What types of stink bugs live in Alberta?
So you probably know that stink bugs stink, but they don’t stink all the time. Instead, they will spray their stink juice from holes all over their body when frightened as a defense mechanism or if you squish them.
And if that isn’t bad enough, some stink bugs can bite. Luckily, it will only sting for a second and is not venomous!
Here are 7 kinds of stink bugs found in Alberta:
RELATED: 13 Common Spiders Found in Alberta!
#1. Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
- Halyomorpha Halys
- Brown on top and creamy whitish brown on the bottom. But colors can vary to red, grey, light brown, copper, or black.
- Blunt head has light and dark bands on antennae and around abdomen edges with a pale ring on each leg.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug gets the award for the biggest pest in Alberta.
This stink bug was first seen in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 1998. It is believed that this stink bug hitched a ride from China or Japan in a shipping container. But, unfortunately, your Amazon packages were not the only thing making their way here.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Range Map
This stink bug emerges in spring and can produce five generations annually in warm weather. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug’s habitat includes gardens, parks, and agricultural fields.
This species eats over 100 plants such as ornamental fruits and vegetable crops. They will eat the juice of the fruits and veggies. These stink bugs cause pitting and scarring of the fruit, and also introduce microorganisms that cause decay.
Then in the fall, this stink bug seeks shelter from the cold weather.
Up to hundreds will seek refuge indoors and can become a massive nuisance. They look for openings, such as gaps in vents, windows, and doors.
But don’t worry, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug doesn’t bite people or pets, and they don’t spread disease. But be careful not to pick them up or squash them because they will release their stink spray with a nasty odor.
Find out why the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs stink.
#2. Green Burgundy Stink Bug
- Banasa dimiata
- Front pale green or yellow, rear dark green or reddish-brown.
- The underside of the abdomen may have or may not have black dots along the sides.
The stink bug is common and abundant throughout Alberta.
Green Burgundy Range Map
You will find the stink bug on many different trees and shrubs such as Dogwoods, Honeysuckles, and various fruit trees from spring through fall. In winter, the adults seek shelter in outbuildings or anywhere they can. So you may find them anywhere around your home, inside or out.
Like many other stink bugs, this species is common prey of parasitic wasps and flies.
#3. Blue Shieldbug
- Zicrona Caerulea
- Metallic blue-green shield and a dark wing membrane.
- During the nymph stage are red with black spots; look like ladybugs with longer antennae and legs.
I think Blue Shieldbugs are the prettiest stink bugs in Alberta.
But honestly, they look more like beetles to me.
Blue Shieldbug Range Map
Look for the Blue Shieldbug in its natural habitat which consists of low vegetation such as damp grassland and forest edges.
This stink bug eats the larvae of various beetles, caterpillars, and moths and feeds on plants.
#4. Rough Stink Bug
- Brochymena Quadripustulata
- Color can vary from brown, gray, and blackish gray with stripes and orange spots.
- Also known as the Four-Humped Stink Bug.
This species is one of the more common stink bugs throughout Alberta.
Rough Stink Bug Range Map
Rough Stink Bugs are known to eat 18 different types of plants. Unfortunately, they eat many crops, such as corn, apples, and soybeans.
You can tell if the stink bug has been eating your plants because of the leaf destruction and scarring and pitting on the fruit or vegetable. Typically, this insect will infest crops up to 40 feet (12.1 m) from the edge of the field. This is called the edge effect.
The Rough Stink Bug prefers warmer weather but has learned to survive and thrive in cooler temperatures. But do not fear, if they have moved into your home, they can’t feed or reproduce. Then once the weather gets warmer, they will try to move back outside.
#5. Spined Soldier Bug
- Podisus Maculiventris
- Brown with a spine on each shoulder that points out not foward.
- Legs are yellowish.
The Spined Soldier Bug is beneficial; they eat many other nasty bugs. Like their name, they are soldiers and soldiers protect.
This stink bug species is common throughout Alberta and should be a welcomed guest to your garden. Unfortunately, they prefer to eat caterpillars of the gypsy moth and larva of many beetles considered pests to gardeners.
Spined Soldier Bug Range Map
The Spined Soldier Bug also will feed on some juices of plants. The good news is that they are not capable of causing any harm to plants.
#6. Black-and-Red Stink Bug
- Cosmopepla lintneriana
- Two spots of orange or red on the lower abdomen with a black body.
- Band of orange or red across the upper abdomen.
- Also known as the Wee Harlequin Bug and Twice-Stabbed Stink Bug.
This stink bug species is widespread. You may find adults crawling among leaf litter early in the year and soon after the snow melts on warm sunny days in early spring.
Black and Red Stink Bug Range Map
This stink bug eats various plants, including milk thistle, echinacea, asparagus, oats, mint, and goldenrod. The Black and Red Stink Bug is the most common stink bug found on the milkweed plant.
#7. Two-Spotted Stink Bug
- Perillu bioculatus
- Color can vary from black and red or orange or yellowish orange to reddish tan and creamy white.
- Keyhole mark on the back and two black spots on the upper part of the shield.
- The beak is twice as thick as its antennae. Legs have a whiteish stripe in the middle.
- Also known as the Double-Eyed Solider Bug.
You can find this species foraging for prey on plants. Their two spots and keyhole mark helps you quickly identify this species.
The Two-spotted Stink Bug is one of the most beneficial stink bugs in Alberta.
Make sure not to harm these helpful stink bugs. Both larval and adult stages are predators of all the nasty bugs that harm crops and plants, such as other stink bugs, beetles, and caterpillars.
Two-spotted Stink Bug Range Map
Like other bugs, the Two-spotted Stink Bug has a beak. To feed, they will swing their beaks up from under their bodies and sneak up on their prey. Then, they stab their prey with their harpoon-like tipped beak and inject digestive enzymes which paralyze their victim.
This stink bug then sucks up the digested insides. Their beaks are SO strong; they can even pierce the hard shell of a hazelnut.
Do you need additional help identifying stink bugs in Alberta?
Try this field guide!
Which of these stink bugs have you seen in Alberta?
Leave a comment below!