September 30, 2008
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
You know what? I never realized how many issues I had with creatures in my home until I began thinking of all the posts I've written on this topic. Bats, flying squirrels, camel crickets, skunks in the backyard, wasps. One might think I live in a log cabin or that I'm one of those hording people who have lots of piles of junk in which animals could live. It's not true. I am a pretty decent housekeeper. I don't know why we're drawing animals and insects. Yes I do. I live in a 100 year old house that has various cracks and crevices. It just happens with these houses. Nooks and crannies come with cracks and crevices.
My latest annoyance is the "true bug" above. Hey, I took entomology. I collected 100 samples of families or genuses or something or other of insects. I dropped them in my death jar prepared with plaster of paris soaked with formaldehyde. I pinned them in a box, labeled them. I don't really mind insects and especially these true bugs, as they're called, because they don't hurt humans. They just eat plants, they don't even have mouthparts that could bite or sting. I used to think these particular bugs were my friend.
Last winter, however, I began seeing them on the inside of my windows and thereabout. Okay, one. No biggy. Two, three, ten, twenty over the winter - ah no. I wonder what the heck was going on, having never seen these in such numbers. In the last few weeks I began seeing them again and began the War Against Bugs. I looked them up on the internet and found that this particular true bug, called the brown marmorated stink bug, is not supposed to be here. But in the 1990's some numbskull let it get off the boat in Pennsylvania, eastern Pennsylvania, so the story goes. And then some other numbskull didn't run over it as it crawled across the Walt Whitman Bridge into New Jersey and now I am Raiding>>> it from the crevices of my screens and windows!
That's where these true buggers like to take shelter in the winter. They even drag in tiny bits of dried grass to nest in the tracks of my screens. Yesterday I began my assault. Today it continues. My neighbors see me sticking my head out the windows looking up and down the tracks, opening and slamming my screens repeatedly, spraying the evil ones with a red can, laughing maniacally as they fall to the roof. Well, I'm not laughing. I don't really like killing them, like I said, we used to be friends. I used to tell people not to worry, they can't hurt us. But times have changed. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug has migrated into foreign territory and my house ain't gonna be it.
Any suggestions? Anyone else have BMSB stories? How you live with them? How you kill them? How you hate it when you see one crawling up your curtains? How your dog won't eat them, your kids won't kill them and your roof is littered with dead ones and their bedding? Know what "marmorated" means, for Pete's sake?