Frank the Tank

Mandy\'s avatar

 Stink bugs run rampant in our part of the country. They’re a huge problem for farmers, but to suburbanites, they’re entirely harmless. They don’t bite or sting, when they get in they don’t nest or lay eggs or even eat – we’ve never even noticed one actually stink except for the time Fox accidentally stepped on one. They’re all named “Frank,” and they’re our clumsy little house guests that make disproportionately loud helicopter sounds.

In all fairness, Devon’s already familiar with Franks – but we needed someone to react to ’em in the strip, and I got to draw heart-shaped guinea pig ears again. 🙂

Fox\'s avatar

And since they’re insanely well-built (tank) you don’t have to feel bad about flicking them off you and listening to them ricochet around the room.
They’re actually an invasive species from Asia, but they’re far more welcome than those damn tiger mosquitos. I was concerned at first, until I realized that this species seems incredibly reluctant to use its chemical weaponry. Also interesting they can survive (sometimes) the entire winter without eating anything.
We hardly ever see more than one at a time, so we’ve it’s always just the same bug.

For the record, house centipedes are ‘Fred’, cuz if you’re a bug, and you see Fred, you’re dead. Those things eat everything. We don’t have any here, but s’why I let him stay at my last place.

52 comments on “Frank the Tank

  1. Frank the Vegetable Vampire loves everything in the garden, including ripe raspberries and tastes perfectly awful in case you ever get a bite of bug ‘n berry. He knows how to distill out the noxious chemicals he eats to save for stinky, flavorful warfare. Also known as the shield bug due to his body shape.

  2. If you’d wanted to tell us why they’re Franks you would have, but here’s one request for you to change your mind.

    1. Honestly? I think it was just random.

      We’ll go with the “frank stank” idea from Chayse Fox’s comment below. 🙂

  3. Believe it or not, I just read this strip with a stinkbug strolling across my screen. We’re cool with each other.

  4. Here’s a little experiment for Fox while you have Franks: Put fans EVERYWHERE…

      1. I’m sure you hear PWANG! on a regular basis, assuming the ceiling fan has metal blades or THUMP! with wooden ones.

        1. Sad story: I was up at this lodge like place over the summer once, and I was just hanging ou inside with all the doors open and stuff. Suddenly a humming bird flies inside and gets stuck in the kitchen. We manage to lure it out using honey, but when we got it out of the kitchen, it panicked and flew straight up in to the ceiling fan and died. We had a funeral for it

    1. So we dyed his hide, Clyde, and that’s him hanging on the shed.

        1. “Tie me kangaroo down, sport.” I can’t believe there are actually people here who know that song.

          1. Heh! I still catch myself singing bits and pieces of it to myself in the shower. (Bits and pieces are all I remember!) 🙂

          2. I found several (hundred) offerings on YouTube. (If you want to be reminded of what the words were.)

          3. There’s an old Australian stockman, lyin’, dyin’….

            Oh yeah….I know it REAL well. 😉

            “Tan me ‘ide when I’m dead Fred,
            tan..me ‘ide….when I’m…dead.

            So we tanned his ‘ide when he died Clyde,
            an’ that’s it hangin’ on the shed…..All t’gether now… 🙂

          4. There was a late-night chat show on KDKA Pittsburgh that I used to listen to 50-odd years ago when that Rolf Harris song was new, and a lady called in to ask if it reflected actual Australian funeral practices. Wendy King, answering the call, had trouble not laughing.

  5. Probably the weirdest home invader we’ve had is a gecko. Teeny tiny little thing, maybe the length of a finger, just hanging around in the bathtub…

    1. Our weirdest one was a one-eyed frog that fell from the sky into our house. My mom was outside and saw it escape from a bird in the air and jump, flew straight at out house and made it through a hole in the mesh on our screen door. We decided to keep him and we named him Gimli.

  6. The one bug I absolutely despise is the German cock roach. If you’ve got food that isn’t in air tight containers, the SOBs will get into it. They make rabbits look like they have absolutely NO idea how to breed.

    1. Cockroaches are a notable exception to my “I’m fine with anything that has fewer than eight legs” rule. F those guys.

      1. Now I want to see your reaction to stomping a cockaroach and realizing you did it barepawed

    2. you want to kill every cockroach in your house within a 3 day period? One part sugar, one part baking soda, mix well and place it in strategic piles around your house. they will eat eat, scurry away and then later explode. the other cockraches will eat the dead one and later also explode. after that make sure to clean up any eggs you find (they look like coffee beans or rat droppings) and repeat as necessary until all or ’em are gone.

