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Cilantro and Stinkbugs

CindyJ Oct 11, 2010 07:34 AM

Is it just my imagination, or do they really have a similar smell? (For the record, I LOVE cilantro, but I hate, hate, HATE these stinkbugs that have invaded PA.)

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  1. c
    csdiego RE: CindyJ Oct 11, 2010 07:39 AM

    To me the stinkbugs smell like earwax. It's a bitter smell, nothing like cilantro at all.

    1. w
      Whinerdiner RE: CindyJ Oct 11, 2010 09:51 AM

      Yuck! I too hate stink bugs. They get everywhere, like little skunk bombs. And they bite!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Whinerdiner
        CindyJ RE: Whinerdiner Oct 11, 2010 02:30 PM

        They bite??? I guess I've been lucky so far. They're ubiquitous, but not hungry. In fact, I vacuumed a bunch of them up into a little DustBuster-type vacuum, and days later they were still alive. Dumped them into a bucket of soapy water -- bye, bye stinkbombs.

      2. b
        Breezychow RE: CindyJ Oct 11, 2010 02:46 PM

        They don't bite or sting or anything other than smell unpleasant when crushed. Other than being agricultural pests, they're just unpleasant to have in the home. Just round 'em or vacuum 'em up & toss them out.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Breezychow
          CindyJ RE: Breezychow Oct 11, 2010 03:58 PM

          I made the mistake of using my regular vacuum cleaner to suck 'em up. Then I put the vacuum back into the closet. Next time I opened the closet -- what a stench! Now I use a dedicated hand-vacuum which gets stashed in the garage. BTW, I read that if you flush them down the toilet, they still don't die.

          1. re: CindyJ
            mojoeater RE: CindyJ Oct 11, 2010 07:12 PM

            If I flush them and they don't die, I don't care. At least they are no longer in my home.

            I think I know what you mean about the cilantro/stink bug correlation. It's almost like heated plastic. Today we had a ton of bugs at work and an industrious coworker took great care to sweep them all out the door. Unfortunately many got crushed. For hours people would come by and ask if something was burning.

        2. alkapal RE: CindyJ Sep 22, 2012 05:18 AM

          NEW STUDY:
          Overall, Eriksson says these studies demonstrate that DNA does shape our opinion of cilantro, but probably not enough that we can't overcome it. "It isn't like your height, that you're stuck with. People can change it," he says.

          So is there hope for the extreme cilantrophobes? Maybe.

          As Nature reports, McGee offers a strategy for building up an appreciation for the herb: Try a cilantro pesto. Crushing the leaves, he says, releases enzymes that convert the soapy, stinky compounds into more mild aromas. The recipe for the pesto is on the website.

          2 Replies
          1. re: alkapal
            mcsheridan RE: alkapal Jun 16, 2014 06:28 AM

            But why bother trying to "overcome" it? I loathe cilantro, and have no inclination to "learn to like it". There are myriad herbs, spices and tastes in the world, and what I already like gives me a wide range to choose from in enjoying food.

            1. re: mcsheridan
              alkapal RE: mcsheridan Jun 16, 2014 06:38 AM

              i didn't suggest that -- i was quoting the article. as far as i'm concerned, i couldn't care less. i love cilantro, and my nephew hates it. meh. who cares?

          2. l
            lcool RE: CindyJ Sep 22, 2012 06:57 AM

            There is more than one scent profile (the males),ask anyone who is in an area where we put up with swarms for 2-3 years.
            Thankfully we are out from under that here.

            1. m
              MrsJonesey RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 06:43 AM

              Yes, they have a similar smell! I think if I had had stinkbugs before I began to love cilantro, well, I would not be a cilantro lover. I hate stinkbugs. That is the understatement of the year.

              I keep a tall jar with about an inch of white vinegar in the bottom and that is how I kill stinkbugs. They often will jump in the jar if you tap the rim on the wall just below them. Actually, I keep 3 jars like this on hand: 1 in the house, 1 on the porch and 1 in the vegetable garden. It seems hopeless to bother with the ones outside, but I read that the female can lay up to 300 eggs in her lifetime.

              11 Replies
              1. re: MrsJonesey
                lcool RE: MrsJonesey Sep 23, 2012 08:19 AM

                You can go cheaper,I use an old jar etc with water and a tiny bit of liquid soap.Cuts down on odor also.Swarmed,09',10' & 11',my most successful control of choice is hand pick,scrape or trap.

                1. re: lcool
                  MrsJonesey RE: lcool Sep 23, 2012 06:06 PM

                  I'll have to give this a try. When we first started having a problem, I would spray them with Simple Green.

