Mother Freaking Nature


I’ve had it with nature.

I live in a citified section of a suburb. I have a street light that lights my yard. I occasionally see a bunny or a squirrel or hilariously, once, a squirrel being attacked from air by a dive-bombing pigeon. There’s the occasional baby-snatching hawk, but for the most part, historically, nature leaves me alone here.

But lately, nature is seriously getting out of hand here in Pittsburgh.

1. Stinkbugs.

It’s bad when bugs become news and the stinkbugs have become news because apparently the stinkbugs have been watching too much Jersey Shore or Skinemax or stinkbug porn and they have reproduced in epic numbers to take over Pittsburgh and my neighborhood.

It is so bad that if you stop at a stop light, you can see the stinkbugs hopping from car to car like they’ve figured out how to use human vehicles as public bug transportation. “Next stop, disabled Chevy near Target.”

It is so bad that I keep finding stinkbugs in my car and every time I see a stinkbug, I start to itch. EVERYWHERE. I can feel them on me.

It is so bad that when I find one in my house, instead of being all, “EFF! IT IS A BUG! IN MY HOUSE! GET ME A CAN OF RAID, MY ORECK, AN ENTIRE ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS, SOME GLOVES AND THE SKI GOGGLES! PREPARE THE TOILET!” as I initially was, now I’m all, “Hiya, stinky. Did you watch Mike and Molly last night? That’s a great show. Oh, your shield is a little dull. Let me polish that for you.”

Last night, my kid found a stinkbug in his bed. I named it Ray and we’re having coffee right now.

2. Skunks

Reader and friend Bobby sent me this one.

Apparently, a few years ago, some Burgher got the genius idea to feed hundreds of skunks from troughs he set out and that made more skunks move in and now, we are having lots of skunks in Pittsburgh.

“It not only smells bad, but skunks always aim high and their aim is pretty accurate. It’s innate within them to spray toward the face, even toward humans,” he said.

Not awesome.

However, like I told Bobby, I prefer the skunks to the stinkbugs. I can shoot a skunk.

3. If stinkbugs and skunks weren’t bad enough, now we have to worry about the rabid foxes.

After three people were bitten by foxes suspected of being rabid this month, the Allegheny County Health Department issued an alert to all county residents to avoid the animals as well as raccoons.

I swear. This is like I Am Legend.

I prefer my nature to be docile and fluffy. Rabbits. Chipmunks. Ewoks. Instead we get stinkbugs, skunks, and rabid foxes.

And that’s just until the deer start losing their shit again.

But the point of my post is this. Why aren’t Ewoks real? God seriously dropped the ball on that one.


  1. Spuddad
    September 28, 2010 11:27 am

    Just a warning, Ginny: My wife Spudmom once yelled into a moderate snow shower, “Eff you, Mother Nature, eff you right in the chops!” The result was a ferocious snow squall. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.

    Regarding the foxes, look on the bright side: rabies shots are no longer the prolonged torture session they used to be. They’re just normal shots in the arm, not shots in your stomach with needles the size of Steely McBeam.

    Ewoks aren’t real because if they were, Jar-Jar would also be real. Is that what you want? Really????

  2. laurenhbg
    September 28, 2010 11:30 am

    So funny you named a stinkbug…my now-husband and I did that about three years ago to one flying around in our apartment, and now every stinkbug we see is now named Leroy. You’ll start calling them all Ray, trust me.

  3. gunnlino
    September 28, 2010 11:33 am

    A lady was interviewed on the news, she said the stinkers are not a problem ’cause her cat eats them. First, Gaaahhh, secondly who cleans up the cat puke from the middle of the bed ?

  4. Cindy T.
    September 28, 2010 11:38 am

    I named the two in my kitchen Henry and Walter. I haven’t seen them for a few days so maybe they are dead. What is the life span? It seemed they were more active when the weather was warmer. Interesting.

  5. CrashJK
    September 28, 2010 11:39 am

    Ginny…seriously, it COULD be WORSE !!! What if you found a lotion covered, powdered down place kicker cavorting around the shrubs and hedges ? I would think his watching of too much Jersey Shore or Skinemax could even be a more horrific in the final outcome….ymmv.

    fwiw – I’ve had to remove two road kill skunks from the road directly beside my house this summer. Nothing like a freshly mashed, aromatic Pepe Le Pew wafting through my dryer vent and being suck through the air conditioning…WHOA !!!
    Cleaning the remains off the asphalt required a bio-hazard suit, clothes pins on nose and bleach & lime poured on hard surfaces…ack !

