Sunday, February 24, 2008


P.S. I've added this 100% crop to show the red eye spots. Please click on the photo to see an enlargement. You can also plainly see the separate lenses of the compound eye.

Last year we had a few of these stinkbugs emerge at various times throughout the winter from their hiding places in our home but this year they are much more in evidence. I think I counted 6 bugs total last year and we've already have seen that number this year before they really get active when the warm weather arrives. Shows how air tight our home is if they can manage to squeeze through tiny cracks and somehow end up in the house. The adult bug is about the size of a dime. They are somewhat more persistent than lady bugs. I usually see a couple of the ladybug carcasses in the house usually along the windowsills but I haven't seen any this year.

Here's a good site for more information about the stinkbug which seems to becoming well established and increasing in numbers if the amount found in our house is any indication.

This bug is smaller than most and appears to be dying. Maybe the small size makes it more vulnerable to dessication. I don't know how the stinkbug survives indoors in a rather dry centrally heated environment. During this time it doesn't eat or drink yet some of them are still alive when spring arrives.

I took the photo with my homemade macro attachment consisting of two binocular objective lens elements. I used the camera flash which was too harsh until I covered it with an index card. I was surprised to see the two red false eyes? I couldn't see them with my naked eyes. Click on the photo to see an enlargement. It's difficult to see the red eyes in the small photo which seems to be about an 8x enlargement.


Blogger Connie said...

All too familiar a creature in my garden. They sometimes suck the juices out of my tomatoes and leave them looking awful.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

As a kid I had my first encounter with a stinkbug when the green bug sprayed me as I picked it off a plant. Peeyew. So far I haven't noticed any damage to tomatoes or other fruit. Just as well since we have only a plum and peach kept mostly for the flowers in spring. The unsprayed peach is stung by so many pests I don't think a few stinkbugs would make any difference. The peach is really great tasting so I may try to spray some neem oil this year and see if that will repel the bugs.

4:47 AM  
Blogger kate said...

What a treat, huh? I don't think I've got any of these indoors. I did see a few ants in the basement though. Funny you mentioned about ladybugs ... last winter, there were lots of them in the house (accompanying all the houseplants). This year, I've come across about three. I wonder what accounts for the difference.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Layanee said...

I have more ladybugs than stinkbugs right now. I love those dramatic phalaenopsis orchid pictures. The white is my favorite. Pure and clean. I carried them many years ago in my wedding bouquet.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate, It is strange that I haven't seen a ladybug indoors this year. Last year there were several. Since last year was very mild until late December I wonder if the ladybugs were caught outdoors when the weather finally became cold and stayed that way for the rest of the winter?

Hi Layanee,

The pure white Phalaenopsis are my favorite too...well maybe the pale yellow one may be just a bit better but the white ones are way up on the list too. We have one that's almost pure white with only a bit of yellow in the center. I'll post some pictures of it if it blooms this year. You made a great choice for your wedding bouquet and one that probably lasted for many, many days. As for stinkbugs I saw another one in our living room so that's number 8. Sheesh, how many more can there be?

5:44 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Those red eye-thingies are cool. I wouldn't have seen them if I hadn't clicked through to the larger picture.

I think I saw one of your bug's relatives in my garden this week. I was really surprised to see a bright green bug crawl out of some foliage I was working with. It seems too early to see adult bugs outside. We have quite a few adult ladybugs inside and outside in central Virginia though. We find one or two every week inside, and outside they're everywhere they can find a bit of shelter.

4:48 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Entangled,

I wonder if those red eyes are infrared detectors. I know some bugs can see in the ultraviolet and flowers fluoresce under UV light but what would the stinkbugs need infrared sensors for? Possibly so they can see warm air leaking through tiny cracks in the window sill so they can invade our home! ;)

Isn't it kinda early to see bugs outdoors? Be careful, those green stinkbugs really live up to their name, peeeuoii.

It's strange but I don't remember seeing even one ladybug last year and none in the house all this winter. I hope something's not killing them off but the aphid population was down too.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had over two dozen in the house (Falls Church, VA), mostly around windows and primarily in kitchen. One on the outside of the glass had a long (1 cm) probiscus decending to a very small clear liquid drop on the glass and inside the storm window. It was not water, prompting me to believe the liquid came from the bug itself. I put one in a zip-lock bag and scanned it with my scanner. I would post it if I knew how.

11:01 PM  

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