under siege


This is the weekend nature went on the offense.

In addition to rodent infestation in the shed, virtually overnight our house proper became a magnet for this guy: Halyomorpha halys, the brown marmorated stink bug. And apparently his entire species.

I’m not squeamish when it comes to bugs, and Hal here is pretty harmless as insects go—no poison, no biting, no disgusting goo trail. But they freak me out for two reasons: There’ a lot of them, and they are relentless.

They flew into the garage, ignoring the citronella candles. They clung to the window screens in droves. Every time I turned around, I’d find one on me. They weren’t hard to catch, and I collected hordes in an empty water bottle, but I couldn’t seem to get away from them. The cat was surprisingly uninterested.

Later, when I was researching some way to obliterate them, I found out why. Hal, who came to southeastern Pennsylvania by way of China, has no natural predators. Birds and animals won’t eat them because they taste awful.

Consequently, the stinkbug population has been growing steadily since they first invaded the state more than 11 years ago. And there’s no really effective way of controlling them. Perfect. First cicadas and now stinkbugs. I can hardly wait to see what’s next–maybe locusts? I never realized being a homeowner meant being a part-time exterminator.



2 responses to “under siege

  1. OMG, I saw one of these on my dracena on the back porch yesterday! I thought it was a shield bug. Now I’m suddenly remembering there was a question in the “Sound Off” section of our newspaper (where localites scream and shout and ask weird questions of each other) about how to get rid of stinkbugs. No answers yet in the section. But I don’t like that “stink bug” name one bit!

  2. We get TONS of stinkbugs. It’s been like that for the last two or three years. Annoying, but at least they’re not cockroaches!

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