By Rachel Molenda
HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- Stink bugs grow more notorious each year for destroying crops and being a general nuisance in the Eastern Panhandle. Luckily for residents, eighth-graders at Hedgesville Middle School are searching for solutions to the area's smelly problem.
Wayne Bennett, an HMS science teacher, started doing stink bug trap experiments with his students two years ago. After seeing an easy-to-construct trap made out of plastic drink bottles, Bennett decided to challenge his classes.
"I told them, `Here's the idea, but I want you to modify it, change it. Make it your own," he said.
While some students stuck with the example shown in class, Bennett said, others got more creative with their traps. Cole Davis used a trick-or-treating jack-'o'-lantern, funnel and light for his experiment.
"I thought it was seasonally appropriate," Davis said.
Hannah Stover used a hamster ball outfitted with a headlamp for her trap. The lamp emitted two different colors of light, white and red, which allowed her to see what would attract more stink bugs.
"[The white] one was [better], just because it was brighter," Stover said. "[The red] one caught a decent amount because it pulls more heat."
While some students used their traps outside, others found that their contraptions were better suited for indoor use.