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Stinkbugs - Not As Bad As You Might Think

Brett Hondow

What are stinkbugs?  They are an insect that has a piercing sucking mouth part and is shield-shaped in its form.  It can be green, brown or other bright colors including orange, yellow and red. They are a combination of a group of insects that are both plant feeders in some cases, or some individuals are also predatory in nature and can feed on other insects so they can be beneficial in your garden.

So why were stinkbugs so numerous this year?  We had a wet winter and spring and this led to high growth of plants on the rangeland, and this created a lot of food source for those who are plant feeders. So ideal conditions for population growth and then when we had a warm summer - they’ve spread and moved around. 

Stinkbugs are actually quite mobile in the adult stage and can fly quite far distances.  Some of the stinkbugs we saw most commonly were ones called the green stinkbug, and the brown marmorated stinkbug which is an invasive insect.

As mentioned they can be problematic in that they can feed in your garden and cause damage, but as also mentioned they can be predatory and can also help control other insects, so they are an important part of our natural ecology. And we should embrace and enjoy them, especially the native species.  So go out and enjoy the rest of the garden for the rest of the season.