Stink Bug Phobia

They’re on to me! Those blasted bugs! — the Halyomorpha halys also known as the brown marmorated stink bug! Ever since I’ve returned to the mid-Atlantic area in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, I have had to re-acclimate to a myriad of insects again. And the stink bug, not the one I remember from my youth that we would find on the side of a tree occasionally, has changed my position from mistress of the manor to that of crazed woman with a vacuum cleaner!stink bug

Sure I live near a creek, in the woods, in orchard country, where these buggers thrive. They were definitely not in Colorado! I had heard the tales from friends and family over the past three to four years and thought I would never have to deal with them! That is, until I decided to move back home last month!

These stinkers have no native predator in the US which has befuddled many on how to eradicate. Evidently, they hitched a ride in shipping crates from Asia and were first spotted and identified around 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They devastate fruit and vegetable gardens. Now they are residing in at least 38 states in the contiguous US. Maybe they’ll never make Colorado unless they become acclimated to less oxygen. But then, who knows, maybe they’ll become members in the noble 14’ers club.

Yes, there are native North American varieties from the Pentatomidae family, but these have natural predators and aren’t a nuisance or pain in the ass. And you don’t typically see a grown woman wandering around the house in the evening with vacuum in tow sucking up those bastards before settling down for the night.

I live in a 3-story A-frame and begin the evening’s stink bug massacre on the bottom level which contain the kitchen and dining room and computer, my trusty vacuum cleaner by my side.  As soon as the stink bugs begin their assault (merely walking across the window or the ceiling) I snatch them up!  Then I wander upstairs to eradicate those I can find in the bathroom and in any proximity to my bedroom! Bugs be damned, you aren’t sharing my sleeping space!!! (Yes, I know – little DO I know!)

In the middle of typing a sentence, I look up and gaze out the window, watching a Cardinal preening on a branch across the yard only to have the view interrupted by one of those ugly little suckers crawling across the glass! I’m sure my dogs and cat think I’ve absolutely lost it! They don’t appreciate the irritating noise and amplified sound of the vacuum cleaner being turned on and off repeatedly. These little shites also sound like rocks when snatched by “the stink bug eradicator!”

While I believe all of us have a place in the natural order and I don’t prefer to kill bugs, I can’t allow the brown marmorated to live and breed and turn me into an entomophobic lunatic (too late?).

And they are on to me!!! They’re spreading the word about the lunatic with the long gray serpent-like creature that roars and eats stink bugs! Last night there were several on the bathroom curtain, and with my trusty gray stink bug zapper, I took aim and missed several times, nearly pulling the entire sheer panel down the tube. I captured one – SLOOP! The other, sitting precariously on top of the curtain rod, dared me to come and get him! As the vacuum tube neared, he disappeared behind the rod. As I retreated, he reappeared, daring me again! We repeated this scenario several times before I adjusted my aim and snatched him up as well! Though they outnumber me and I am not going to win this contest, it does give me small comfort to remove them from my personal space before retiring.

Yep, I can’t help but laugh at myself here. It’s not as bad and I’m not as agitated by them as I was three weeks ago when first moving into the house but that may change come Autumn. I’ve heard the stories! I’m thinking shop vac!

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