[NetBehaviour] We become a new frontier (for Tom Zummer, who always asks us)

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Feb 6 08:11:52 CET 2010

We become a new frontier (for Tom Zummer, who always asks us)


We'd been entertaining a brown marmorated stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys) for
a while now - at least a couple of months. A small beautiful true bug, it
had arrived near the window sill (as had others); we carefully took it
into our garden and our hearts. That was the last we saw or heard of it
until this evening, when it suddenly appeared, circling near the ceiling,
and landing on our 1908 Chinese painting of flowers and birds. I looked it
up on the Net, of course - only to find out that these insects seek the
warmth of apartments during the winter, and leave their scent everywhere.
Other stinkbugs are attracted by the odor, which can become overpowering
and long-lasting. Sooner or later, we'd have a colony. We realized either
the bug or us had to leave; Azure gently took it to the same window it had
entered, and let it fly away.

Now I've put up an image of the bug, a memorial of sorts. Here is what
Wikipedia has to say about it: "simply jostling the bug, cornering it,
scaring or injuring it, or attempting to remove it from one's house can
'set it off'"; "it can make a whole room uninhabitable until aired out,
and some people are even allergic to the smell."

By the way, this insect hadn't been seen in the United States before 2001;
we're proud to be early adopters, part of a new frontier, friendly hosts
for yet another invasive species.

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