Winning battle but losing great war on stinkbugs

Katja Schulz via WikiMedia Commons/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license A stinkbug like those that haunt homeowners every fall, winter and early spring.

War was declared Wednesday.

I used my authoritarian powers as sole owner of my home to declare complete and total war on the invaders.

They came without warning, a pre-emptive strike during the warm mid-day hours.

I was inside. I did not hear a thing. I was oblivious.

Then, I walked out my front door and onto the porch.

They were everywhere: On the porch railings and overhang. On the entire front of my house. On every window and any nook and cranny and crevice.

A full-blown attack.

My immediate reaction was to vacate the premises. I cannot go through this another year, I though. Let them have my house. I’ll sleep in the car.

My next reaction was one of pure anger and hatred.

Then, I bellowed, even as these invaders bounced off my body.

“I shall defend my island, whatever the cost may be!” I shouted. “I shall never surrender!”

I swatted through the hail of invaders, opened my door and slipped inside before any got through.

I grabbed the first weapon I could find: A fly swatter.

It’s an orange, battered thing but would suffice until I came up with a better plan.

Armed and eyes blazing, I scurried out the door and began my counter-attack.

I swatted with my right and parried with my left. The more I killed, the more that came.

I smashed them against the walls and the windows and the door. I stomped on the injured that fell to my feet, still twirling madly in their death throes.

Gore was everywhere and after the first battle I realized that this was the wrong approach.

My entire porch smelled of death.

It is the smell that haunts me every fall, winter and early spring, when the hordes awaken inside my house and congregate at any light source.

A single fatality will bring such a stench that it pervades my nostrils and, I swear, I can taste it on my tongue.

It is a smell like no other and one that cannot be described.

As I stood there, chest heaving with heavy breaths, my swatter dangling at my side, I came up with a plan.

A Shop-Vac.

I have a small, one-gallon Shop-Vac that is easy to carry and efficient in its suction.

Back into the house I went and I cursed as one of the winged invaders slipped by me and into my castle.

Grrrr. I will get you later, I vowed.

I grabbed my Shop-Vac and an extension cord and a can of Raid, which I sprayed into the holding tank, thinking that the poison would kill the fiends that fell victim to my madness.

The extension cord allowed me full access to three sides of my house. My first attack was on the porch, where now scores appeared, ignoring their fallen stinky comrades.

I sucked up the living and the dead. I pulled my shirt over my nostrils as I battled.

Passersby slowed to witness the pure brilliance of my actions. I twirled and danced and suctioned and suctioned.

Some tried to get away but I was too quick and snatched many from mid-air.

The gallon holding tank seemed alive as the invaders drew their last, poisonous gasps.

The battle raged for two days and by Thursday night as the sun slipped, I fell to my knees, exhausted.

I needed to re-group for I know that this is a war that I cannot win.

Still, I must persevere if I am to protect my home from these legions of stench.

For now, a brief retreat.

War is hell.

Scott DeSmit is a general assignment reporter for The Daily News. He can be reached at

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