What Eats Stink Bugs?

eats-stink-bugs Credit: siamesepuppy/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

The Trissolcus wasp is one of the few predators that eats stink bugs. The tiny wasp is smaller than a fruit fly but it can kill stink bug eggs. The wasp finds stink bug eggs, then plants eggs of its own inside the stink bug eggs. A larval wasp develops and eats the growing stink bug. The Trissolcus wasp could be useful as a national control for stink bugs.

As stink bugs are harmful to crops, scientists search for methods to keep the stink bug population under control. Research specialists hold both the Trissolcus wasp and stink bugs in facilities to test the potential for predator-prey control. Scientific experiments reveal few native parasites that can find and kill stink bugs.

The stink bug is also known as the brown marmorated stink bug. The insect was introduced to the U.S. in 1996, and the first specimen was collected in September 1998. It is a sucking insect that feeds on fruits and vegetables by piercing the plant and sucking out its juices. The stink bug is a true pest in the warmer months, then enters homes during the colder months. The adult stink bug has a life expectancy of 3 months to a year.