Saturday, August 15, 2009
I would just like to say that many years ago, I was a peace-loving, sortof flower child, mellow, anti-war kind of person. Years ago I would have carried this little bug safely out of my garden and told him to Fly, fly, fly away home!
Now, not so much.
Now I get the malathion spray out. (And I kill black snakes. Apparently I am now bloodthirsty and out-of-control).
But, in my defense, this little guy, Pentatomoidea, has totally invaded my space, i.e. my garden. It was bad enough when we started finding them in the house, but totally inexcusable when they left the house and discovered the garden.
Specifically, the tomatos. Big beautiful tomatoes until you turn them and see the other side, and it's collapsed and mushy because Mr. Stinkbug and a thousand of his closest friends have sucked it dry. (They use their little vampire tongues to inject an enzyme into the unsuspecting tomato, turning it yellow at the injection point, and the enzyme turns the tomato into a giant slushee.)
My garden is ruined. At least the tomatoes. Except the cherry tomatos, which are either not to their liking, or they just haven't gotten over there yet. Probably scheduled for next week. Can't be everywhere at once you know.
So yesterday, I did what I usually do ('cause I really don't like mixing poison, or things that are flammable, but that's another post). I called my dad. He knew exactly which poison to use, and came right over to mix up a batch and spray the tomatoes, and the peppers and gourds just so the stinkbugs would have to find another place to dine.
If there's any left alive that is.
Hopefully, the green tomatoes will now survive and at least a partial crop will be possible.
Little side story here: the rumor we've heard is that when we had the huge ladybug infestation a few years ago (which I had NO PROBLEMS with, I love the little ladybugs, even when there's millions of them), a local nationally known tech university decided to release the ladybugs natural predator - the stinkbug. It worked, much fewer ladybugs now. In fact I've only seen maybe three all summer. Worked a little too well. However, the stinkbug's natural predator no longer exists. It has no natural predator (can my reader see where this might be a problem?)
It is footloose and fancy-free, multiplying, dividing, and invading homes, gardens, and running will-nilly wherever it wants, while snacking indiscriminately on my tomatoes.
The worst feature of the stinkbug is it's smell - designed to attract other stinkbugs, it's apparently gross and vile to humans. I say apparently because I can't smell it. Nada, zip, nothing -could be roses for all I can tell.
So if they had stayed out of my garden, my house and yard could have become a stinkbug sanctuary, with little signs posted at the end of the driveway (SLOW! Stinkbug Crossing!)
But with the whole inconsiderate attack on the tomatos - the gloves came off and the poison went on. I could hear screams from the battlefield all night. Tomorrow, I go out to survey the carnage, and take back my tomatoes.
And I'm not at all sorry.