Friday, May 27, 2011


Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

I hate stinkbugs.  I really, really hate them.  I loathe them with an all consuming passion that defies logic and sense.

It wasn't always this way.  When I first started noticing them last year I was fairly indifferent.  I had heard that the East Coast was facing a plague of the things, but it didn't really seem so bad.  They didn't seem to be doing much damage.  They just had an obnoxious tendency to be places they shouldn't be.  Then, upon being disturbed, they would release their stink.  Annoying, but not really harmful.  Little did I know.....

It started innocently enough.  I was on the tractor, minding my own business.  It was a warm, sunny day.  I had a nice cold beer.  I was riding my tractor.  I had not a care in the world.  And then I was assaulted.

One of those horrid little bugs flew down my pants

I did what anyone would do in such a dire situation:  I screamed like a little girl and started leaping around and flailing in an attempt to get rid of the stinkbug.  The stinkbug, obviously offended by my histrionics, released its stink.  So, now I had a stinkbug in my pants and I smelled like stinkbug.  Oh, and I wasn't driving the tractor.

Tractors have very sensitive steering.  They also don't necessarily stop just because you take your foot off the gas pedal.  Luckily, tractors are also very slow.  As I flailed and leaped, the tractor careened about like a drunken turtle. 

I eventually managed to remove the stinkbug and regain control of the tractor.  Then I looked around to make sure no one had witnessed that spectacle.  I can only imagine what an innocent bystander would have thought: "What's up with that lunatic on the tractor?  Does she have rabies or something?"

My hatred of the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug was cemented that day.  I have since learned that they also destroy crops and are a real threat to local agriculture.  I've also heard that they have no predators here.  My chickens and ducks won't touch them.  Even my cat, a bug connoisseur, turns his nose up at them.  I have however, discovered one animal that eats them:

Got Stinkbugs?

That's Tex, my Texas cichlid (creative name, huh?).  Not only does he gobble up stinkbugs with glee, but he is also an American native.  Unfortunately, his species is not native to the Northeastern U.S.  Texas cichlids (Herichthys cyanoguttatus) range from Northeastern Mexico to central Texas, which doesn't really help with the current stinkbug problem in colder climes.  Unless you just so happen to have a Texas cichlid in an aquarium in your kitchen.  If you do, you can round up all the stinkbugs you find and feed them to your Texas cichlid.  It probably doesn't really make much of a dent in the overwhelming plague of stinkbugs, but it sure does make me giddy to watch Tex inhale those nasty critters!

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  1. What a delightful post!!!

    I join you in your stink bug dislike...Can we put those fish in a pond??

  2. lol - I could imagine you jumping up and down, with the tractor veering off. Since I've been hearing about stinkbugs, I've been on the lookout for them. Now I'll really be aware and try not to let one down my pants! ;)

  3. What a great story! I can only imagine what the neighbors would have thought. What a beautiful fish-even if he didn't eat stinkbugs.


  4. What an hilarious story. I can just picture you. We have a different kind of stinkbug here in the mountains of CA. It's black and it isn't a problem. It doesn't look related at all. I wanted to tell you that I lived in NJ for 12 years when I was young -- Princeton and Belle Mead. Lovely country in those days, I have no idea what it looks like now.--Inger

  5. Tomorrow an award for you will appear At The Farm. Ignore it, if you choose...I am not a good rule followers.

    I adore this post!

  6. I saw this video and it works.

    I have one outside by back door.

  7. I agree with this blog I really hate stink bugs, there are times that they ruin my night when I smell their scent.


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