Stink Bugs

Various species

  1. Symptoms: Adult stink bugs feed on stem tissue or developing kernels (picture at left). Saliva from this insect is toxic to the plant, and a single feeding puncture can kill a stem. Feeding on kernels during the milk dough stage will destroy the kernel, while feeding during later development stages will badly shrivel the grain. Feeding on the developing spike may cause partial or total sterility. Adult stink bugs have a shield-shaped body (picture at right) and emit a disagreeable odor when crushed.
  2. Life Cycle: Stink bugs over-winter as adults and may diapause. They tend to hibernate under dead leaves and grass. In the spring they migrate to cereal hosts, mate, and lay eggs at various places on the plant. These hatch into nymphs that feed on the plant. Mild winters and low rainful seem to favor outbreaks of the insect.
  3. Hosts/Distribution: Stink bugs will feed on most cereals and grasses, as well as a large range of weeds (depending on the species). Stink bugs are of major economic importance in Asia Minor.
  4. Importance: Losses due to stink bugs are highly variable and depend on the density of the insects, weather conditions, and duration of the crop growing period. Losses are due primarily to reduced baking quality.

Stink Bugs Stink Bugs