ARMED AND DANGEROUS

North Korea is one of the places of origin of the Stinkbug, which has somehow found its way from Korean prison camps into my living room. I guess I can’t blame any living thing from wanting to escape prison camps, but I am forced to make an exception for the Stinkbug.

These scourges from hell or Korea are dime-sized horrors that drone around inside, and land on things like windows, your arm, or the coffee table, scaring the crap out of you. They are ugly. And the worst thing is, they smell awful if you squash them, and they can get in via almost any little crevice. My house is full of crevices.

They are so bad that I have complained about them vociferously on social media. And I discovered that I am not alone: households throughout America are afflicted! So much so that some self-starter with an inventive streak put a video on YouTube telling people how to construct a Stinkbug trap that is, according to him, very effective, and it costs merely $7 to make! You put it in your living room, and all available Stinkbugs think it is a nightclub with a disco ball, and they crawl into it and die.

I quickly recruited my husband for this project. It required an empty 2 liter pop bottle, a one-sided razor, an LED light (suitable for pop bottles), electrical tape, and masking tape. Things we didn’t have.

At the grocery store, I chose diet cola. I knew I would have to dispense with the whole bottle, and so I was mindful of my waistline. After we both had a couple of refreshing glasses of cola, we went to the hardware store.

“Do you have flamethrowers?” My husband asked. “Because we have Stinkbugs, and my wife is beside herself.”

Apparently, this is a common request, because the teen aged clerk didn’t bat an eye.

“No, sir.” He smiled, but offered nothing.

I got out my phone, to show the instructional video to the clerk. Suddenly animated, he nodded knowingly. “Oh, yeah! THAT. We have almost sold out of the LED lights, but we have 2 left. We have sold thirty today. Everybody is making those things. I bet that video has gotten over a million hits.”

The problem was worse than I thought. Stinkbugs are a plague around here, and my husband has no idea what a YouTube “hit” is. Good grief all around.

“But sir, we have Stinkbug traps in stock. To kill the Stinkbugs before they crawl into your house.”

EUREKA. I was ecstatic. You simply assemble the traps and hang them on trees. You bait them with a pheromone thingy that the Stinkbugs find irresistible! The recommendation was one trap per acre. I bought two for my half acre yard. I believe in overkill. The clerk also pointed out poison spray (harmful to invertebrates and aquatic life) that also kills Stinkbugs. I also purchased a bottle of that stuff.

So. Thanks to that YouTube video for the $7 trap, we got out of there with $60 worth of merchandise.

At home, while my husband assembled the $7 indoor trap, I sprayed all the windows from the outside, being mindful to avoid invertebrates. Then we hung the outdoor traps, with the Stinkbug pheromones on them to attract the little bastards.

After using Goo Gone to remove the sticky substance from the traps off my fingers, I sat down, relieved and hopeful. My husband sniffed. And sniffed again. He approached me.

“Molly. You smell like Stinkbug pheromones.”

My husband is now searching for a YouTube video on “How to Muffle Hysterical Screaming.”

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