Friday, April 12, 2013

The war continues.

I have to tell you, I put my pacifism aside when it comes to stink bugs. I've been hearing complaints from other people recently about how many they are seeing so I did a little googling. These are brown marmorated stink bugs, it turns out, and were accidentally introduced to Pennsylvania from Korea and Taiwan in 1998, and have since spread out from there. Well, thank you Kim Jong Il. In addition to being an agricultural menace, they love to hibernate in houses and become active in the warmth. What it means for me is that several times an evening, one will start flying around like a lunatic, circling the ceiling lamp repeatedly until it suddenly veers off. Often straight at me. I don't like that. And oh my god, do they smell bad. According to a PBS show, it is a "pungent odor that smells like cilantro." No wonder I hate them - cilantro is a truly disgusting plant with a smell and taste that makes me gag. And so I have declared war. Outside I ignore them, but no stink bug is allowed to live in my home.
You know what this is? Death row. I catch them in tissues and because I hate to waste water, I weight down the prison cells with something heavy until I have several to flush at once. Sometimes when they hit the water, they swim out to fly away, but it's too late. They are caught in the whirlpool, and I watch until they've all been sucked down into the sewer. The pink plastic Easter egg has also been employed as a trap. A couple of days ago, I had four stink bugs housed in it before dumping them in the toilet. Fortunately, once they land, they generally stand passively while you collect them. But last night was the worst so far. We were under a tornado watch and the approaching storm must have driven them in.  I looked up to see 17 stink  bugs on my window. 17. No. I've learned, and when I put a new bag in the vacuum cleaner, I first vacuum up a little ash to absorb their stinkiness. One after the other, I vacuumed up all 17, and later in the evening added more of their comrades.  I have a feeling this will be an endless war.

44 comments:

  1. You're right, you'll never win this one.

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  2. haha...good luck in that war
    did not know they were introduced by korea
    perhaps they are the new biological weapon eh?
    smiles.

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  3. We'll fight the bug battle together, but mine will be against the miller moths. They don't sit still at all. My weapon of choice is a heavy swatter. They're hardy bastards.

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    1. I have pantry moths and am also at war with them.

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  4. I want you to win this war because I can see how it will drive you nuts. The only thing worse is those little worms that get into the cabinets--flour and anything everything. Then they are slow moving moths. Blah

    I know you will soon be active in your yard. I like that

    Love
    kj

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    1. I have those, too - pantry moths. I keep a baited trap and kills them when I see them. Hate those guys, too.

      I'm already actie in my yard - I've done at least a little yard work every day for a week.

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  5. Eww, what strange bugs! I don't think we have them here, or if we do, they leave me alone. Is the odour meant to protect them from predators? Good luck keeping your home free from them. They sound (and look) revolting.

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    1. They are gradually spreading in al directions from Pennsylvania, so just wait. They are revolting indeed.

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  6. See? That's why so many people retire to the north. All 12 of us. Actually, one of the few benefits of long cold winters is the lack of bugs, except for mosquitoes for a month, like stink bugs. To the south, Colorado around Denver has these huge moths that hatch in your house and fly around like deranged bats at night.

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    1. True, the price of warm weather is bugs. I'll still take that over the long, long cold season you get.

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  7. "According to a PBS show, it is a "pungent odor that smells like cilantro." No wonder I hate them - cilantro is a truly disgusting plant with a smell and taste that makes me gag."

    HA! OMG...I think you and I are probably the only two people on the planet who feels the same way about cilantro. I can't stand the smell OR the taste.

    "I first vacuum up a little ash to absorb their stinkiness. One after the other, I vacuumed up all 17, and later in the evening added more of their comrades. I have a feeling this will be an endless war."

    You GO, girl!!!!

    And I love your use of the Easter egg!

    X

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    1. There is a sizable minority of us, actually, who can't abide cilantro. Apparently it's a genetic thing - we taste the evil in it where others don't.

      I am determined that I will not give up the fight!

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  8. About a month ago, we were dealing with quite a swarm of them inside, but only about 5 per day, not 17 at one time!! That's horrendous.

    I must be weird, because I can't smell them at all. And I squish them with a tissue and just throw them in the trash can, so you'd think an odor would be released!

    Ok, I just went to the spice rack and opened the cilantro to see what you and Ron are talking about (I never use it, not sure why I have it). It smells like tea leaves to me!