  6. BeauJacques
    September 28, 2010 11:47 am

    I haven’t seen ANY stinkbugs in Mt. Lebanon! :-)

    I say name them all Dan, Lukey, Ed, Joe, Arlen, and Zapala.

  7. StinkBugNews
    September 28, 2010 12:24 pm

    There’s more information on how to get rid of stink bugs at These things are everywhere and traditional sprays aren’t working.

  8. Shibori
    September 28, 2010 12:31 pm

    Thank goodness we have a health department to give us useful information like “stay away from skunks and raccoons”. I’d make a joke here about that going without saying, but I’m from Fayette County, and I have two relatives in my immediate family that kept raccoons as pets, so maybe that is useful info.

  9. bucdaddy
    September 28, 2010 12:34 pm

    You’d think if anyplace were going to be troubled with stinkbugs, it would be West Virginia. But apparently we have that figured out better than yinz-all too.

    Mrs. Daddy had “Mike and Molly” on and I gave it about 10 minutes and didn’t laugh once. It’s possible that’s because I was miffed our effort to record “House” didn’t work and that’s what we should have been watching instead. Or maybe it’s just because it was bad.

  10. CrashJK
    September 28, 2010 12:46 pm

    I will name all stinkbugs which I encounter John Russell…hth

  11. Pensgirl
    September 28, 2010 1:09 pm

    I got nuthin’ on the content of this post, but I totally read the opening salutation in the voice of Bernie Mac saying “America….”

  12. tw
    September 28, 2010 1:10 pm

    I’d rather have stinkbugs than flies or mosquitoes. We have tons of stinkers out here (Reading,Pa) and they are harmless…just don’t rub them or squish them (thus the stink). We just calmly pick them up and toss them outside. They’re actually kind of cute (don’t kill me).

  13. Cassie
    September 28, 2010 5:11 pm

    I spray the piss out of them with Vinegar. Then I dump some baking soda on it. It’s a great little chemistry experiment, if you ask me.

    I wrote about them today. My DYSON, my beloved Dyson sucked TWO up today. The smell was horrific. This then lead to me using the Murphy’s Oil Soap on the hardwoods around the area of massacre and the house is starting to smell normal once more.

    However, I’m originally from Minnesota, and I won’t lie, Mosquitoes are worse.

  14. Sooska
    September 29, 2010 9:54 am

    Stink bugs were foisted upon America by some dumb ass in Allentown PA. That’s about what Allentown is worth. I suck them up with my vacuum and attachments so they don’t present any problem. If you kill them they will smell like 100 farts and that attracts other stinkbugs. We had a few last year but I didn’t know what they were.

    Also from the Sep 25 skunk story in the PG: A couple of years ago, he and other animal control workers were in the West End when a man approached them. He boasted about watching hundreds of skunks eating from troughs of food he set out at Windgap Industrial Park beneath the Windgap Bridge.

    Feeding skunks, or even raccoons or fox, is actually WORSE than feeding pigeons. Skunks can be rabid. At least as far as we know pigeons aren’t rabid, even though they wish to be.

  15. burghgal
    September 29, 2010 12:09 pm

    I vacuum them up in my Dyson and dump them in the toilet while flushing.. quick burial at sea.

    I kept getting about 20 or so a day in my bathroom. I think they are getting under the siding or something.

    I don’t care if they stink up my vacuum… out of my house!

  16. NewBurgher
    September 29, 2010 4:11 pm

    Extensive bug research yielded two killing methods we have been utilizing. 1) Don’t throw away that empty Snapple bottle! Fill it about 1/4 full of a 50/50 mixture of Dawn and water. The bugs are so stupid that about 90% of the time, they jump right in the bottle when you put it up next to them. Then it’s a slow watery sudsy death for them. However, the other 10% of the time they fly off right at your face, so this method has a small hazard built in. 2) Two words – canned air. Just bought a 6-pack at Costco expressly for the bugs. Turn the can upside down, blast the bug with a short burst, it instantly freezes and kills them. The first time I did it and saw that it really worked, I literally cried with joy.