        1. Substitute boric acid for baking soda for a more effective, if less amusing solution.

  7. My cats just LOOOOVE stink bugs XD
    Swatting them when the bugs are in mid-flight, pouncing on them, gently picking them up in their mouths, and actually spitting them out and repeating the process. I should get that on video sometime.

    1. You should. I bet you’d get beaucoup hits on YouTube, especially if the stinkbug actually releases its chemical warfare on your cats. (BTW, I’m a cat lover so I can imagine how your cats would react.)

      1. If you want to get a really interesting reaction from a cat put pop rocks in their litter

  8. Do you ever see pesky PTSD inducing critters known as spruce bugs? Wicked common up here in northern canada, bites like a mini horse. Never met anyone who doesn’t shriek when one lands on you.

  9. The version we have in New Jersey is pretty trigger-happy with the stink. So, since we can’t squish em’, we catch them with a tissue or toilet paper and flush em’ down the toilet.

    1. Yep, I’m from New Jersey too, and I know what you mean. I try to get the little buggers before the cats get them. If I’m too late, my cat’s breath will smell much worse for an hour or more…
      Tissue or toilet paper and flush is the best way to go. One time I thought I’d be nice and let it fly away outside once I had it in a tissue, but noooo, it had to be a jerk and fly back inside. XP

  10. Actually, Franks can and will bite and people do get allergic reactions from them. They also do lay eggs in the house during winter. They’ll get into the dark cracks and lay them there.

    Otherwise, yes, they are incredibly stupid too.

  11. All right, if I am dead honest I have no idea what to post; so I’ll just post this courtesy of SMITE. Enjoy.

  12. No… Just…No… No love for stinkbugs. A few years back, we had an infestation of Biblical proportions. A room of 60 square feet had around 15 of the freaks. Coexisting wasn’t an option. These creeps apparently believed that the only way into bug-Valhalla was to purposely get smooshed and leave your stanky stink on the unfortunate recipient. We never tried to scoosh them, but literally, you’d be sitting down, and they’d fly right under your caboose, then stare happily as you unknowingly turned them into a pancake. Reaching for the stiff faucet? “Zzzzzzip!” They’d fly right where your fingers had enough force to smash em. And to top it all off, the little guys would follow me around the bathroom and stare at me with that goofy face of theirs. Even if I turned them away, or put something in front of them, they would turn/walk around and find a way to stand and stare right at me.

    All in all, I have been scarred for life by frank.

  13. We have stinkbugs here but they never detonate, so we have wondered if they only look like stinkbugs. We do have desert centipedes that can be as long as your forearm. Fortunately the ones that come into the house only run in the 3 to 6 inch range. I do have two ‘disabled’ grey foxes that live in the house, one deaf and the other lame, but they were adopted, although a wild grey moved into my little horse barn uninvited two years ago and never left. At least she and her spring kits keep the chipmunks out of the oats.

  14. Invasive species are no joke- we’re set to lose a huge chunk of our ash tree population due to Emerald Ash Borer.

    But these guys seem cute enough! XD

    ps: Fred can go to hell. Nailed one once and hardly felt bad when the carcass was set upon by pharaoh ants….except then it took another year to get rid of those protien eating bastards >.<

  15. I’ve had plenty of trouble with squash bugs–which are pretty much the same as stink bugs, except they don’t stink unless squished. They’ll spread diseases that kill squash plants, which makes my otherwise peace-loving, garden-tending self VERY ANGRY..!

  16. I live in the Indiana area and my house gets lots of spiders including black widows and brown recluses

  17. I’m an entomologist by training, so I’m the sort of person who finds critters that freak most people out deeply fascinating. Being a sehlat puts me at the top of the food chain, so most creatures are at most something to be cautious around. That, and being a carnivore means I like to watch them move about doing things.

  18. We don’t have stink bugs in the UK, but i bought a motorcycle engine casing from the states that was wrapped in brown paper and contained about a dozen of these wee beasties. Thought i’d located them all but then whilst heating the casing with a blowtorch to remove a barrel stud from the casing one flew out of a hidey hole. It’s probably still in my shed hibernating…

    1. If I was you, I’d make sure I found that bugger (no pun intended there) and eliminated it. America has enough unintentional invasive species that have NO predators. We don’t want the rest of the world having them too.

  19. I’ve been thinking about making metal skirts by welding sheets of metal together then fitting them aroun my fridge and laundry appliances to make them flush with the wall. It would decrease the number of places bugs could lay eggs in my house but I don’t know if it would work

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