Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that has not been inundated with these things, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about or why I'd dedicate an entire post to these things. But, if you live in the Northeast U.S., you probably just said "UGH!"

We are experiencing a stinkbug infestation of Biblical proportions this year. Seriously, they're everywhere. And they stink. When startled or upset they release a sort of chemical smell. It's not the most unpleasant smell, but it is pungent and the little buggers are constantly releasing it because they're always somewhere they shouldn't be. The things have a serious death wish. They climb into clothing, under and into saddle pads and blankets, the cushions of the patio furniture, feed buckets and tubs and anyplace else they shouldn't be. They also have a penchant for just randomly flying into you for no reason, too. Then they get all offended and release their stink. Really annoying.

Aside from being annoying, they don't seem to do much else. I think that's the most annoying thing about them. Flies and mosquitoes bite, but that's how they get food. Grasshoppers eat my veggies, but again, that's just part of their nature. These things are just obnoxious pests that serve no purpose whatsoever. It's like Nature's cruel joke.

Originally, I was fairly indifferent to them, since they seem pretty harmless. But then I had a horrific encounter with one and realized that they were not only suicidal, but they were trying to take me with them.

I was dragging the arena one day, minding my own business, when the assault occurred. I was getting ready to ride, so I was wearing breeches. This particular pair of breeches has a bit of a gap in the back. My hips are much wider than my waist, so any high waisted breeches I own tend to gap at the waist. For some reason, the manufacturers of breeches think all women riders have the physique of a twelve year old boy, I have to get a larger waist size to get them over my hips. But I digress.

As I passed under a tree, a stinkbug fell straight down the gap in my breeches. I very nearly wrecked the tractor.

I can only imagine what it must have looked like to an outside observer as I flailed and screamed and tried to remove the stinkbug, while the tractor careened around the arena. Tractors have very sensitive steering. Wild flailing is not a recommended way of driving them.

I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me to stop the tractor and get off, but to be fair, I was being assaulted. One cannot think clearly under those circumstances.

I eventually managed to get the offender out of my breeches without wrecking the tractor. Thank goodness, I do not want my obituary to read "death by stinkbug". Ever since this unfortunate incident, I have loathed the homicidal little buggers.

Needless to say, given my stinkbug hatred, I was quite pleased with the hard frosts we've experienced here over the last three nights. I gleefully imagined all the horrid little stinkbugs freezing to death as payback for ambushing me on the tractor. Take that, stinkbugs!

This morning, as I was tidying up the feed room, I picked up a fleece cooler I had thrown over the feed bins to dry. Guess what I found, alive and well?

I hate stinkbugs.....


  1. Yuck! But I must say, your story had me laughing! We don't have those here, thank goodness!

  2. Well, you will likely be finding more of the little buggers hiding in blankets and saddle pads as they are looking for places to hbernate over winter. Cruel, evil person that I am, I prefer to toss them out in the cold when I find them, hoping they will freeze--to no avail.

    Last year I had an infestation in my attic. They are probably congregating again there now, even as I write, creating a stinkbug condo complex.

    Hate them, but I am so conditioned to their existence, they really don't scare me much any more....well, sort of not...kind of.....*sigh*

  3. How horrid. We had a ton of grasshoppers this year, but those sound almost as yucky as mormon crickets (which we thankfully didn't have this year).

  4. Yuck. The rain might suck in the PNW, but at least we don't get too many delightful creatures like those stinkbugs.

    Lotsa mosquitoes, though.

  5. haha that would be a hilarious thing to watch, you driving a careering tractor around the arena!
    and this is such a coincidence, my friend from aus was just telling me about stinkbugs yesterday and how awful they are! so glad there aren't any in nz!

  6. The problem goes way beyond the nuisance aspect. These pest cause serious damage go food crops and threaten serious crop losses. Read my post at:

  7. I won't report you to Valentina. She saved one last day.

    ^-^ stinkbug attack LOL!

  8. OMG!!!!! YUCK!!!!! I do have visions of a lady failing around on a tractor swatting at the bum!!!! HEHEHEHEHEHEHE

  9. To answer to your comment on my blog. here owners/riders/clients ahve not got a clue, and they are ripped off. It is teh game. Here comes one, let's sell him badly bred foals/mares/studs, or let's sell a rubbish horse. Then let's tell them that the horse is fantastic, so teh client pays for go show.
    So after one to two years, clients is disgusted and sells everything.
    Here comes a new pidgeon (inoocent client).

    But yes there is a misconeption that horses shoudl betrained yesterday. If the honest hard-working trainer cannot do it, They take the horse to brutal trainer, that would trains the horse in two weeks!
    No comment!
    I have stopped to believe in Santa Klaus!

  10. Easy stinkbug trap; they are attracted to LED lights. So,
    1) take a 2 liter clear soda bottle. Cut it off at the top of the label, peel off label, remove cap. Invert the funnel you have just made into the bottle. fasten it to the bottle with masking tape or clear packing tape.
    2) use duct tape to fasten one of those hockey-puck battery-operated LED lights you can get at any big-box hardware store to the bottom of your funnel-bottle (turn the light on first, yes?)
    3) put some strips of masking tape up the side of the bottle, so the bugs have traction to walk up.

    Put the trap where you want to catch the bugs. Works best at night/in the dark. Next morning it will be full; put some soapy water in to drown them, wait an hour, then put the deaders onto your compost pile.


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