It is stink bug season, people. Stink bugs come in all shapes and sizes but oh boy, there are a lot of them, and they are everywhere. Our homes are literally invaded by these stinky, unwelcome houseguests this time of the year. Index collected everything you need to know about them.
These bugs are everywhere: in our homes, in our cars, on the walls, inside our beds, and who knows where else. This time of the year is especially bad. These bugs are invasive alien species here in Hungary, they like warmth and cannot really handle the cold weather. This is the reason why they invade our homes, looking for a warm place to stay and survive winter.
The first stink bugs appeared in Hungary in 1977.
Once they are inside our homes, they are very hard to notice, as they hide in the tiniest nooks and crannies inside the house.
Unfortunately, these bugs have a very special defence mechanism: their anal glades can release quite a stinky excretion. This makes it more complicated and much more unpleasant to get rid of them. It is almost impossible to do so without making our hands, clothes, and rooms stink.
There are two types of stink bugs you are most likely to meet in Hungary: the green stink bug and the shield bug.
Green stink bug
The green stink bug (nezara viridula) is a plant-eating stink bug. Although believed to have originated from Ethiopia, it can now be found all around the world, including Hungary. It is an economically important pest on crops. The adult males can reach a body length of about 12.1 millimetres, while females are bigger, reaching a size of about 13.1 millimetres. Their body is bright green during spring and summer, and they tend to have a brownish colour in the fall. They are shield-shaped, and their eyes are reddish or black. They differ from the similar green stink bug by the shape of their scent gland openings, which are narrow and long.
The first green stink bugs appeared in Hungary in the early 2000s. Today, they can be found all over the country in large quantities.
This type of stink bug causes the most problems in Hungary. They are enemy No. 1 because they are pests.
They are a serious threat to our delicious fruits and vegetables. These bugs cause most of the damage they can during summer when all kinds of seasonal fruit ripen. Pesticides cannot really be used against them, as these bugs like the fruit that is already ripe, hence using pesticides on these crops would make them not so safe for human consumption.
Shield bugs (pentatomidae) are typically half of an inch long. Their colour is either green or brown, and they have a trapezoidal shape, hence their name “shield bug”.
Why are they here?
The most obvious reason for their relocation to the European Union is climate change. These bugs really enjoy Europe’s, and especially Hungary’s, climate with its warmer winters. Unfortunately, they have no natural enemy, and they are extremely hard to exterminate. Scientists have been working on a biological defence mechanism we could use against them, like another species that could possibly be their natural enemy, but nothing has worked so far.
What you can do
Nothing really works, to be honest, except physical destruction. They are immune to most of the things found in an everyday household, like hydrochloric acid or bleach. Installing a mosquito net is highly recommended, as well as using the vacuum cleaner to sweep them up, destroy them and get rid of them as soon as possible. Releasing them back to nature is not really recommended because there is a plague of them and they are very harmful to our crops.
Featured image: Illustration/Pixabay
Source: www.index.hu; Wikipedia