Beneficial Insects: Spined Soldier Bug also known as Stink Bugs. Order: Hemiptera. Family: Pentatomidae
About 3/8″ to 1/2″ in size, the adult spined soldier bugs are shield-shaped, yellow to brown with black speckles and pointy shoulders with a distinctive black line on the top of each wing. The nymphs are wingless, smaller of course, and more oval shaped. They are also usually red, orange, cream or black. Spined soldier bugs usually inhabit crop fields and gardens, being found on garden plants and wild plants.
Their favorite prey is caterpillars, cabbage loopers, sawfly larvae, grubs, beetles, Mexican bean beetles and Colorado potato beetles.
Although they are mostly a “good bug,” they will also prey on other beneficial insects such as ladybugs. They have also been known to eat their own young.
Their eggs are also spined – which makes it easy to remember that they belong to this bug – and usually a silvery color.