Boy, do these bugs stink

I know I’m not alone with this problem: Rampaging hordes of stinkbugs have invaded our house.

Last winter, we had a few of the dastardly things inside, and we remarked that they were a mild nuisance. This year, it’s as though something biblical is happening. I came home in midafternoon one warm, sunny September day, took one look at the crawling masses on our front porch and inside our east- and south-facing rooms, and declared that we’d simply have to move.

There were 50 or more on each window screen; dozens on the ceiling; hundreds on the outside of the house. I spent the rest of the day feeling like the unwitting heroine of a horror movie. Since then, we haven’t had quite the same type of panic-worthy scenario, but we have had a steady stinkbug presence. Of course they don’t bite or damage anything, but they do find their way into every crevice and cranny, just waiting to be discovered when you put on your jacket (10 bugs in my sleeve! Ack!) or take a framed picture off the wall. I pulled a book off the shelf the other day and here is what fell out:

Apparently they’re literary

The Washington Post published an explanation of the phenomenon that makes me feel slightly better (because it assures me I’m not the only one). It’s interesting and unsurprising that the bugs are an invasive species native to Asia—another manifestation of how human culture and global trade is altering the environment.

The piece suggests a few nontoxic remedies: drowning the bugs in soapy water, vacuuming them up, or suffocating them in plastic bags. We’ve vacuumed, but so far we haven’t actually worried about killing too many of the bugs; it feels futile. How are you handling them? Is the problem better, worse or the same in more populated areas?

P.S.: As of today, the ladybugs seem to be back too!

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