Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smashing Stink Bugs

I haven’t seen many stink bugs around lately. Though I didn’t really believe they were on the decline I thought that perhaps they had moved on to more greener pastures than suburbia.

This of course was nothing more than wishful thinking on my part. They are still very much around. They’ve just been a little preoccupied with making baby stink bugs. In this editorial in The Sun today, I found out that “the two prime times for stink bug activity in Maryland are from late June to mid-July and from mid- to late August.”

“Now the females are laying eggs, a clutch of 20 to 30 eggs in a cluster, under the leaves of crops that they like to eat. The stink bugs are far from picky eaters, so there a lot leaves to examine.”

And why would we want to examine the leaves?

Because it appears to be only hope we have of slowing down the proliferation of these stinky buggers is to get at these eggs before they hatch.

Outside of a massive planting of Purple Pitchers, there is really no other way to stop them. There is no known effective insecticide and the stink bug has no native predator.

“In the meantime, a small, simple stink bug fighting strategy is go out in the garden, turn up the leaves of the plants, and squash the egg clusters, which resemble white to yellow grains of rice.”

Sounds like a good summer activity for the kids. Don't expect much help from the dog though.
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