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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The WWII Stinkbug Invasion

This September a friend and I had the opportunity to travel to Virginia and provide overnight security for Airfest 2011 at Culpeper Airport in Virginia (www.culpeperairfest.com). Next week we'll be getting back to  more technology. In fact, we'll be looking at better battery technology available today and in the not too distant future. Including Lithium Phosphate (LiFePO3) Any way, on to the show!

The Sea Harrier
Culpeper Virginia seemed like a great short trip. Leave Thursday morning, arrive Thursday evening and camp on the ramp amidst 40 or so WWII aircraft with some modern jets thrown in. Not to mention Culpeper Airport is the home of the only privately owned and flown Harrier Jump jet in the world!

So far, so good. Believe it or not, it was a pretty uneventful trip down, a leaky airbag gauge forced me to add air on one side every 15 minutes or so, but OK nothing is perfect!

The Trip took way less time than planned. That is, until we were supposedly 26 minutes out, according to the GPS.  This rural area approach road was so packed it took 2 HOURS. I have no idea why. When we finally reached the final 2 mile uncongested stretch there was no indication what had caused the snarl. Ah well...

The Aero Cruiser in its' first spot, all alone.
So we got there a bit later than I would have liked. After checking in with the organizers and figuring out where to park (and then re-park!) we settled in just as everyone was leaving. Turns out we were to be the only two folks at the airport overnight. Cool! We made a semi-gourmet dinner with sliced flank steak, fresh various colored peppers, tomatoes, onions and freshly made tortillas.

We wandered around the airport admiring the aircraft and making sure no one was doing anything nefarious. In the dark. Alone. Very Cool! Got a bit cold at around 4AM so I fired up the furnace, and all was warm and cozy.

Early AM brewed some coffee and made some scrambled eggs with leftover veggies and cheddar cheese (Extra Sharp, of course!) Watched the sunrise with a fresh cup of brewed coffee, very pleasant.
Airport Diagram

That’s when things started to go a bit south. We were told we had to move to another location on the airport. OK. Off we went. Parked and went back to the Airshow. Watched some amazing aerobatics, saw some great formation flights and were amazed at just how loud a Harrier is hovering at full throttle. End of the day came far too quickly. 



Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
We trekked back to the remote spot where we were parked, out by the older hangars and were stopped dead in our tracks. Almost one whole side of the RV was covered in Stink Bugs. No matter how hard we tried to get them off, more reinforcements arrived from the adjacent forested area.

As we prepped for travel we found many of them had made it past the spinning blades of the roof vent fans set on exhaust and we had to evict them. The ones that didn't make it through were insect paste. Nasty, very nasty.

Finally, we were off, with Passenger Pete on "Bug Patrol" finding and eliminating as many as he could on the run. We arrived at Cabella's in Hamburg, PA at about 7PM. Now it was a mad scramble to remove the vents and purge the invaders with extreme prejudice. After about an hour of combat we had them at bay. Little had we known that Virginia was experiencing an epidemic of these critters. It was in the newspapers when we arrived at home, on the TV and radio. These little nuisances aren't really dangerous. They fly, but not well. They don't really sting. If you crush one it could let off a stink that will be unpleasant at best. I catch them in a paper towel or suck them up with a 12V wet/dry vac and then dump them outside. Far away from the RV.

I'm sure some of them still lurk in the nooks and crannies of the RV, hibernating until the warm weather prods them to action.

We'll be ready.

Rich "The Wanderman"
http://www.thewanderman.com

20 comments:

  1. I carry a product everyone should have, a bottle of cedarcide. You can get it from Amazon. It is a natural product made from pure cedar oil. I promise you, if you spray around your trailer, it will kill of bugs in a couple of minutes but doesn't harm beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, etc. I don't have to deal with flies or other varmints and it even discourages snakes.

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  2. We went to the RV show in Hershey PA, in Sept. 2010 and traded for a new 5th wheel. We picked it up one week later, and noticed a few of the little critters on our windows. Didn't think too much about it until we got to FL where it was warm and they came out of the woodwork (so to speak). It is now Jan., and we still see a stick bug come out every now and then.

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  3. Yes, you'll be finding them inside your RV for months to come, I'm sorry to say. They have an amazing ability to find crevices to hide in. Over a year after a visit to Pennsylvania we were still finding dead ones...

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  4. Yeah, They hide and play Guerilla war with you. I am wondering how many we missed...I guess I'll find out come spring.

    Rich" The Wanderman"

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  5. We had them for up to a year after visiting PA/WV/MD & VA. I kept a small cup of water with dish soap handy, and when I saw one on the ceiling or a wall I would trap and/or knock it into the soap water mixture which kills them quickly.

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  6. Nice to know about the dish soap. I visited Virginia and Maryland last September and early October and had the same first experience with the bugs. My RV is now in the deep freeze here in Canada, so I wonder if I will find any next spring?

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  7. Unknown,
    Hmmm....dish soap. I WILL be trying that!

    Thanks,

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  8. We got into these bug in the fall of 2010 in PA as well as Maryland and Virginia. In March 2011 while Alabama we got fed up and brought in and exterminator which solved our problem. He was well versed in fighting stink bugs and new what to do. Nothing else we did worked until then.

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  9. There's a cleaner i buy at the dollar store called awesome, one squirt on the stink bugs and they die, I get to clean and kill at the same time.

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  10. OK...killing them is step one...then there is the cleanup. Also, FINDING them (they get into TINY hidden cracks and crevices.) is step two.

    I know they like warmth and will migrate toward higher temps...perhaps a heater near the outside of the RV...pied piper style?? Draw them out and WHAMMO!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  11. We visited VA, PA, WV and MD in August through October 2011 and became infested with stink bugs. We are now in south LA and STILL finding the darn critters almost every day. Just when you think you got them all , another one shows up inside the motorhome. We will order cedarcide from Amazon and have a cup of soapy water on hand from now on.

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  12. I haven't heard the product will keep snakes away? Is that the same product that also keeps elephants and rhinos away also? I've seen snakes crawl thru a lot of stuff when they encounter it.

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  13. They really are a P.I.T.A.

    I'n hoping not too many are left over. I am not a huge fan of insects!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  14. Breaking camp in PA in October, they were EVERYWHERE!! Never saw them before. Thought we were well rid of them--camper is winterized, parked on the side of the house (in CT)--well, couldn't believe my eyes this week when I saw one walking up the wall in my kitchen!! WTH!!

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  15. Ugh, i am NOT looking forward to the that this year. I fear i will have to maintain a beach head again. These critters are the true meaning of "nuisance."

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  16. We visited a campground in upper westchester new york a couple of years ago to be introduced to these critters for the first time not knowing what a problem they can realy cause. Some said spray them with alcohol and variuos other ideas. For period of 1 year we were still seeing them. Spring of 2011 the rv was still sealed up including all vents from the winter and the weather suddenly got quite warm. The temp inside the rv was very high to the point it killed all the stink bugs and never saw them again. The y love the warmth but cant live in extreme heat.

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  17. strobee,
    I'm not that far from upper Westchester. I haven't seen really any of them around here. I AM concerned that come spring I may find out I imported some!

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  18. Uh Oh...I saw some Stinkbugs in between my sliding glass door and screen when it was warm. i hop it's not heading for an epidemic here in the NorthEast.

    Rich "The Wanderman"

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  19. ORANGE-GLO WILL KILL THE LITTLE STINKERS...IT CAUSES THEM TO HAVE "SIEZURES" AND THEY DIE

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    Replies
    1. Hmmmm....sounds like a test is in the cards!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

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