If you were looking forward to the warm weather coming (and maybe staying this time), I have four words to completely ruin it: Cicadas and Stink Bugs.
If you weren’t looking forward to the warm weather coming (and maybe staying this time), I have four words to completely validate your suspicion: Cicadas and Stink Bugs.
That’s right. Cicadas are expected to make an appearance this year in parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Cicadas are one of those bugs that I have a mild fascination with, which is why I’m just the secretary/treasurer of Cicada Lovers International Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, and not the chapter president or vice president — it’s not worth the hassle, trust me.
But I’m fascinated that those things are in the ground for 17 years only to climb to the surface to fly around, eat, mate and die. So, basically, they’re hungry teenagers let loose to score before they die. It’s no wonder why they’re all totally insane.
If you ever catch one by the wings, and they’re crazily moving their legs and making that solo screeching sound, that’s their way of saying, “Dude! C’mon, let go! I only have a few days left to not be eaten by any birds and get with a lady (a Cicady?) before I die of old age!”
Other than predators and vehicle windshields, just imagine some tragedies cicadas go through when they roam free.
Think about it. You live underground for nearly two decades and then your natural instinct kicks in to fight your way to the surface to eat and mate only to discover that someone erected a house on top of where your parents dropped you off when you were just a glimmer in their dropped egg sack.
I also feel bad when I hear that one Cicada who either emerged a year too early or a year too late and can’t find any others around — it’s like those “Twilight Zone” episodes where the person is the last person on Earth, but it’s just a training simulation — oh, spoilers.
A bug we can look forward to every year and throughout the year is the Stink Bug, or its scientific name “Pee-ew Beatle”.
Before you read on, I don’t want to seem that I’m totally praising the Stink Bug — I loathe those damn things.
That being said, the stink bug has redefined, shook up and turned everything we know about DIY pest elimination on its head.
Consider our practice of killing bugs for hundreds of years. We slap a mosquito as it sucks the blood from our bodies, we spray chemicals at bees or wasps, we grab a flyswatter or a rolled up newspaper to smash an annoying fly or injure the fly just enough to incapacitate to pull its wings off and watch it scurry around a table piled with sugar and salt and lye, if you’re a psychopath.
Now, with a Stink Bug, you can’t slap it if it lands on you because your hand will stink for what seems like 70 hours. You can’t swat it with something because the whole room will stink. You can’t spray it because it doesn’t seem to work, and its stink will mix with the spray stink, and you can’t even begin to torture it because it will stink before you even pin it down with a rusty clothespin, if you’re a psychopath.
When you see a Stink Bug, you have to hold back those primal urges and calmly look around for something to aid in the process of elimination without triggering the thing’s stink defense while also keeping your eyes on it because if you look away too long, it’s gone.
The Stink Bug truly is the thinking man’s bug, constantly challenging us, making us better trackers, killers and disposers.
I credit my uncle for showing me the proper way to deal with a Stink Bug that lands on or near you, and that’s to simply flick it away. Even though the act doesn’t kill them, those little stinkers are shot a good distance away, there’s no smell and the satisfaction of doing so is on par with stuffing a box full of live moths to give as gifts for a first date or a five-year anniversary, if you’re a psychopath.
For the Stink Bugs in your house, you can always opt for the inverted soda bottle prison method.
Someone figured out that if you get any size plastic bottle of pop and cut the top of the bottle off right above the label and then invert it so the top acts like a funnel that points to the bottom of the bottle, you have a Stink Bug trap.
You see, the Stink Bug has even brought out the good-old ingenuity that built America.
The best thing about a Stink Bug trap is once you use it to scoop up the bugs and after they fall to the bottom of the trap, they can’t get out. Also, once you get the trap filled with an appropriate number of Stink Bugs — 1,935 to be exact — you can douse the inside with lighter fluid and throw it on a fire and watch it burn bright while giggling and eating a box of dead moths, if you’re a psychopath.
So, that’s what we have to look forward to as we approach the next few months for the spring/summer/splash of winter/speck of fall season or maybe not because who really knows what the weather will do since the weather, you see, is the one true psychopath.
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available on Amazon.com.