’s one of their favourite place to be.

  • Their needle-like mouth will find its way into the soybean causing damage and drain the energy from the plant.

Their damage to soybean is extensive and can cause stunted growth, withering and less productive crops.

3. Corn

This is yet another favourite food for the stinky bugs. With corns, the bugs target the ears and the husks.

  • Like they do with other food sources, they project their needle-like mouth on the soft ear and suck the nutrients from the husk.

Infested corn appear withered and dehydrated too. For those with corn, stinky bugs can really be a menace causing huge losses.

4. Stems, leaves and flowers

Apart from feeding on fruits, stink bugs are also capable of consuming other parts of the plant like leaves, stems and flowers.

The damage on orchards and farms can be extensively leading to huge losses.

5. Other Pests

Not all stink bugs feed on plants, others are predators to another pest on the farm.

  • This is also a beneficial part because it will help on reducing the pest population in the garden.
  • Do Stink Bugs Eat ants, aphids, or spiders?

They prey on aphids, caterpillars, larvae of beetles and other destructive pests.

This way, the stinky bug also helps save the farmer from huge crop losses.

What do stink bugs hate?

There are things that repel these stink bugs too. These plants include lavender, garlic, marigold, catnip, thyme among others.

  • They are known to have a strong smell that is not friendly to stink bugs.

These could also be one of the best ways to control their infestation in your farm and houses too.

How to get rid of stink bugs?

Whether you have spotted them in your house or in the garden, stink bugs don’t mean well. Their pungent smell and their destruction of crops can be controlled by getting rid of them.

  • Sealing entry points damaged windows and screens can be a good entry point for bugs in your home. Sealing them and repairing them will be a step in preventing their entry into your house.
  • Keeping off their food sources – fruits, tomatoes and others that attract these bugs should be keep kept in fridges to avoid them attracting the bugs.
  • Proper sanitation– keeping your house clean and proper and timely disposing of garbage is also a good way of eliminating these bugs in your home
  • Regulating lights and keeping your window locked– stink bugs are attracted to the house by lights. You can opt to turn off the lights when not in use as well as lowering your windows when indoor lights are on to prevent their entry

Planting repellents-some plants practically rebel stink bugs away. They include garlic, thyme, marigold and others. Growing them in your garden or around your house will also help keep off these bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What attracts stink bugs in your house?

Stick bugs are an outdoor pest but on rare occasions, you are likely to find them from around your house.

  • First, the lighting around your house. Stink bugs love light and outdoor light could be their invitation letter into your house. To be on the safer side, keep a minimum and low lighting around your house.

Alternatively, having window blinds is also a good way of preventing the indoor lights from attracting the stink bugs from their outdoor hideouts.

  • Secondly, those stink bugs indoors may have come to hide from the harsh environment of winter.
  • Stink bugs will always look for somewhere warm to continue with their lifecycle during winter and the safest place could be indoors.

Though they will be rarely destructive indoors, at some point they might also attack tomatoes and other fruits in your house

Final thoughts

What do stink bugs eat?  Stink bugs are more of outdoor bugs and their favourite food include, tomatoes, fruits, soybean, leaves and flowers of some plants.

  • Some bugs are also predators and will also feed on other insects like caterpillars, beetles, aphids among others.
  • Though some bugs may invade our homes, they do so looking for shelter during winter. Some may also get attracted by the lights of foods in your home.

If you find them in your homes there are several ways to eliminate them or even prevent their invasion either even on the garden.

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