University of Maryland Garden Q&A: more on stinkbugs
A: Use their natural instincts against them. When threatened, they drop. Hold a flat-sided container with about one inch of soapy water under them. If they don’t drop in, brush or nudge them in. They’ll die in a minute.
For stinkbugs on the ceiling or up high, attach a container to a pole or tangle them in a mop head to get them down. When you get a number of drowned ones collected, flush them or throw them in a garden bed to add to the organic material.
Caught gently, they rarely feel threatened and release their stinky odor. They cannot bite, spread disease, eat, or reproduce indoors. Eventually they will die, because at this time of year they should be resting in diapause (like hibernation), not using up their energy wandering around your house. Don’t spray insecticides indoors.
Much research is being devoted to this pest. Contact us for updates next year. For huge indoor stinkbug populations, give us a call.
Q: My potatoes had some green skin when I dug them. I know you’re not supposed to eat the green part, but why is that?
A: Potatoes turn green when they’re exposed to light. The green color comes from chlorophyll, but the green is not the problem.
Another response of potatoes exposed to light is production of solanine, a colorless alkaloid that can cause illness or even death if a person consumes enough of it, in spite of its bitter taste. The highest concentration of solanine occurs in the skin and the sprouts, so removing green skin and sprouts will remove most of the toxin and make your potatoes safe to eat. Consider the green chlorophyll a good warning sign.