Last year, I wrote an article about stinkbugs. Brown marmorated stinkbugs, to be exact. This invasive species has ruined crops and driven people crazy. Myself included.
I have found them in my hair, in my microwave, in a box of wrapping paper, and even in clean, folded laundry. I even found one, alive, in my plastic onion keeper in the vegetable drawer of my fridge. Go figure.
Last summer, the stinkers poked holes in my tomatoes, which caused them to bruise and rot. I understand they do the same to peaches, squash and whatever else they like. Farmers are not amused. The bugs swarmed by the dozens on warm walls outdoors, and they snuck indoors by whatever means necessary to have a cozy place to over-winter.
To say that I dispatch a dozen of the shield-shaped bugs every single day is a very low estimate. I can probably do away with that many before lunch.
According to the local agricultural extension office, people are advised to kill them by drowning in a bucket of soapy water. I created a kill jar with a couple of cotton balls soaked in fingernail polish remover. Using the jar, I can just scoop them off of the window or wall and get rid of them before they can breed again and re-populate my house.
But, things have taken a turn towards the bizarre.
Recently, I bought a new clothes washing machine. It’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done in record time. So, when I realized I wasn’t hearing the load rinse and spin out, I went to investigate.
It was the craziest thing: the cold water had suddenly stopped filling the tub. I fiddled with the selector knob and no matter which cycle I activated, I could not get cold water to flow. So, I rinsed the load in hot water and pulled out the manual.
Then, I did the obvious and checked the water hose at the cold water feed. I expected to see silt in the hose filter. But, never in my wildest thoughts did it occur to me that a stinkbug was the culprit. Because, that’s exactly what I found. Well, the remains thereof.
After, “The Snake Incident,” with the washer, I really shouldn’t be surprised by much when it comes to creatures and water. Yes, I had a snake in my washing machine. But, that’s another story for another day.
It’s all just a part of life here on Sassafrass Hill.