Stink beetle

Stink beetle

Name: Eleodes Spp.

Alias: This insect is known as a pinacate beetle, stink beetle, or sometimes it is incorrectly called a stink bug. It can vary in size, but some stink beetles can get as large as 2 inches long. It has a distinct black shiny body and it moves slowly across the desert. Females can lay dozens of eggs every year, and larvae are slow to develop, often taking up to 9 months to reach the adult stage.

Crimes: Its black body may make stink beetles stand out, but the most distinct characteristic it has is its tendency stick its hind end in the air and let out a notorious stink whenever it feels threatened. This powerful smell is enough to deter any ill-willed predators, dogs, or children that want to mess with it.

Redeeming Qualities: Pinacate beetles are excellent predators that feed on other pests that may infect crops or rangelands.

Sentence: These insects merit a full pardon. Seeing stink beetles around your property means that there is a healthy biodiversity that is keeping other would-be pests at bay. The best option is to leave them alone and you won’t feel the wrath of their terrible smell.

For more information on dangerous and beneficial bugs, call UI Extension educator Joseph Sagers at 208-270-4031 or email jsagers@uidaho.edu.