Monday, October 11, 2010

Stink Bugs and other pests

I have been noticing stink bugs in the house every so often for the last two years.  And tonight I saw a news report that these bugs are becoming quite a problem to crops, fruit trees and ornamental shrubs too.  This is the time of year that everything - from mice to preying mantis - pushes indoors for the winter.  So of course the stink bugs are trying to find solace inside too. 

I do not like bugs, but am less creeped out by bugs since we lived in the Philippines.  Andy was 14 months old when he and I flew to Clark Air Force base, RP.  We arrived after about 18 hours in the air exhausted, stinky and stiff just hoping to go to our house and crash in bed.  It wasn't to be.  We ended up in a hotel.  And within a few minutes, i was introduced to one of the Philippine cockroaches scurrying across the room floor. These roaches are about 3 inches long.  (Later i was to find out some of them fly)Lew squished it under his boot but refused to clean it off the floor.  By morning IT WAS GONE!!!  Did it pull itself back together (I believe this) or did his buddies drag him off, or did some other insect eaters drag him off.  Whatever happened to it will remain a mystery.

So much for my first night.  The next day, he dropped us off at our house and went to work.  He had just moved us to this new place - there was much to do.  Within a few days I already had a few run-ins with cockroaches. I was determined to rid our house of the buggers, so i bought pesticides, motels and whatever they had at the commissary.  (I am scratching as i write this - i guess some things you don't actually get over).  First, we (I had a house girl, Olive) emptied the cupboards then i sprayed and sprayed in, around and under the cabinets. We shut the cabinet doors.  As we stood back admiring my work, the stampede began.  They came from the top of the cabinet, the bottom of the cabinet and the sides of the cabinet.  They came running across the walls, the ceiling and the floor.  A few died, but most just ran.  I left Olive to handle it - she seemed unimpressed by the whole thing.  I escaped to our bedroom.

I decided to organize our closet.  It had many hanging clothes, but they were jumbled together and in no order.  I grabbed hands full of hangers and laid the clothes on the bed.  As I reached back for another load, a roach ran over my hand.  I screamed.  I nearly packed my bags to come home.  And that wasn't my last encounter of the day.  That night, I was in bed laying on my stomach reading.  Picture this - my pillow is under me and i am on my elbows, my book is laying open on the bed and I see movement.   It starts with the feelers waggling over the edge of the mattress. Here comes a roach up the headboard side of the bed. We find out later that the bed legs need to be in empty soup cans.  Something about the roaches not being able to climb up the can or something.  I was beyond caring why something worked, i just wanted it to work.

Nothing will ever come close to the infestation we experienced those two years.  We could not get rid of them.  Our habit was to tap on cabinet doors then wait a beat giving the bugs a chance to run away.  If you get up at night, turn the light on, but if you don't want to see them, keep your eyes closed and give them time so they can run away. 

So unless the stink bug infestation gets 1,000 times worse, it pales in comparison. 


Jim said...

Isn't that a thousand-legger just above your head??

Michelle Slotter said...

Yikes!! I would think that after dealing with cockroaches, a few stink bugs would be a piece of cake. They (stinkbugs) don't really bother me, I just pick them up in tissue and flush them.

Jordan recently had a spider in his room and he called Eric to come and squish it. Eric told him to man up and squish it himself. Well, you should have heard the squeeling, shouting and things flying across his room. I think he got it!!