I think I’ll just go ahead a start a new heading for brown marmorated stink bug news. I’ll call it ... “What’s that smell?”
Anyway, nothing really new to report in today’s “What’s that smell?” except a clever twist in jargon from Washington State University’s media machine.
In a news release today, university writers called the researchers trying to protect Washington’s homes and crops from the invasive pests the “SWAT Team.” Get it? Swat? Because they’re bugs?
I personally like it.
So does Peter Landolt, the research leader at the U.S. Department of Agriculture lab in Wapato. “Oh yeah,” he said. “That’s cute.”
He hadn’t heard the term before I called him.
The other useful information from the news release was a description of the smell the creepy bug puts out when stressed: “dirty socks.”
I’ve smelled the bugs. They smelled bad. I thought of garlic of at the time. Some people have mentioned vinegar. Dirty socks is as good as any comparison.
To remind you all: The brown marmorated stink bug is an invasive species that has been known to voraciously devour crops in the East and has rapidly spread to 40 states, including Washington, partially by seeking shelter from the winter in people’s homes.
Keep an eye out and call the SWAT team if you think you see one. Here are the numbers again:
WSU Yakima Extension, 509-574-1600; USDA Wapato, 509-454-6570.
• Read earlier entries on the Crop Lines blog