                2. re: MrsJonesey
                  CindyJ RE: MrsJonesey Sep 23, 2012 10:27 AM

                  A couple of years ago I started making stinkbug traps out of plastic water bottles. Very clever -- you remove and discard the cap, then slice off the top of the bottle about 1/3 of the way down from the neck. Invert the top portion, place it into the lower section and attach the two sections with masking tape. So now, let's say there's a bug on the wall. Just place the open part of the trap over the bug and slide it along the wall until the bug falls in through the small opening. The bugs can climb up the wall of the inside of the bottle but can't climb out the opening; neither can they fly straight up out of the trap. After you've trapped a bunch, put some soapy water into the bottle to kill the bugs; then toss the bottle out with the trash. (Okay, I suppose you can also put it in with the recycling.) There are more sophisticated versions of these that actually attract the stinkbugs with LED lights, but this one is fine.

                  1. re: CindyJ
                    FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 11:12 AM

                    Well, went out yesterday before the storm and counted 40 on my garage and backdoor area......so my LED light bottle went out last night (protected from the rain) and today's catch is about 8.......still a ways to go

                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                      CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Sep 23, 2012 07:25 PM

                      I hate to jinx it, but... I haven't seen a single one since spring. We had the house sprayed last year and it seems to have reduced the stinkbug population significantly. Let me know if you want the name of the guy who did the spraying. He was originally recommended to us by someone in the entomology department at PSU.

                      1. re: CindyJ
                        CindyJ RE: CindyJ Sep 29, 2012 06:01 PM

                        And as of yesterday -- they're BAAAAAAACK!!! Not in the house yet, but swarming around the back deck. I even saw a green one for the very first time.

                        1. re: CindyJ
                          FriedClamFanatic RE: CindyJ Sep 29, 2012 08:51 PM

                          As I was reading CH the other day, I happened to glance up at my window overlooking the Garden.....6 outside...3 inside.............gonna be a long fall!

                          trying that bottle/light idea trap..we'll see if it works

                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                            lcool RE: FriedClamFanatic Sep 30, 2012 09:29 AM

                            traps do work

                            I maybe out of the woods here,after three years.We had a mini swarm on the 24th when I responded to Bill Hunt below and nearly nothing since.

                        2. re: CindyJ
                          Just Visiting RE: CindyJ Jun 16, 2014 05:48 AM

                          They overwinter in the house and leave in warm weather. The will return to your home in the fall. Although they hibernate in the winter, they can become active because our homes are warm inside. If you have Empress Tree (aka Princess Tree, pawlonia) , or Tree of Heaven (ailanthus) in your yard, then you have a stinkbug magnet. Get rid of them - they are non-native invasives anyway. In addition to being obnoxious when in our homes, they also destroy stone-fruit crops.

                          1. re: Just Visiting
                            CindyJ RE: Just Visiting Jun 16, 2014 06:19 AM

                            How interesting -- I never knew that pawlonia trees are not native (actually, I never gave it any thought). We do have one very old one growing in the woods at the side of my house. Nearby Longwood Gardens has a long walkway lined with them, but I doubt there's a stinkbug to be seen there.

                      2. re: CindyJ
                        MrsJonesey RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 06:06 PM

                        Very clever.

                    2. buttertart RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 08:15 AM

                      Don't i remember that the root meaning of coriander is "smells like bugs"? I love it anyway.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: buttertart
                        mbfant RE: buttertart Jun 14, 2014 11:12 PM

                        Yes, it comes from the Greek koris, bedbug.

                        1. re: mbfant
                          alkapal RE: mbfant Jun 15, 2014 06:50 PM


                          love your scholarly posts, mbfant! good to see you posting more (or at least more that i'm seeing).

                          1. re: alkapal
                            mbfant RE: alkapal Jun 16, 2014 01:31 AM


                      2. suzigirl RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 12:06 PM

                        This is not my first time recounting this story. They not only smell like but sadly taste like cilantro. When I was little there was a few areas where wild blackberries grew. I was the youngest of three so I was trying to keep up with my brother and sister by stuffing berries in as fast as I picked them because the patch was small. Needless to say one had a stinkbug on it. Oh the taste. Eeeewwww. I was done with berries for the day. Strangely enough I like cilantro.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: suzigirl
                          FriedClamFanatic RE: suzigirl Sep 23, 2012 06:10 PM


                          1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                            suzigirl RE: FriedClamFanatic Sep 23, 2012 06:42 PM

                            I know, right?

                          2. re: suzigirl
                            MrsJonesey RE: suzigirl Sep 23, 2012 06:11 PM

                            I would have been scarred for life. lol. Today when I submerged some just-picked basil into some salted water, I started smelling stinkbug. It was one of the green ones. I was so afraid all my basil would taste like stinkbug. I quickly grabbed all my basil out of the water and started again with fresh water plus a drop of dishwashing liquid. Thank goodness my raw tomato sauce tasted of basil, not stinkbug.