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    1. The odor is released when you crush them - you must be unable to smell them for some reason. Maybe for the same reason you can't smell cilantro's foul odor - lacking that gene, I guess. Can your husband or kids smell them when you crush the bugs?

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  9. We have only had a few over the years and I've never smelled one.
    They are certainly keeping you busy and on the hunt :)

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    1. You're a long way from their originating point - I wonder if you'll see more in the coming years.

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  10. I'll assume the toilet flush is preferred to just crushing them and dropping the remains in the trash because you don't actually need to crush them? I'm just guessing. I would crush them inside the the tissue which has happened to a few insects around here before. Not sure but I don't think there are any endangered insects.

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    1. If you crush them, you release the odor.

      And yes there sure are - honeybees are on the decline, with potentially catastrophic consequences for all of us.

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  11. I just drop them in the garbage. After making sure they couldn't possibly have just been faking death.

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    1. I can't kill them in any way that releases their smell.

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  12. It ia VERY satisfying "thwuck" when bugs go up into the vacuum cleaner head. Love it. It's the only way I can get rid of the boxelder bugs.

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    1. Yes it is. I hate admitting I enjoy that.

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  13. Yuk! I'm glad we don't have such vile insects over here. Flies and spiders are the worst we have to contend with.

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    1. The warm weather makes a hospitable environment for creepy crawlies.

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  14. Bing drives me nuts about bugs. She refuses to kill them, instead..she lovingly captures them in her hands and releases them outdoors. Even in the Winter. I have tried explaining that it is kinder to just whap the hell out of them rather than release them into sub zero weather, but she likes to "let them die on their own terms." We have an influx of lady bugs every year and I DETEST them. They gather, sometimes fifty at a time on our window screens and end up in the house. I have awakened more than once with one in my MOUTH at night. I bought one of those little electric bug catchers and now I just vacuum them all up with it and leave it on the sink for Bing to have the pleasure of releasing them out into the air. She claims that the loud sound of the bug catchers is traumatizing to them. Poppycock.

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    1. I will escort spiders and ladybugs outside, but not stinkbugs. Because I know they will come right back inside to tomemt me.

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  15. I don't think we have many stink bugs like that around here. My main bug nemesis is the soon-to-be-arriving June Bug. They don't smell, but those things just creep me out. They are so solid and loud. And if they land on you, their legs sort of dig into you. *shudder*

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    1. Yet. They are migrating your way, so watch out!

      I don't mind June Bugs as much.

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  16. i can attest to their abundance in PA. your pacifism ends with stink bugs, my love for foreigners ends with stink bugs. damned invasive species....

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    1. Yes they are. Stinky, dectructive invasive species.

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  17. We don't have them here--there's one small mercy!--but I can identify with the made-crazy-by-bugs feelings you're having.

    Hey, get this: I've been told for years that we're not to flush Kleenex, only tp. Maybe we know a lot of people with septic tanks, and therefore apply the rule of "only tp down the drain" liberally.

    Also: you know how you can't believe I hate fish? I can't believe you hate cilantro!

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    1. I'm on the city water system, so no septic tank issues.

      The difference is I carry a gene that makes cilantro disgusting to me. There is no such gene for fish.

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  18. Wow and here was I thinking that Australia had all the bugs in the world on our door step. Flies and mosquitos are enough. I have never heard of these. Bugs are one thing but the fact they stink as well? Yuk. And if they come from Korea they may well and truly be bugged..if you get me.

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    1. Oh, no - we have our share. You do have more deadly ones than we do, though.

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  19. Ew!! I don't think I get those things....yet. I used to get moths, but they didn't stink and apparently they were tasty to my cat. She wouldn't attack spiders, ants or mice, but moths were worth the hunt and leaping.

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    1. I get pantry moths, but few of the other sort.

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  20. Last year after Shaune re-did our floors some type of weird fly invaded our home. There were hundreds of them and I couldn't figure it out. Hopefully the long cold winter killed them off for good. AS you know, bugs of any kind are not my friend:)

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    1. While I'm not quite as bug averse as you are, anything that invades by the hundred would definitely creep me out!

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  21. Zenwise, it's a little hard to Be One with some things, huh? I practice catch & release during the annual stinkbug invasion in my office (though I LIKE cilantro), but it's "eliminate with prejudice" when it comes to the annual yellowjacket invasion in said office. Neither of us have a very enviable second life coming round next spin of the wheel.

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    1. Thank goodness, then, that I don't believe in reincarnation!

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