A stinkbug tale

The Asian brown marmorated stinkbug is voracious and hard to eradicate. (Kyle Green/The Roanoke Times)

They came in through a window air-conditioner.

That’s where my husband and I finally tracked our stinkbug invasion one year. It was prodigious.

In the Sunday Inquirer, I’m writing about how the insects have become a plague on homeowners. And worse for farmers, who on average have suffered losses of 25 percent in apple, peach and other crops.

Since people relish telling their tales, I’ll share mine. I hope you’ll share yours below.

We have a big apple tree in the yard, so we always have a lot of stinkbugs. But one year, they seemed worse than usual. I saw them crawling near the air-conditioner.

Some, I squished. When there were too many, I patrolled with a vacuum cleaner. Each one of nasty little critters made a satisfying thoop sound when I sucked it into the machine.

Finally, cooler weather came. As my husband prepared the ease the air-conditioner out of the window into the room, I stood at the ready, vacuum in hand.

He pulled it out an inch. Thoop thoop!

Another inch. Thoop thoop thoop!  And so on. Astonishing!

But it wasn’t over yet. Of course not.

Next to the window were bookshelves. Stinkbugs like books. They hide in the spaces made where the pages aren’t as big as the cover.

I spent a whole morning removing each of the books from the shelves and murdering stinkbugs. Thoop thoop thoop thoop!

We still have our battles. One got back at me one night by landing on my pillow.

On warm days, the bugs crawl out from wherever — from behind pictures, from within the foliage of potted plants.

But now I know their secrets. I’m expecting them, and I’m ready for them. Thoop!