%$#@!!*%$ stink bugs. May 3, 2008Posted by ourfriendben in critters, homesteading.
Tags: brown marmorated stink bug, stink bugs
Silence Dogood here. Spring has sprung in our little corner of Pennsylvania. And that means the robins have come up from the South, the bulbs have peeked out of the ground, and the stink bugs have come out of the woodwork.
Here at Hawk’s Haven, we are reluctant hosts of the wonderfully-named brown marmorated stink bug. (And if anybody knows what “marmorated” means, please let us know.) But its name is the only thing that’s wonderful about it. Apparently, this stink bug is an agricultural pest in its native area of China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, where it causes disfiguring catfacing—sunken brown streaking—on fruits like apples and other produce. But I can’t frankly say if it’s become a fruit-grower’s nightmare since its accidental importation into the U.S., because I’ve never actually seen a stink bug outdoors. (Have you?) Instead, they’ve become a terror to homeowners everywhere, popping up out of nowhere and dive-bombing normally sweet-natured souls like yours truly.
Here’s how it works: You’re in the kitchen cooking, at the computer typing, on the sofa reading, or—the ultimate horror—in bed sleeping. Meanwhile, a thumbnail-sized, brown, shield-shaped stink bug is lurking inconspicuously on the wall near the ceiling, on a door or windowframe, or on a curtain. Suddenly, like Evel Knievel leaping the Snake River Canyon on his motorcycle, the stink bug explodes from its resting place with a roar, blasting across the intervening space to crash-land onto the kitchen counter, the computer, your shirt, or the pillow about a millimeter from your face. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! You’ve either been concentrating on what you were doing or sleeping. You haven’t been contemplating the daredevil attack of the stink bug. You are now on the seventh of your nine lives. Another test of your cardiac fitness.
As if all this has not shredded your last nerve, you now have to endure the ridicule which someone who shall remain nameless (are you reading this, Ben?!) inevitably heaps on you for the screaming which accompanied the stink bug attack. Within seconds, the sound of “Whoo! Whoo!” rings out from some recess of the house, followed by derisive laughter. Before you can even retrieve the paring knife to follow this hooting back to its source, the stink bug, having recovered from the shock of impact, blasts off again.
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! “Whoo! Whoo!” Grrrr.
Why are they called stink bugs? Apparently, they have glands that emit some kind of stench if you squash them (eeewww) or vaccuum enough of them up (eeeeewwwww!!!!!!). We wouldn’t know. We just leave them lurking, or in their other favorite posture, upside-down dead on the floor. (Actually, at that point, we do toss them. But the dead bugs don’t stink.)
Stink bugs won’t hurt your house. They won’t hurt your pets (all of whom studiously ignore them). They won’t even hurt you. But boy, will they hurt your pride! RRRRRRrrrrrrrrRRRRRRrrrrrrrBOOM! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! “Whoo! Whoo!” Grrrr. *&%$#@!!!! stink bugs!
‘Til next time,