The End?

The battlement windows are silent and empty. The lights are no longer victims of endless buzzing raids. The stench of warfare is no more.  Only the occasional invader is found lying listlessly in wait. Is the war truly ended? Can we indeed celebrate our victory?

Or, is the dreaded enemy merely seeking to lull us into a false sense of complacency? I for one, will remain at the ready …

Stinkbug Problem Solved…

No, not the one where we need to find a way to eradicate this invasive enemy from the planet – the other one. The one where if you so much as poke one of these odiferous intruders your hands will smell of their pervasive scent for hours.

Lysol®  has come out with Touch of Foam™ Antibacterial Hand Wash. It feels great, kills germs, and is the only soap I’ve found that will actually cover up that horrendous smell. I do say cover up, however, not remove. Instead of hands that smell like stinkbug, you have hands that smell of Lysol – despite the pretty lavender scent they use to try and hide their distinctive product odor.

Still, I would rather smell like Lysol than like the evil invaders! So, in the battle of Lysol Touch of Foam™ Antibacterial Hand Wash vs. Stinkbugs, for once these pernicious insects are the clear losers. I plan on keeping a bottle handy year round. And thanks to my status as a BzzAgent, I was able to try this product for free and have plenty of coupons to share…

They’re Coming Out of the Woodwork…

Literally. I can see them slithering out of crannies along my wood-covered walls and dropping down unexpectedly from around the window frame to join me as I’m relaxing on the couch. These stinkbugs all seem to be juveniles – perhaps just entering the wild world of adolescence, about half the size of the average full-sized denizen from hell.

I can’t help wondering if this is simply a case of the young ones having the winter blahs and seeking some outdoor excitement.

“Mom, I’m bored, can I crawl out of the crevice to play?”
“Sure, honey, but don’t forget to harass the owner of the house!”

Aaaagh!! Will this scourge ever come to an end?

Stinkbug Suicide Pact?

Okay, they are still annoying… and irritating… and smelly. However, they just don’t seem to be as prevalent as they used to be. So, I’ve been wondering. What changed? They still come in the house, occasionally in large numbers – although not in droves as they did initially. Yet, they die. Quickly. Within a day at most. So… eventually, they ALL have to die off, right? Maybe there are actually less of them because… there are less of them.

Simplistic? Yes. But I’m thinking it was a stinkbug suicide pact. They vowed to continue attacking my home, despite the poisons and traps that kept decimating them, until their numbers simply dwindled.

Regardless of the reason, I am happy to report that I am no longer under daily attack in an endless stinkbug war. These days, it’s an occasional battle of not-quite-epic proportions. Life is good!

My Dog Eats Stinkbugs

I’m not certain if this is the answer to the mystery of why this year, for the first time, I am NOT inundated with their evil forces, but I have figured out that my dog is, truly, insane: He eats stinkbugs. Gleefully. Purposefully. He finds a stinkbug, sniffs it, rolls it around with his nose, snatches it up in his mouth, drops it, rolls it around some more, and finally snaps the stinkbug up and actually swallows. Then he looks for another one.

It’s a bit like watching a cat play with a mouse. Revolting yet somehow mesmerizing.  And the thing is, I don’t want to discourage him. After all, it’s easier than dealing with smelly stinkbugs on my walls and windows.

Good dog!

The Edge of Victory?

We have been waiting for months with baited breath for the enemy to renew their attack on our outpost. Yesterday we discovered, to our great dismay, that the dreaded stinkbug army has returned. Again, we find screens covered with their evil soldiers. This time, however, the attack is different. They are only actively assaulting one room. And the stinkbug forces are greatly diminished. Is this merely a feint, or have they truly been decimated?

We will re-apply the poison barrier and wait…

Could this really be the end of the stinkbug siege?

They’ll Be Back…

Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the garden, our worst fears have been confirmed. Stinkbugs are predicted to return with a vengeance by early to mid August. Apparently, the adults from earlier this year laid their eggs, died… and now, those timebombs they left behind are starting their slow release of newly hatched stinkbug nymphs. They have been sighted gorging on blackberries, just barely into the adolescent-sized soldier mode… and many more are coming.

Enjoy the respite, fellow warriors – and batten down the hatches. Stinkbugs will be back in full force before we know it. PREPARE YOURSELVES!

Where Have All the Stinkbugs Gone?

