"I'm coming to get you, Rick..."

If you’ve watched, read, or listened to any form of news recently, you know that the irritating infestation of the stink bug continues to plague our section of the country. One congressman actually called it a “terrorist bug.” Seriously.

In honor of the most recent invasion of the insect kind, here are some facts about the Halyomorpha halys (the brown marmorated stink bug that’s sending everyone into fits here in the Mid-Atlantic):

  • The stink bug originated in East Asia. But then they hopped a boat (en route to Wal-Mart, no doubt) and arrived in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the late 1990s.
  • Entomologists (zoologists who study insects) have identified more than 4,700 different species of stink bugs globally.
  • Obviously, they stink. They give off an unpleasant odor when squished. Some say the smell is revolting; others say it smells like cilantro. Then there are those who consider the smell of cilantro to be revolting, but that’s a different story. The odor is a defense mechanism against predators, but it’s also used to attract mates, like people who bathe in cologne before hitting the bars.
  • They’re resistant to most manmade pesticides. Terrific.
  • The best way to rid your house of stink bugs is to vacuum them up because, as we’ve learned, squishing leads to stink, and stink leads to more stink bugs. Once they’re sucked into the vacuum bag, throw away or empty the bag immediately. Unless you like the smell, in which case you can squish a bug or two before you go out.