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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stinkbugs Stink!

Jessica Walliser
Hobby Farms Contributer

Corn growing in home garden
Photo by Jessica Walliser
My corn looked good until those nasty stinkbugs took hold.

Stupid stinkbugs have ruined my corn! I was so excited to harvest my Jade Blue sweet corn, but when I peeled back the husk, the kernels are all shriveled and warped. The foliage is completely covered with stinkbugs and the white splotchy damage caused by their feeding.

I ran into my neighbor while walking our dog last night, and we were talking about how his corn is inedible this year, too, for the same reason. He has grown sweet corn in his veggie patch for 20 some years and has never had a loss like this because of an insect. (The deer and raccoons are a different story!) It’s so disheartening. We chatted for a good half hour about all the losses our gardens have had this year due to the stinkbugs. They are going to be crazy bad in our houses this winter. Gross.

I am leaving tomorrow for the Garden Writer’s Association’s annual conference in Indianapolis. I’m sure stinkbugs will come up as a topic in many conversations throughout the weekend. I have been invited to give a lecture on beneficial insects during the conference (stinkbugs are certainly not included on that list!) and am looking forward to seeing some old friends and making many new ones. I’m excited to have lots of new insect images to use during my presentation—I finally invested in an extension tube for my camera and have been trolling about the garden on a near daily basis to catch some good bugs in action. I wonder if they will ever notice what a great and prolific protein source stinkbugs are …

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Reader Comments
Ick.
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 2/6/2014 11:48:47 PM
The stink bugs were absolutely aweful this year in the garden. Is this something new? My corn was huge and beautiful. I was so excited about the prospect of harvesting those gorgeous cobs. Then, nothing, just like you said. It was so disappointing. I pulled up all my stalks also. I was too angry to even want to look at them and the loss. There's got to be something we can do about this insect.
Julie, Rock Mount, VA
Posted: 9/17/2011 1:28:35 AM
My stinkbugs love my peppers - the plants are covered in them and the fruits have soft mushy spots where they've been feeding. Luckily the chickens don't seem bothered by the stink and are happy to gobble them up, but they're one of the most frustrating pests ever!
Lady Radagast, West Grove, PA
Posted: 9/1/2011 7:44:32 PM
Jessica, I didn't have a bug problem this year nor a critter problem. The season was just a bit peculiar. My garden looks as though it's shutting down for the season which is a full month early. During the productive time of the season I was buried with produce. It's almost like the plants knew something that I didn't know and produced their heart while they could. It would not surprise me if this area has an early fall and winter in store for us this year. Hopefully, the fall garden will make it into the storage room. Have a great trip.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 8/26/2011 5:17:27 PM
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