by Pat Jaquith
Those confusing bugs! We have bugs that stink but are not stink bugs (Western Conifer Seed Bug), and we also have even more stinky bugs that are stink bugs. Some are agricultural pests; others may prey on other insects. Here are four native Stink Bugs that I have observed when I had the camera nearby.
This well-camouflaged insect was on a spinach leaf. They feed on a wide variety of garden crops, fruit, grains, and seeds. The signature scent is in the triangular scutellum in the center of its back.
This many-hued bug feeds on seeds – no wonder it was so interested in the sunflower in my garden!
This Rough Stink Bug was on the deck of our house one sunny afternoon. I’m thinking it might have been seeking winter asylum as do the Western Conifer Seed Bugs. Typically, it lives on trees where its coloration blends with lichen, making it very difficult to spot. It is thought to prey on other insects. My research didn’t turn up any negative information; in fact, one source simply stated that insects that are threats to agricultural crops are subject to the most research.