Stinkbugs can destroy your garden in short order and they smell pretty bad!
Stinkbugs are true bugs, which means they are members of the Hemiptera family. The word Hemiptera comes the Greek for half-wing. The front half of their wings are hard and the back half are soft. Stinkbugs can be recognized easily because of their flattened, boxy, shield-shaped body and tiny scent gland openings near where their shoulder blades would be if they were human. The Green Stinkbug (Acrosternum hilare) is bright green with red, orange or yellow edges. Harlequin bugs (Murgantia histrionica) are shiny black with yellow, orange, and red markings.
Stinkbug eggs are laid in clusters of tiny barrel shapes on the underside of leaves in spring and fall. Before hatching, the eggs can be white, yellow, green, buff or even pink. When they hatch, the cluster will be covered with tiny brownish-orange babies, called first instar nymphs. Each instar is a developmental stage that is achieved through molting. Stinkbugs have five installs before reaching full size. Stinkbugs can have 4 generations every year and each female can lay hundreds of eggs at each laying. Yup, they add up fast!
There are 250 varieties of stinkbugs in the U.S. and 4700 worldwide. They can be brown or green. Stinkbugs eat seeds, grain, fruit, vegetables, ornamental plants, legumes, weeds and tree leaves. They can also transmit tomato bacterial spot with piercing mouthparts. Unfortunately, insecticides don't seem to have an effect.
Wasps and flies, such as the tachinid fly (Trichopoda pennipes) and the Trissolcus basalis wasp will parasitize the eggs, but those critters are not always available when you need them. You can also provide habitat for birds, spiders, toads, and other insect eating critters. The best method of control for stinkbugs is to handpick and deposit them in a container of soapy water or feed them to your chickens!
I hope this information inspires you to grow more of your own food. You can ask your garden questions on my Home page.