February 28, 2011
Have you noticed that those pesky stinkbugs have been all over the place lately? I know I have! There are hundreds of them all over the back of our house, on the porch, on the table, all over the plants, in the grill, in the umbrella, on the windows, wherever they can find a hiding place! A few of them are getting inside the house, too! Mike McGrath, the garden warrior, says that their population has been steadily increasing, as they really have no predators. Who would want to eat something that stinks and probably tastes bad too? I guess they do look kind of menacing if you think about it, with their shield and whatnot. McGrath and others have also given ways to keep your home stinkbug free, such as blocking possible entryways, such as windows, loose screens, and portable air conditioners. They also mention not to squish them, or they emit a frightful smell, hence their name, and that flushing them might clog your toilet.
My mom is on an eternal quest to wipe out the stinkbugs invading our home. First, she would go out onto the back porch and spray with heavy-duty chemical bug spray. She would suit up with her plastic poncho, her goggles not unlike the ones in the science classrooms, and her big boots, and then she’d head on out to wage her own little war. Then she started worrying about how the chemicals would affect our indoor/outdoor cat, Furby. She did hours of research on different ways to wipe out the population. She read about two things: Windex, and dish soap. For a few nights, she just went out and sprayed Windex all over. She liked this tactic better, as she could exterminate and clean the windows simultaneously! I’ve never seen our windows so shiny.
Then, the cold weather came. Apparently, stinkbugs hibernate when it’s cold, so we didn’t see any for a few days. A few trickled inside the house, but Mom had another weapon for them. She took an empty water bottle and filled it partway with water and dish soap. Every time she or I found one inside the house, she would run over and scoop the bug into the bottle using the cap. She drew a stinkbug and crossbones on the top with Sharpie on the off chance that one of us would try to drink it by accident. Like I would drink from a bottle that was filled with bubbles and dead bugs?
Our house wasn’t the only place overrun with the little devils, though. I take dance lessons at Morven Park Equestrian Center, and every time we went to class during the warm weather, there would be whole swarms of them flying all over the place. On the way from the car to my dance class, I waved an extra tee shirt above my head while I ran inside to keep them from using me as a landing pad. They really freak me out.
Whenever we drove to various places, if we stopped at a light, a bunch would land on the car before we moved again.
They aren’t the brightest of creatures either. One would land on your arm, and no matter how much you moved and flailed about, it wouldn’t move until you flicked it off.
We haven’t had much of a problem since then. We had a few more days of semi-warm weather after that, and some of them came out of hiding, but Mom quickly took care of them.
But finally, the cold weather has come to stay, and the stinkbugs have gone into their little hidey-holes. So long stinkbugs, for now…

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