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True Bugs

Stink bug pic
True Bugs (scientific name is Hemiptera) are an order of insects that consists of some 50,000 - 80,000 species.  True bugs include insects such as shield bugs (most commonly referred to as stink bugs), aphids, cicadas, water bugs and even those pesky bed bugs. These insects can range in size from 1mm to approximately 15 cm.  The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouthparts. This order of insects has an arrangement of piercing and sucking mouthparts. That’s right, true bugs have specialized mouth parts used to suck juices - those juices can range be anything from plant juices all the way to human and animal blood.

Most Hemipterans feed on plants, using their sucking and piercing mouthparts to extract plant sap.  Some of this group feed on other insects or small invertebrates and some can even be parasitic.  They live in a wide variety of habitats, generally terrestrial.  Some species are adapted to life in or on the surface of fresh water. 

Hemipterans are hemimetabolous, with young nymphs that somewhat resemble adults. Many aphids are capable of producing young from unfertilized eggs.  This helps them to reproduce very rapidly. Many aphids are important agricultural pests.  The damage crops by the direct action of sucking sap and also harming them indirectly by being the carriers of serious viral diseases.

Hemipterans do not undergo metamorphosis (the complete change of form between a larval phase and an adult phase). Instead, their young are called nymphs and resemble the adults. The nymphs molt several times as they grow, and each version resembles the adult more than the previous one. Wing buds grow in later stage nymphs; the final transformation involves little more than the development of functional wings (if they are present at all) and functioning sexual organs.

Many hemipterans can produce sound for communication. The "song" of male cicadas, the loudest of any insect, is produced by tymbal organs on the underside of the abdomen and is used to attract mates. The tymbals are drumlike disks of cuticle, which are clicked in and out repeatedly, making a sound in the same way as popping the metal lid of a jar in and out.

Interesting Facts about Stink Bugs

1. Stink Bugs Are Fairly New To North America
Brown marmorated stink bugs, the variety most commonly invading U.S. homes, is actually native to Asia and was introduced accidentally. The painstaking fight to rid these pests from your home may feel like a lifelong battle; however, the nuisance species wasn’t spotted in the U.S. until 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since then, stink bug populations have exploded, and can now be found in almost every state and several provinces in Canada.

2. Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Don’t Bite
These stink bugs don’t have the ability to bite people, nor do they sting. They have a needle-like mouth they use to pierce the skin of fruit, plants, and some other insects and suck out the juices. This needle is tucked between their legs when not in use.  Although they cannot bite, you may still experience red, irritated skin if you are scratched by their exoskeletons' sharp edges.

3. Stink Bugs Have Very Few Natural Predators
While stink bug eggs and nymphs may be vulnerable to parasitic wasps, adult stink bugs have very few predators to worry about. Some birds, insects, and reptiles are known to eat stink bugs, but they do not consume them in great enough numbers to decrease stink bug populations. In addition, the odor produced by stink bugs also has a bad taste, which leads to them being spit out by many of the fish and other animals that otherwise prey on insects. 
4. Stink Bugs Can Emit Multiple Scents
The one thing probably everyone who has encountered a stink bug can agree on is that they stink. Stink bugs emit this foul odor whenever they feel threatened or when crushed. This method of defense proves to be a very successful tactic against any potential predators. Some people have compared the scent to that of cilantro or skunks. In addition to their distinctive stench, stink bugs are also able to produce a different chemical odor. This pheromone is released when a stink bug finds a safe place to hibernate for the winter. The scent, which is undetectable to homeowners, acts as a signal to other stink bugs to join them in their winter hiding spot.

5. Stink Bugs Are Most Prominent In Your Home During Fall
Fall is usually the time most homeowners notice larger numbers of stink bugs indoors. This is because stink bugs are not able to tolerate the cold weather of winter. As October rolls on, hordes of stink bugs make their way inside via windows, doors, chimneys and other cracks and crevices. Once they send out the invitation for other stink bugs to join them, you could ultimately have hundreds of stink bugs hibernating in your home through winter.

6. Stink Bugs Are Not Breeding Inside Your Home
To offer perhaps some sort of relief, you don’t need to worry about stink bugs laying eggs in their overwinter location (aka your home). When the cold weather sets in, stink bugs enter a hibernation state called diapause. During this time, they do not reproduce, nor do they feed. They are actually incapable of reproducing until the spring brings warmer weather.

7. Stink Bug Populations Fluctuate By Year And Location
You may have noticed that some years stink bugs are all over your home, as well as the news, while other years not so much. The same goes for various locations around the country. While your home may have thousands of stink bugs, homes a few states away may experience a lot fewer. The climate during any given year can affect the number of stink bugs that survive and reproduce, causing a slight reduction the following year.

Fun Facts about Cicadas
 Cicada in Latin means tree cricket.
 They live on every continent except Antarctica.
 There are over 2,000 types of cicadas.
 Periodical cicada’s come out every 17 years.
 Cicadas live most of their life underground.
 Cicada’s are bad flyers and often bump into things.
 Did you know that hundreds of thousands to one million cicadas can live on a single acre of land!
 Cicadas are known for the loud noises they make sort of like crickets.
 Did you know that in some countries people like to eat cicadas too!  Some people in countries like China, Congo in Africa, Latin America, Burma and Malaysia enjoy cicadas as a snack!
 While in the ground they attach themselves to tree roots.
 While attached to the tree roots they eat by sucking the sap from the trees.
 The cicadas grow underground.
 Adult cicadas live above ground for about six weeks.