Stink Bugs

Stink bugs, also sometimes referred to as shield bugs, are members of the hemiptera order. They are aptly named because these bugs have small glands located on their thorax that are capable of emitting a malodorous liquid. This ability is believed to be a defensive mechanism they employ against predators, and when a stink bug is mishandled, it will in fact defensively release an odor.

Stink bugs are generally active from spring to late fall in most regions. They are particularly common in the southern parts of the United States, but have been found around the country. At night, they are attracted to light and may be seen swarming about. Adult stink bugs have four wings and while nymphs closely resemble adults, they are without wings. Stink bugs can generally be found in or near vegetation, especially on tomatoes, melons, and beans. Because a great many stink bugs are brown or green in color, they blend in very easily with their surroundings.

Stink bugs are resistant to many types of pesticides and can be difficult to control. If you discover an infestation of a type of stink bug, you should have an entomologist or bug expert identify the type of bug and determine what control can and should be used, if necessary. Be cautious handling stink bugs because though they can’t harm you, they will emit their odorous production, which most people find very offensive to their olfactory senses – hence the name “stink bug.” The odor of a stink bug does tend to linger, but unlike the similar dispersal system of a skunk, a stink bug’s odor can be washed away with soap and water.

Ladybugs

Ladybugs have been known as good luck, especially to farmers, as ladybugs feed on aphids which destroy plants. Though lady bugs are harmless to humans, they have become a very common home invader. During the fall months these small, winged, red and black insects will invade neighborhoods by the thousands getting into a home or business through any crack and crevice they can find.

Ladybugs are looking for a place to hibernate. They are attracted to light colored homes, usually older homes, and they are attracted to heat that the homes reflect. Once ladybugs have penetrated the home though, they are hard to get rid of.
Ladybugs release pheromones, it is sort of like "perfume" to attract other ladybugs. They use pheromones as a means of communication during mating and hibernation. Insect pheromones are very powerful. They can be detected by others up to a 1/4 mile away. This helps ladybugs find each other and it lets future generations know of a good place to "camp out" for the winter. The pheromones don't go away easily. The chemical "scent" can remain year after year, and not only on the outside of a structure, but also within the walls, where ladybugs tend to hide before emerging into your home. So, scrubbing pheromones off a house is a BIG task, if not impossible.

The yellow stuff you might see from time to time is their blood (hemolymph). It, too, contains pheromones and it stains. You can see the yellow blood when you hold a ladybugand it gets scared. This is a normal reaction to stressful situations called reflex bleeding. Releasing some of its blood is one way the ladybug can protect itself. The blood smells bad and signals to a predator that this ladybug is not a good lunch choice.

To prevent ladybugs from getting in, make sure all cracks around windows, doors, clap boards, pipes, etc. are sealed. Some extermination companies offer this service, sometimes called inclusion. This, too, is no small project, and may cost a small fortune, but it's worth it, especially if you don't like ladybugs joining you for dinner.

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