Just when blood-sucking bedbugs and rabid raccoons had us pretty much bored to tears, we can give thanks to a new entry in New York City’s animal-vermin kingdom. Stinkbugs! Aren’t they cute? They’ve been found “in small numbers” in the city, western Suffolk, and Nassau counties since January, reports NBC New York.
Benefits to stinkbugs over plane-downing geese, vicious coyotes, and snakes found in unusual places: They don’t harm or even terrify people; all they do is let off a foul odor (something we New Yorkers are well adjusted to) and destroy fruit crops and such. We contacted entomologist Gil Bloom to find out how worried we should really be about stinkbugs, on a scale of Bedbug Psychosis to West (Yawn) Nile. He had this to share:
Unlike the bedbug, which feeds on blood, the stink bug feeds on fruits, vegetables, and food crops with its piercing sucking mouthparts. While it is destined to become a serious pest of agriculture it has also become a nuisance pest both indoors and out as it seeks to find areas in which to over winter. While these bugs do not harm humans, they can become both a quality of life issue and create quite a stink about themselves especially if squashed.
Control of these bugs is best accomplished by exclusion and vacuuming. Proper screening and the sealing of cracks, crevices, and gaps along the exterior and under eaves can help keep the pests out. Once inside they are best collected without squashing or vacuumed up. To date, this invasive species has been found in the New York City area in Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau County.
But beyond that: Stinkbugs apparently like wine, and can attach themselves to grapes and totally ruin a bottle of good or semi-decent or…whatever, it’s wine!…during the fermenting process.
Okay, line crossed. Let’s get rid of these mo-fos, stat. Be aware: If you crush one, it will stink. Use that to your advantage.