Opinion: A big stink about bugs


Commentary by Ward Degler

Stink bugs.

I’ve got them, you’ve got them. Actually, everybody has stink bugs. They are on your windowsills, lampshades, and just about any other place you can think of.

When I take a cup or glass, I check the inside before filling it. Often, there will be a stink bug lurking there. Any partial glass of water offers an open invitation to these pesky bugs.

Likewise, food of any stripe.

Technically, they are Asian brown marmorated stink bugs. They slipped into our country from Asia – probably in packing materials – and showed up for the first time in 1996 in Allentown, Pa. From there, they spread to just about everywhere.

Up until now, I’ve focused on them in my own home without considering the damage they cause in the world of agriculture. I just now learned they attack fruit trees and vegetables and can greatly reduce productivity.

In my house, they mostly sit. I may hear a buzzing followed by a plop. Then I will find the stink bug sitting on a lampshade or on the wall next to a lamp. Unlike other insect pests that defy catching, stink bugs just sit there and are easily picked up and tossed outside.

Some people have major infestations of stink bugs. Also, some people can’t smell them. I’m one of the lucky folks who can’t smell them and don’t have a major invasion of them, either.

For those who do, there is a solution. Fill an aluminum turkey pan with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Then place a desk lamp shining on the surface of the water. Leave it overnight and expect a pan of drowned stink bugs in the morning.

It is a good idea to dispose of the dead bugs and not leave them in your home where they can attract carpet beetles. Then you have another problem.

And I recommend checking your water glass before taking a drink.