                            1. re: MrsJonesey
                              suzigirl RE: MrsJonesey Sep 23, 2012 06:40 PM

                              I have plenty of food scars but shockingly cilantro isn't one. I guess my brain doesn't connect the mouth feel of cilantro to a distinct stinkbug crunch. Most things I dislike are because of texture, not taste. And some I genuinely like the taste but cannot get past the texture. I am glad that your sauce didn't taste of stinkbug but I guess you could have ran with the cilantro taste and turned it into salsa(kidding). From a girl who has been there, never eat those beasties. Eeeewwww.

                              1. re: suzigirl
                                MrsJonesey RE: suzigirl Sep 23, 2012 07:14 PM

                                That's funny. I actually made a big bowl of salsa today too, but with cilantro, not stinkbug. lol.

                                1. re: MrsJonesey
                                  suzigirl RE: MrsJonesey Sep 29, 2012 06:29 PM

                                  Stinkbug salsa. Shudder. I would like a big dish of your salsa instead. Mmmm mmm.

                                2. re: suzigirl
                                  alkapal RE: suzigirl Jun 15, 2014 06:52 PM

                                  when you talked about the crunch, for some strange reason i wondered if the bug people out there ever thought of making stink bug kimchee?

                            2. Bill Hunt RE: CindyJ Sep 23, 2012 08:58 PM

                              Not for me.

                              Now, I have never eaten a stinkbug, even as a child - I knew better.

                              Cilantro, I enjoy with the right dishes.

                              Some say that it smells like "soap," and that is a far cry from stinkbugs, but I have not noticed that either, and I have a great sense of smell, and also aroma memory.


                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                lcool RE: Bill Hunt Sep 24, 2012 05:13 AM

                                Mr Hunt,

                                STINK BUGS weren't around when you and I were children.They only hitch hiked in from Japan ,?4 or 5 years ago,landing in south,central Pa.Pushing south and east to feast on crops and foul homes.
                                They do stink,males only,too noisy when flying and if and when they SECRETE it isn't just an OBJECTIONABLE odor.It is a STAIN,not an easy clean up.
                                They arrived here spring of 09' in numbers we could have lived with.Not so fall of 09'.
                                Vision,a 7' x 9' wall COVERED three deep at 13:00 in September.Shop-vac to the rescue.We sucked them up,wet vac some soapy water and dumped.ONE HOUR later it was exactly the same.This went on at dreadful levels until this spring.Until the day before yesterday I have only seen had less than 100.One day warm up and a mini swarm (300-400) on one wall.On a 42 acre property having birds that recognize them and flock to eat them has been the release from the curse.Along with a fogger bomb well timed in the attic.This problem does not sit well with neighbors in their uber everything ,new 12,000 - 30,000 square foot homes.

                                1. re: lcool
                                  alkapal RE: lcool Jun 15, 2014 06:53 PM

                                  stink bugs have been around for decades.

                                  1. re: alkapal
                                    FriedClamFanatic RE: alkapal Jun 15, 2014 07:44 PM

                                    Well, the Chinese stinkbugs I think, started around 2003, so the s in decades work. They were in a shipment of wood that ended up in Allentown PA so the story goes

                                    Ok..quick google check.maybe a few years earlier into the 1990's

                                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                      CindyJ RE: FriedClamFanatic Jun 16, 2014 05:31 AM

                                      Right -- they entered the US via Allentown, traveled down the Blue Route and headed right to my attic.

                                    2. re: alkapal
                                      alkapal RE: alkapal Jun 16, 2014 06:11 AM

                                      i grew up in florida and we had them in the sixties! maybe they came out of cuba when castro took over.

                                      1. re: alkapal
                                        CindyJ RE: alkapal Jun 16, 2014 06:23 AM

                                        The one that's become ubiquitous in PA and beyond is the brown marmorated stink bug. According to Penn State's department of etymology, "The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), an insect not previously seen on our continent, was apparently accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania. It was first collected in September of 1998 in Allentown, but probably arrived several years earlier."

                                        1. re: CindyJ
                                          alkapal RE: CindyJ Jun 16, 2014 06:37 AM

                                          well, i'm talking about florida stinkbugs. i never knew a time without them. but they were never in the infestations like i've heard about lately.

                                          in terms of bugs, we floridians are always happy to lead the way! ;-).

                                2. a
                                  agg5051 RE: CindyJ Jun 14, 2014 04:27 PM

                                  I went on vacation this past February to a cabin in Virginia, and each night, hundreds of stink bugs would be out on the ceiling of the cabin. My boyfriend and I caught over a hundred, so I got real familiar with the smell. When I came home, I had a burrito which had cilantro in it, and now I cannot eat anything with cilantro because it tastes how those stink bugs smelled!! I am so glad to know that I am not that only person who said this, because my family thinks I am crazy!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: agg5051
                                    suzigirl RE: agg5051 Jun 14, 2014 04:33 PM

                                    You are not crazy. You are dead on.

                                    1. re: agg5051
                                      genoO RE: agg5051 Jun 15, 2014 07:44 AM

                                      your family would never lie to you where as a complete stranger might

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