I just finished clearing off and power washing my back porch. Over the summer, piles of coolers, sporting equipment, and golf clubs had accumulated - all the seasonal items that were easier to leave out than put away. As I started going through them one by one, I was horrified at the number of stink bugs that I found. They were all in the folds of our umbrellas - at least a dozen on each one - and the golf bags were crawling with them. It freaks me out just telling about it. I shook and pounded bags until every last one fell out (I hope). They quickly scurried away into the nearest crack or crevice.
The worst part is that if you give in to your fury and smash them, you are rewarded with a putrid smell that is their dying insult to you. Even my pets have learned not to squish them when they play with them. They just bat them around gently and then let them go on their way. They are dastardly little creepy crawlies.
At my nephew's outdoor wedding a few weeks ago, just as the bride made her stunning entrance and settled in next to her dashing husband-to-be, a stink bug came buzzing in from above and lighted on the back of her veil. She was completely unaware, as was the rest of the wedding party, but it was in clear view of those of us in the audience and somewhat distracting from the beauty of the moment. A lady near the front did what all of us were dying to do but afraid to for fear of causing a scene - calmly rose from her seat, walked up behind the bride, and deftly swiped the offending stink bug from the lovely veil in one quick motion. Nicely done.
Apparently this stink bug invasion began back in 1998. Some clever little bug made his way to our shores from China and went about the business of making this new land his home. The bug was first documented in Allentown, PA and gradually made it's way up and down the East Coast along the I-95 corridor. I'm not a fan of some of the new immigration laws popping up around the country, but I would fully support deportation of each and every member of the species halyomorpha halys back to China.
So I'm officially declaring war on these buggers. No more will I gently release them to the outdoors to invade my umbrellas and golf bags. It's straight down the toilet with them. If I can't send them back to China, at least I can flush them in the general direction. It's a war I can't win, but when has that ever stopped us?