While the Great New York Bedbug Infestation has been the insect story of the year so far, Washington, D.C. is facing what one scientist has termed a stink bug battle that will be "Biblical." Just guessing here, but he's probably referring to Revelations and not the Song of Solomon.
"This is the vanguard," Mike Raupp, a University of Maryland entomologist and extension specialist, told the Washington Post of the already noticeable increase in the smelly little fiends. "I think this is going to be Biblical this year. You're going to hear a collective wail in the Washington area, up through Frederick and Allegany counties, like you've never heard before. The [bug] populations are just through the ceiling."
With the change in weather, the stink bugs (which prefers the more polite term "flowery bouquet-challenged insect") are leaving their usual haunts -- orchards, cornfields and gardens -- to warm themselves in houses, office buildings and hotels.
The WaPo story notes that they don't bite or otherwise harm people "or their possessions" (though I'm not giving one my ATM number), though it does cheerfully note that in its native Asia the thingies are known as "stinky big sisters." Those of us with siblings can readily identify.
What can be done about this scourge? Vacuuming them up seems to be one of the better solutions, though again the aroma may have you fumigating the Hoover after the deed is done.
While the mid-Atlantic region faces down this menace, the Midwest is spending most of its time bemoaning how its native Browns and Cubs continue to "stink up the joint." The lesson: It's always something.
(Photo: Washington Post.)