Search the Baltimore County community newspaper archives


>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"

From
subscriber services email print comment


For having a column on my birthday, you’d figure I’d spend it talking about the joys of birthdays and something sentimental like that.

You’d be wrong.

Instead, I’ll be talking about the stink bug problem that seems to have everyone — including myself — up in arms. I believe this is the year that Harford County actually takes seriously the annoying little bug.

Ahh yes, the dreaded stink bug; purveyor of pestilence; sultan of both stench and stupidity.

The little shell bugs came from China roughly a decade ago, and settled down into Pennsylvania, before migrating north and south from there. To the dismay of just about everyone, it has been confirmed that stink bugs have no natural predator in our area; this makes sense given that the bugs will give off their noxious discharge at the slightest provocation.

Unfortunately, stink bugs seem to have also studied alchemy, blending a potent concoction of two parts stupidity and one part tenacious instinct. They rarely give up on their single-minded goal of seeking shelter from the cold, or seeking a bright light source to incessantly ram into. How many of you have been jarred awake by the sound of one of these idiots buzzing around in your room, only to slam right into a wall? I know I’m not alone on this one. Unfortunately for us, their dogged determination means they’ll navigate their way through any tiny hole, crack or opening in just about any part of your house, and with their powerful odor alerting other bugs in the area, you can be almost certain that if one gets in one way, more will soon follow.

For the last two years I have personally battled the fiends on the front lines of my house. Sure, we had seen them in years past, but the numbers were small enough to only see a dried husk in a single windowsill, or a small group flying into the garage door, which would elicit a snide snicker from my person.

Last year, however, was when the lines of battle were officially drawn, and where my very own room became ground zero.

Slithering their way through small openings in the tops of my windowpanes and through my portable air-conditioning unit, I waged a seemingly never-ending battle against an aggressive wave of stink bugs that seemed to last for months. I began to notice them crawling on the outside screen in late April; by June, it was a full-blown invasion.

My weapon of choice was, oddly enough, toilet paper. I found that a small strip allowed me to grip the pests and wrap them up quickly without eliciting their infamous stench, which would only serve to light a beacon throughout my entire room. A quick pluck into the toilet and the pests were taken care of, or so I thought. This didn’t last, however.

They soon began to invade in such great numbers that I found myself nearly overwhelmed. Each time I would return to my room, I’d find another three or four clinging to my curtains. My annoyance quickly turned to frustration, and I sought to find the root of the problem, so I began to inspect my windows.

Having found my problem in the open windowpanes and open air vents in my air-conditioner, I began to construct my trenches. A combination of tape, hot glue and dogged perseverance through the defensive sprays of my foes, along with my newest weapon in the battle — a hand vacuum — saw my eventual, albeit temporary, victory. The windows and AC were sealed, and my battle was over.

This year, however, was even worse. The bug infestation was so thick in my area on Fountain Green Road that on any sunny afternoon, I could see 10 or 20 of the pests on the outside of any screen, and while my tape phalanx held up for the most part, only requiring the odd reinforcement here and there, it is still unnerving to see so many of the pests dangling outside the screens.

Weather plays a huge part of stink bug proliferation — when it’s cold, they’ll go to sleep — so don’t feel safe just because you don’t see many bugs around for a small stretch of cold weather. As soon as it warms up, you’ll see them again, even if it is only for a day. Chances are we’ll have our stink bug problem until the last truly warm days of the year are behind us.

This might be the first year I actually look forward to the biting cold.


user comments (0)


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic
xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Learn more about subscriptions
Learn more about subscriptions
Advertisement
One of the major contributors to blight is vacant properties, of which there are more than 14,000 in Baltimore, with the bulk of them privately owned, and Westport and Harlem Park are some of the areas with concentrations of blight.
Advertisement
A 26-year-old Baltimore woman was acquitted Monday of allegations that she killed her mother and burned her body in 2019.
Eating vegan doesn’t necessarily have to mean soggy tofu, quinoa bowls and green juices - it’s also plant-based versions of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, red velvet cake and so much more.
After going nearly 60 years without hosting a PGA Tour event, the Baltimore area will host the BMW Championship again in 2025.
A train crashed into a tractor-trailer at about 12:40 p.m. Monday near Eastern Avenue and Kane Street, Baltimore Police said.
Advertisement
Young Baltimore families chosen to participate in a new guaranteed income pilot program will receive their first check soon, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Monday.
Orioles chairman and CEO John Angelos, 55, prefers to sell a piece of the team while continuing to retain his family’s majority control, two people told The Baltimore Sun in interviews.
Howard County Police are investigating a fatal collision Monday afternoon in Fulton in which a man was killed.
Baltimore prosecutors have dropped the cases of 25 state correctional officers charged in 2019 with using excessive force against inmates and functioning as a criminal enterprise in jails around the city.
As home prices rise, buyers can now eliminate up to $50,000 of their student debt under Maryland’s SmartBuy program, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday.
Laurence F. “Coach O” Orendorff, a retired Baltimore County Public Schools educator and coach who was active in his Fullerton Roman Catholic church, died Aug. 2 of congestive heart failure at his Nottingham home. The former Hamilton resident was 78.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the five-day SABR convention, which has dozens of presentations, panels and discussions all centered on various topics in baseball, much of it with a Baltimore focus.
The family of a 20-year-old Crofton man shot and killed during a struggle with Anne Arundel County police officers in January filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday alleging police used excessive force during the altercation.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Free Fun & Games

  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Crossword
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Jumble Daily in color
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Solitaire
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Bubble Shooter HD
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    2020 Connect
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Cookie Crush
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Butterfly Kyodai
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Classic Mahjong
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Sudoku
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Baltimore Sun Store

Advertisement

GAMES & TRIVIA

Advertisement