White metal. Decorative but disastrous.

We've been having a hell of a problem with stinkbugs getting into the house so I hung a bug zapper on the not well-enclosed porch. Unfortunately I used a decorative wall hook made out of cast metal. It was rated for far more weight than what ended up cracking it. I was vacuuming off the live stink bugs that had found the light but had not yet immolated themselves on the high voltage grid when it was "look out below!"
Although I had cleverly hot glue a clear plastic container to the bottom of the zapper when I put it on the porch, that merely concentrated the payload of stinkbugs and added a little spring to their dispersal when the zapper hit the ground. That's when I discovered just how many stinkbugs I had trapped (dozens) and how many of them were not fully cooked, but simply wandering around in the plastic container among their dead comrades, doing whatever stunned stinkbugs do.
I'm going to replace that hook (and all the others from that batch) with good, old fashioned steel hooks. Not as pretty but not as likely to spew me with a boatload of half-dead stinkbugs. I suspect I'll find a tiny void in the casting at a critical spot as is often the case with such failures but it's also possible there was too much torsion from the zapper.
Whatever the cause, it wouldn't have happened with a solid steel hook. Now I have to go around the house and replace all the other decorative hooks from that one 8-pack before they drop their loads, too.
To add insult to injury, the stinkbugs spewed mostly over the stairs, blocking my retreat. I grabbed my handy B&D vacuum which, as usual, had enough charge to start the job but not finish it. I've learned to treat handvacs as consumables. I went through the torture of removing and rebuilding a Hoover cordless vac only to have the incredibly cheaply designed motor bearings fail very shortly thereafter. Now when the pack dies, I either convert it to 12V car plug for use in the car or scrap it.
Today I will put the vacuum on the holiday lights timer, which also lives on the porch and is unemployed throughout most of the year. I believe I can set it to be on for just 15 minutes a day, and that should be enough to keep the vacuum charged but not overcharged. We'll see. I bought 3 of the same model B&D vacs on sale this year and two are on a "charge when needed" basis.
My experience with B&D is that their battery packs die from overcharging if left on charge too long - even in the ones that are alleged to have overcharging protection. Yet I keep buying them because the competition is not much better.
The question of the day is: "Are stinkbugs drawn to the smell of other stinkbugs?" It sure *seems* that way. It's very odd that there were almost no other bugs in the trap. It could be the stinkbugs were eating the other bugs. I suppose I can set up the critter cam to monitor the catch tray, assuming the fall hasn't killed the bug zapper. It went out, but that could just be the bulb coming loose from the socket.
--
Bobby G.



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On Wed, 10 Apr 2013 05:56:20 -0400, "Robert Green"

This is a very good idea. Decorative hooks are made to look nice, but not be otherwise useful.
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On 4/10/2013 5:56 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Stinkbugs tend to congregate together in the winter. They like tight narrow spaces to overwinter. In my garage, in the spring, I have to shake out old gloves and the like left their for the winter. I've had gloves practically jam packed with them.
I've seen pheromone containing stinkbug traps. Don't know if the pheromones attract just one sex or both. Neighbor had one and apparently they work well but appeared pricey to me.
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Frank wrote:

The only two bugs that seem to able to get into my house are stink bugs and ladybugs. No flies, no ants, no mosquitoes. I don't know how the stinkbugs and ladybugs get in. The Ladybugs seem to show up on the first warm day after the winter, the stinkbugs later on. I don't mind the occasional ladybugs so much (why is it that a lot of people don't mind ladybugs. Is it the name, or their little spotted round wing shells?)
--
Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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On 4/10/2013 3:39 PM, willshak wrote:

Like I wrote, stinkbugs prefer warm narrow spaces to overwinter. If they are getting in your house they are finding spaces around windows and doors generally. I've done extra caulking around areas that I have seen them appear and lessened the numbers as indicated by those trying to get out in the spring. Probably the same for both stinkbugs and ladybugs. Once they get in the house, they find crevices to hide in for the winter. When I hunt in the fall, I've had them crawl under my collar.
Not sure how widespread stinkbugs are and they only invaded PA a few years ago and started spreading from there. They could become a major agricultural pest. I had to quit growing peppers as they stuck and mottled them and they grew smaller. Northern DE is a temperate climate but as they go south the plague could be far worse as they can multiply more.
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One or two, or a hundred in the garden, are cute. 10,000 on the siding of a house, coming into the house aren't so much.
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A few years back the news had clips of some of the houses *covered* by Lady Bugs. Amazing! We had it bad in Vermont, one year, but it wasn't anything like that. A few friends had hundreds if not (low) thousands. Older homes.

Should be interesting. They were really loud in Ohio about five years ago.
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On Wed, 10 Apr 2013 05:56:20 -0400, "Robert Green"

Use stainless steel so you don't need to keep cleaning up the rust.

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They don't go in this time of year ??
When they feel like they have found a safe place they emit the smells, not the stink.
I had little luck with the common trap, and spent plenty for extra smell packs. Last fall we didn't have many sunny warm days where they will cover the house when they know it's time to find a winter spot. I didn't notice any less in the house this winter
Greg
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Robert Green wrote:

ALL NiCad batteries will die from over-charging. There are two ways to overcome this condition:
1. High-end tools come with semi-sophisticated chargers that sense the voltage level of the attached battery pack and turn on or off depending on need.
2. Get yourself one of these for the low-end devices: <(Amazon.com product link shortened)65792118&sr=8-4&keywordslkin+switch+outlet> When the el-cheapo battery on my Harbor Freight drill runs down, I set this switch for six hours and I'm good to go.
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