Where Do Stink Bugs Come From?

If you have wondered where do stink bugs come from, you are not alone.  Even though much research has been to learn about this particular species of insect over the past decade or so, there is still much more that remains to be explored. If you are reading this article from a computer in North America, then in case you are wondering, stink bugs are not native to the western hemisphere at all. To make a long story short, stink bugs are natives of southeastern Asia. For the millions of years that this species of insect has been roaming the earth, it has always been confined to that particular geographic region of the world.

In fact, most people living in the west may not even realize this, but stink bugs have only been present in North America for about a decade or so! Indeed, after millions of years of natural evolution taking its course, stink bugs, which were once indigenous to a far away, remote part of the planet, now have been introduced into a foreign environment, throwing a monkey wrench into the ecosystem. And now we in the west are having to contend with a stink bug population that has experienced explosive growth. Their numbers have been growing at an alarmingly exponential rate each and every single year over the past decade through reproduction.

So now that we know where stink bugs come from, the question arises as to how exactly they got here in the first place? If they isolated to the Asian subcontinent since the beginning of time, how did they suddenly appear here in the western world, thousands of miles away? Surely they did not fly here! Surely they did not migrate here like some animals do, in search of food. What event transpired that brought them here seemingly overnight?

While nobody knows for sure exactly how and when the first stink bug arrived here in the western hemisphere, what is known is that the first officially reported and documented sighting of a species of stink bug was in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the year 1998. There are various theories abound as to how the first stink bugs might have come here. One theory is that a number of them may have been brought here inadvertently as stowaways aboard a cargo ship, having been brought aboard unnoticed. It is also possible that they were somehow brought into the United States by having been concealed inside an oblivious passenger’s luggage aboard an international flight from China, Japan, Taiwan, or the Koreas.

Whatever the case may be, scientists, and the United States Department of Agriculture have a vested interest in learning as much as they can about the stink bug epidemic in the United States. In just the span of a mere decade and a half, the stink bug population has spread to well over 38 states.

While stink bugs are typically not deemed to be harmful to humans or to any other forms of life for that matter, there is one major problem that they pose: They are a race of herbivores. Therefore, they feed on fruits and vegetation found in the wild. In the United States, stink bugs have accounted for a substantial loss of revenue to the agricultural industry due to the fact that stink bugs will feed on crops in the wild. Therefore, the government is actively looking for a solution to the stink bug problem.

How have these critters managed to survive in a non-native environment? The answer is simply that stink bugs have no known predators in the food chain. There are no other animals or insects that feed on living stink bugs…. The only exception to this is that there are certain species of wasps that are known to feed on the unhatched eggs of stink bugs.

And as far as adaptation to the climate is concerned, stink bugs are notorious for seeking shelter in warm indoor spaces during the autumn and winter months. Those that are not able to seek shelter will enter a state of hibernation to get them through the cold winters.

While they do not reproduce indoors, they are capable of reproducing at an alarming rate. The average female stink bug is known to produce as many as 400 fertilized eggs during its lifetime, that lifetime typically not exceeding a year at most.

The average lifespan of stink bugs varies from a few days, weeks, to even several months, depending on how well they are able to adapt to the climate and environmental factors.

So it is no longer a question of where do stink bugs come from, but how can we deal with them now that they are here?