The windows of our cabbage are covered in bugs right now. When Drew asked me what they were, I answered without hesitation.

“Stink bugs.”

Growing up, that’s always what I’d heard them called. But once I started researching for this blog entry, I realized my error — the insects on my window aren’t stink bugs at all. Sure, they’re bugs and they stink. But true stink bugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, to be precise, are destructive pests from Asia that eat crops and infest homes.

Brown marmorated stinkbug. Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Brown marmorated stinkbug. Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Luckily for us, the bugs on our window are actually western conifer seed bugs.

Western conifer seed bug. Photo by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren, shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Western conifer seed bug. Photo by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren, shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Unlike the brown marmorated stink bug, the western conifer seed bug is native to this area. It also doesn’t dine on fruits and vegetables — this little guy’s meal of choice is a nice, tasty pine cone.

So how can you tell the difference between them? It turns out, the easiest way is by looking at the legs. Western conifer seed bugs are leaf footed bugs. That means they have a little flared section on their back leg that kind of looks like a leaf.

leaf foot

See it?

The western conifer seed bugs might slow production of the conifers all around us, but that’s not a big deal to us They already need to be thinned out. No, what bugs me is how many of them have made their way inside. The Penn State fact sheet about them says they’re probably trying to find someplace to winter. I say they need to find someplace else! We’ll have to make sure to calk around the window frames when we finish the place.

 

The Other Stink Bug
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2 thoughts on “The Other Stink Bug

  • September 16, 2015 at 1:18 pm
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    Holy cow! You are such a teacher Mindy! I learned a lot more about bugs than I ever dreamed of. I must admit, I am not a bugs best friend. Spiders and I do NOT get along at all, inside OR outside. I will find one in the bathroom and if Gary is home its yell his name and get the hell out of the way! Gary, blessed soul that he is, calmly gets a glass and a cd that he uses and then traps it in the cup and outside you go! Men are so much better at icky things like that. My Mum gave me my outlook on creepy crawlies, she would see one and then scream at the top of her lungs “Spider! Spider!” it may not have been a spider, maybe another type or the now famous “smudge” that was turned into a spider by my almost hysterical Mum. Have fun on your “battle royal” with the creepy crawlies….I’m staying away in my hermetically sealed room! 😉

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  • September 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm
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    I learned a little something about these bugs today. Thanks! Still, I have to add that a rose by another other name . . . no, no, wait! A stink bug by any other name still smells as . . .

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