Baby Stink Bugs: What You Need to Know

Baby stink bugs look just like adult stink bugs, but smaller. These bugs come in a variety of sizes and colors. Adults range in size from three-eighths of an inch to over 1 inch long depending on the species. These odorous insects are found throughout the United States. They flourish because they have no natural predators to help keep the population under control. Many types of stink bugs are considered pests because they feed on agricultural and home crops. Others are considered beneficial due to the fact that they feed on other pests.

The little stinkers

Stink bugs spend the colder months of the year in sheltered areas. As the weather begins to get warmer, female stink bugs lay their eggs. Stink bug eggs are usually attached to the underside of the leaves of host plants. The eggs hatch baby stink bugs, which are called nymphs. The nymphs are sometimes mistakenly referred to as stink bug larvae. These nymphs look exactly like the adults except that they are smaller and lack wings until later in their development.

Growth of baby stink bugs

Baby stink bugs develop through a process known as ‟incomplete metamorphosis.” The stink bug life cycle consists of three life stages – egg, nymph and adult. As the young nymphs mature, they must ‟molt,” which means they shed the outer covering of their body known as the exoskeleton. Molting provides room for the nymph to grow larger. A baby stink bug will molt up to five times before they reach adulthood. During the last molt, they develop their wings and are then considered adults.

Stink bugs are appropriately named because they emit a foul odor from their abdomen if they feel threatened. Even baby stink bugs can give off this pungent, unpleasant smell. If these insects are raising a stink in your house, call Terminix® right away for a free pest estimate.