Friday, May 16, 2014

Stink bugs


     Michael W. Davis


Yeah, yucky topic, right? Well, I’m about to share a little secret that’ll make you smile, if you’re like me, and hate the little suckers. What does this have to do with writing, well nothing. Maybe a little, but I’m sure you’ll forgive my momentary diversion. See, my normal genres are romantic suspense, political thrillers and SF. About two year ago I was given the opportunity to create a beginner’s guide for those wanting to live off grid. You know, homesteaders. Why would I want to do that? Kind of an area of interest to me last five years to always expand my information base on sustaining an existence in a new world of inconveniences and resource constraints.

Anyway, I was doing research for the book and came across a clever trick on how to catch and ELIMINATE the odor marauders. No, doesn’t involve any pesticides, sprays, fly swatters, glue strips, nothing more than a few little household thingies everyone has. Ready? Okay, here goes, just follow these steps:

-        Take a coffee can or equivalent container that’s not transparent and stick it where you have a problem.

-        Take a clear glass or plastic bowl with a curved bottom and a diameter at the top about 20% to 30% larger than the top of the can.

-        Fill the bowl (not the can) 1/3 the way up with water and drop in one or two squirts of disk soap.

-        Place a small flashlight (with rechargeable batteries) inside the can (switched on) and place the bowl atop the can.

-        Position the bug catcher in your trouble area at twilight after the sun goes down and switch off all other lights in the area.

-        Come back in the morning and 25% to 50% of the bugs will be floating in the soapy water, DEAD.

Why? The soap neutralizes their breathing apparatus. Does it work? Indeed it does. Three days ago the wife left the garage door up and about two dozen sting bugs ended up inside. First night a third bit the bullet, next night another third, and I expand tonight for the remainder to take the fatal dive. Likely a brighter light would draw more each night, and I plan to get one, but wanted to experiment first.

Now aren’t you glad I diverted from the writer realm and shared this clever little trick (g.)


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Are you talking about airwigs or lovebugs?

I just need to not get bitten. I'm a bug magnet. My skin is thin and the capillaries serve as an open buffet.

Big Mike said...

JP - You mean you don't know what a stink bug is. My lord, I thought they were every where. I know in the four states I'm adjacent to they're driving us nuts. If you crush one the others are attracted to the smell and target ya like a magnet. They were brought into the country to fight lady bugs but have no natural enemies cause they are so repugnant in odor, not even the birds will eat them.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

That could apply to the love bugs, too. And Kudzu, which is now being used to fight high BP.

Nikki said...

Thanks for the diversion, Mike. We get stinkbugs only in the fall, so I'll have to remember your tip. Now, I wonder if the same trick will work for ladybugs. I know they're beneficial, but in the fall they congregate in the house, esp. on south-facing walls. When they die they smell bad, and they crunch unpleasantly underfoot.

Gabriella Austen said...

MIke, thanks for the tip although, despite the zillion insects that never die here on the gulf coast, we do not have stink bugs. They do sound charming.

Big Mike said...

Hadn't thought about lady bugs. We used to get invaded in the fall by the orange hordes but the SB's were brought in to control them, but nothing controls these smelly bugs. Typical govy solution.

Big Mike