More than 5,000 different species of stink bugs are known to exist throughout the world. They have few significant natural enemies in the United States so their numbers continue to increase. Sometimes ants and spiders will feed on stink bugs, but these types of predatory pests are not enough to keep the spread of stink bugs under control. Learning about the stink bug’s life cycle and habits will help you understand why you may be seeing them in and around your home.
Prime time for stink bugs
Mating season for these insects begins as the weather starts to warm up, generally in the spring. Adult stink bugs leave their overwintering homes to mate. After mating, females begin to lay eggs, usually on the underside of plant leaves. Some species will lay clusters of stink bug eggs multiple times throughout the plant and crop growing season.
How stink bugs develop
The stink bug life cycle consists of three stages – egg, nymph and adult. The eggs hatch into the nymph stage. These immature nymphs have the same color and shape as the adults, but are much smaller. In order to grow larger, each nymph must shed its outer covering in order to make room for their larger body. This process is known as ‟molting.” Stink bug nymphs molt as many as five times before they reach adulthood. Each period of the molting process is called an ‟instar.” It’s during the last instar that stink bugs develop their wings.
Stink bugs in my house
You may sometimes find stink bugs inside your home. That’s because adult stink bugs must find a warm place to survive during the colder months of the year. As fall approaches, the adults begin looking for their winter hideaway. As they search for shelter, they can enter your home through chimneys, cracks around windows, soffit vents, gable vents and underneath doors.
The lifespan of a stink bug
The lifespan of a stink bug varies among the different species. One of the more common species, the brown marmorated stink bug, can live as long as six to eight months. Some species, such as the conchuela stink bug, have a much shorter lifespan, surviving as little as 70 days. The rice stink bug’s lifespan is even shorter. This species only lives for approximately 50 days. Since stink bugs have no natural predators and they spend the winter months in sheltered areas, some scientists believe that the stink bug lifespan may be much longer than is currently known.
If stink bugs are attempting to make your house their home, call the pest management professionals at Terminix® for a free pest estimate. Terminix Service Technicians know how to shorten the lifespan of a stink bug.