There Is No Bug in Team

Stink Bug Eggs – Photo by Bankim Desai on Unsplash

With house guests’ due tomorrow, our cleaning frenzy continued today unabated. We got a bit of rain last night and today is decidedly cooler than yesterday, but the forecast for this weekend looks good. This cooler weather signals a change of seasons, but not only to us. In our bedroom, within the folds of one of our relatively new top-down-bottom-up cordless window shades, I noticed a shadow through their translucence. I suspected right away what it might be a stink bug. The window below that shade had been left open last night and I’m sure that it crawled inside then. An invasive species from Asia, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 1996. Since then, it has been sighted in forty states. In the fall, it searches for warm places to overwinter, like our house. Come spring, it heads back outside and will lay its eggs beneath leaves, as pictured. Yesterday, vacuuming the upstairs, Anne sucked up a few of them that had not been able to complete their cycle of life and had died inside. It doesn’t bite and normally only spends the winter inside, but if squished emits its namesake’s odor. As pests go it is not so bad but taking up residence in one of our blinds that we had worked so well together to install was a big mistake. I first poked it with a pencil, which only caused it to crawl further into the blind. What I needed was a bigger stick. With big stick in hand and Anne at the ready with the vacuum wand, I ran the dowel rod from the opposite side of the blind until I first made contact with it. I slowly pushed it to the edge of the blind where the vacuum’s suction then whisked it away. Victory! I then promptly closed the window. The garden says that a jar of soapy water, with some toxic vinegar mixed in, first attracts these bugs and then kills them. After our guest leave, I may set such a trap or two.

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