What happened to all the talk about global warming? Given the recent natural and manmade disasters, we may not need to worry about that anymore.  The volcano in Iceland wrecked havoc with the airline industry and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is poised to be one of the worst disasters in U.S. history.  The costs of these calamities will be in the billions – and passed along to us consumers, no doubt. When catastrophes such as these occur, we feel helpless, frustrated and often angry. 

I have a mini environmental, manmade disaster in my own home.  And I’m not alone.  Stink bugs, also known as Asian beetles. They have invaded our homes and nothing exterminates them.  They have no natural enemies.  Forget global warming, oil spills and volcanoes.  We will be overrun by stink bugs. They will be our demise.  I understand that these terrorist insects may have been imported by accident in cargo from China. 

So you think that the volcano and oil spill are costly? I think the stink bug problem could be worse.  Consider the costs of stink bug elimination in my house.  I use either facial tissue or toilet paper to catch the critters when they land or crawl in my line of sight. [NOTE: Never squash a stink bug! They really do stink and the odor attracts more stink bugs.] Then I flush the demons down the toilet.  I try to get as many as possible at once and flush judiciously but that’s not always possible.  Consequently, I have a noticable increase in my monthly water bill to the tune of $8 on average.  Add the cost of tissues – maybe $2 per month?  That’s over $120 per year for stink bug elimination.  And I hear that some people use a vacuum to clean them up (not advisable, by the way, because the bugs let out the stink while in the vacuum) so add in the cost of vacuum cleaner bags. Multiply this by the millions of households in the U.S. and you have a mega-million dollar per year expediture in stink bugs.  Okay, so it’s not quite the billions estimated in the oil spill clean-up.  But it’s a lot!  And you can’t put a price on the aggravation factor.

I’m losing the stink bug battle.  I have just as many again today as I flushed yesterday.  Wouldn’t it be cool if stink bugs liked to drink crude oil?  I would be happy to package all of my bugs and send them to the Gulf.  Two disasters solved!

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