My wife loves to have a garden each year in our backyard. It isn’t big and we normally only grow corn, tomatoes, strawberries, and pumpkins. The garden usually does well, but we always have a battle with squash bugs on our pumpkins. I was in my yard recently and saw what I thought was one of the squash bugs, but nowhere near the garden. I squished it and regretted it almost immediately.

We have squished the squash bugs around our pumpkins before and they do stink when you crush them, but this one was worse. That’s when I learned a few things.

Never Squash This Invasive Bug in Idaho

I looked up ‘stinky squash bugs’ and found out that the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Idaho looks a lot like the squash bugs I was used to. The biggest difference is the amount of smell the stink bug can produce. They eat items in my garden like the squash bugs do, but they have the ability to release their stink at will. The squash bugs only stink when they get squashed. So, don't squash either of these bugs unless you want to smell a horrible aroma.

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The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species across the United States. It was first seen in Pennsylvania in 1998 and has since taken over the continent. It looks like the squash bug to an untrained eye, but there are distinct differences. Even after looking at pictures online, I’m not sure that I could go through my yard and tell the difference.

RELATED STORY: Invasive Species Shuts Down Waterway Recreation In Twin Falls

Are Squash Bugs the Same as Stink Bugs

Because squash bugs and stink bugs look similar, they are easily and often confused. The other thing I learned while searching ‘stinky squash bugs’ was that the bug I think of when I think of stink bugs, the big black ones that stick their bums in the air when you get too close, is NOT a stink bug! They are actually stink beetles…but I’ve called them stink bugs my entire life.

Credit Canva
Credit Canva

No matter what you call them though, you don’t want to squash any stink bugs or beetles. If you need a non-squishy way to get rid of the squash bugs in your garden, apparently you just need a vacuum and the time to suck them all up.

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