An entomological nuisance due to one world commerce? An irritating annoyance? Or…SOMETHING MORE NEFARIOUS???
For the uninformed, here is what Penn State University has to say about them:
Native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan…but I don’t live in any of those places…but their Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs have come to live with me. In a cold, snowy suburb of Pittsburgh.
For the record, these Pentatomidaes STINK if you crush them…ergo their common name, Stink Bugs.
There was a huge infestation of the ‘stinkers’ in the eastern US this past Fall. They were an icky, smelly irritation…that caused (I swear) irritation when they land upon you and ‘bite’ (or is it a bite?) They made my dog sick to his stomach (ok, he is NOT THAT BRIGHT but he thinks he protecting us from the little brown interlopers).
I had kinda forgotten them…until putting up Christmas decorations, and I found TWO INSIDE a Rubbermaid bin that holds our ornaments. Ok, I am a reasonable person…its not a water tight seal. I guess they got in…
Then, a couple weeks ago, where I work, on our big glass picture window, as the temp rose to about 40 and icicles started melting…STINK BUGS on the warm glass. Now, because they do smell, it is recommended that you flush them when you get them…but at work, the bathroom is in the back of the building, and once I get them isolated I opt to toss them outside. In the cold.
Here is my Contrarian STINK BUG study findings…when flicked outside, the shield shaped ‘bugs’ land on their backs. Always. They are top heavy. So…bugs, tossed outside, landing on their backs, should be found later in the day, still on their backs. Dead. Right?
The flip over to right themselves…and they march IN DIRECTION FROM WHENCE THEY WERE FLIPPED…like a stinky homing device. Do they make it back in? I (in the interest of science) plan on attempting (I am so brave) at tag (ok, mark their grayish light brown shells) with a red Sharpie.
Why am I taking on this Leap of Science?
Last Friday night at my Pinochle Club, one of my friends, (I’ll call her ‘Carol’ to retain her anaminity) showed us BITE MARKS on her neck from a stink bug that had infiltratred her home. In February. She also noted that her grandson (in another house, Township) had like 8 of them in his room. ‘Carol’ and the rest of us, found this odd…
So yesterday, in a move that reinforces my theory that no good ever comes from housekeeping, I changed sheets. I took the ‘used’ ones off, and put clean, folded well over a week ago, sheets on the beds. TWO STINK BUGS flipped out of the folded, clean sheets?
How did they get there? When did they get there? The sheets came out of the dryer…and were folded (by me, who else here would do THAT thankless task) and put away. In two different closets in the house.
It gets worse.
They don’t burn. At least not when exposed to the heat from gas logs. They just darken and get a weird, metallicy looking finish to their shells. They made it into our fireplace…(once again, in the Name of Science, Bill Nye has nothing on me–I plan to accumulate several stink bugs, and do a little research, outside, using a metal vessal and lighter fluid–thats all I’ll say) Now my fireplace does have a flue, so in theory, kind of an open space…so my paranoia isn’t that intense…but I am starting to question if they are REALLY bugs.
They came from China. Haven’t we bought ‘stuff’ from China for generations…but all of a sudden, ‘they’ show up. Now. Why? Chicoms? New World Orderists? Soros heavily invested in Orkin? Maybe AlGore will even tell us ‘they come from Globull Worming.’
I plan on investigating, doing my own experiments, and reporting back (unless of course the ‘experiment’ gets outta hand and Casa de Contrary takes on smoke damage). Any STINK BUGS experience you have, please record here.