Another week… and even fewer stinkbugs. Really?! Can we trust that we have defeated this insidious enemy? Where is the “plague of biblical proportions” we were warned of?

Last year at this time, they were everywhere. Survival meant launching daily counterattacks against their dive-bombing, slithering, buzzing and intruding into hair, food, drinks, toiletries, closets, clothes… EVERYWHERE. Hours were spent spraying stinkbugs and killing stinkbugs and cleaning stinkbug carcasses, and by the time we finished, fresh enemy forces had already gathered.

But now… nothing. Patrols last mere minutes to simply sweep up a few random bodies. The new weapon of choice, a bottle filled with alcohol and eucalyptus oil, is only picked up briefly to spray a random stinkbug intruder or two. They are seemingly gone. GONE. As in there are no more. Visitors ask after them.

“Where have all the stinkbugs gone?”

I have no idea.

Of course, I have theories. Perhaps the stinkbug invaders found that we were too much effort to conquer, and so they have packed up their evil soldiers and are headed off to terrorize the next planet. Perhaps they contracted some sort of illness that we had not considered – much like in War of the Worlds – and are simply dying off as a result. Perhaps our efforts put enough of a dent in their breeding cycle – by killing them before they could breed – that they are not able to reproduce at the same shocking rate.

And perhaps, they are simply waiting…

Stinkbug Trick?

Lately, I’ve been facing only a handful of stinkbugs a day. My morning patrol sweeps up only ten or twenty, instead of the previous hundreds. I should be rejoicing in my victory. Instead – I’m afraid.

Despite the multi-pronged attack I have been launching, I find it hard to believe that it could possibly be this easy to defeat this dreaded enemy. Are the stinkbugs really gone? Or are they just lying in wait, biding their time until I am lulled into a false sense of security? Perhaps the stinkbugs are secretly breeding and training their soldiers so that when I have lost my defensive edge, they can launch their final attack.

Just in case they ARE actually on the run, however, I will share the approach that, for the time being, seems to actually be working against them.

  1. Regular bimonthly spraying of Home Defense on the outside perimeter, with special focus on doors and windows through which stinkbugs love to slither.
  2. Daily sweeps of stinkbug carcasses from floors and window sills.
  3. Deployment of the dreaded Tower of Death whenever they are active and flying at night.
  4. Regular mopping and wall and windowsill cleaning of the dreaded stinkbug trail. It’s important to remove all sign of those yucky brown drops which contain the stinkbug scent and lure their fellows to join them in your happy home.
  5. Spraying along the inside of all doors and windows with a mixture of alcohol and either mint extract or eucalyptus oil. This smells nice and actually seems to repel them.
  6. Continued vigilance. We must NEVER relax our guard against these evil enemy invaders!

 

Stinkbug Song Hit!

Last night, Iris Hirsch debuted her new hit song “Stinkbug Wars,” inspired by this very blog and written with some small assistance from yours truly. To hear the song, click here: Stinkbug Wars sung by Iris Hirsch.

Stinkbug Wars

They’re lurking in the corner
Flying fearless in the night
A single silent soldier
Or an army poised to fight

No enemy can stop them
Their vast numbers conquer all
Wearing shields of odor
That will lead to our downfall

CHORUS
Stinkbugs, stinkbugs
An alien army invades
Stinkbugs, stinkbugs
Laughing in the face of Raid
Of all of China’s treasures
Why did these reach our shores?
We need to find a weapon
That can stop these Stinkbug Wars

Sleeping in the winter
Attacking in the spring
Buzzing fiercely with delight
At the anguish that they bring

They want light and they want warmth
Taking over is their goal
Can nothing stop the march
Of their noxious little souls?

CHORUS
Stinkbugs, stinkbugs
An alien army invades
Stinkbugs, stinkbugs
Laughing in the face of Raid
Of all of China’s treasures
Why did these reach our shores?
We need to find a weapon
To stop these Stinkbug Wars

No poisons, potions, pistols
No Birds, no bugs, no beasts
Can rid us of these putrid pests
Are we heading for defeat?

Our homes become their playgrounds
Our garden’s a tasty treat
When we squash them they smell like
Rotten eggs and dirty feet

Flush them down the toilet
Whack them with a bat
Vacuum, Taser, torture them
A good stinkbug is flat!

Copyright ©May 2011 Iris Ann Hirsch and Lydia Whitney

© 2011-2014 Lydia Whitney All Rights Reserved