back to article Insects with farts that smell like coriander assist in covering up Paris's aroma d'urine

Oh, c'est mal, les punaises diaboliques sont arrivés à Paris! But before you pack the holy water if sojourning in the French capital this winter, you should know a clothes peg might be more suitable. These "diabolical bugs" – otherwise known as the Asian stink bug – have taken up residence in apartments across the city of love …

  1. jmch Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    I happen to like the smell of coriander

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Stink?

      Note to my fellow Yanks: The Brits call the herb cilantro by the same name as it's seed, the spice coriander. I assume this kind of confusion is why British food has the reputation it does world-wide.

      1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

        Re: Stink?

        Yes, calling it coriander leaf or coriander seed really is tremendously confusing. Referring to two parts of the same plant by completely different words works so much better and saves the enormous effort of using two words.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Stink?

          So, Mr/s iShit, what do you call nutmeg and mace?

          1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

            Re: Stink?

            I call them nutgeg and mace, until now I had no idea they were the same plant so I thank you for the education. It does rather reinforce my opinion that using different one word names for different parts of the same plant is the more confusing. If our larder contained a jar of nutmeg aril next to the nutmeg not only would I have known they were from the same plant but I'd likely have learned what an aril is before today.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Stink?

              I thought you were being sarcastic before. Mea culpa. Have one on me.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We have them in Ontario. The best remedy is to suck them up in a small vacuum (having a bag) and then dispose of the bag in short order.

    1. h3nb45h3r

      Re: Coriander?!!

      I know they're French, but even I feel that's a little harsh....

      It also doesn't solve the issue with the insects.

      1. Semtex451 Silver badge

        Re: Coriander?!!

        Well it's not as if he said to use a guillotine.

        But plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Coriander?!!

      You have them in Ontario? Has Quebec started leaking?

      N.B. Montréal doesn't smell nearly as bad as Paris. But they are working on it. Give 'em a couple more centuries.

  3. Rol Silver badge

    Bristol's public toilets closed by council - Bristol's streets are now public toilets

    Before these bugs are denied entry to the UK we should try and encourage some to emigrate here.

    I'm sure our city planners can come up with a scheme to encourage them to live on the streets and divert people's attention away from the smell of urine. That's the ticket, don't build any new accommodation, infrastructure or increase services despite the population boom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bristol's public toilets closed by council - Bristol's streets are now public toilets

      That's the ticket, don't build any new accommodation, infrastructure or increase services despite the population boom

      Maybe Bristol City Council shouldn't have frittered circa £20m on setting up their own loss making energy supply company, and then finding that they couldn't supply themselves as cheaply as British Gas Business? Or spending millions to screw up traffic flows just about everywhere under their control.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    SO the Enrichment continues, and the normies are still quiet.

    Ah well, c'est la vie, and the end of Paris.

  5. Snar

    According to Frank Zappa

    France stinks -

    Always been a pleasure when I've been :)

    Shout out to the Gammon and their fishy blue passports.

  6. Stevie Silver badge


    If you think Paris' Eau D' Bladder is bad, you should check out Manhattan in August.

    Many years ago my folks came for a visit and I took 'em into the Big Banana on a sightseeing trip. On exiting Madison Square Gardens my dad's face wrinkled up like a dried prune and I was about to ask what was wrong when I realized that *his* nose hadn't acclimatized to The Nasal Lullaby of Eight Avenue.

    Before any British get uppity, they should know that I once visited Sheffield before the steel industry died. The sulphur stench was 10 times worse than anything I've sniffed since, and anything you brushed up against would ruin your clothes from the soot.

    They tale pollution seriously in the steel industry (which is why I can't fathom anyone wanting to live in a steel town).

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Or there's San Francisco, where people drop a deuce in the middle of the sidewalk.

      1. Spazturtle Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        San Francisco has an ingenious solution to this, they are going to install a sprinkler system to wash it all into the roads and down the drains.

  7. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

    Nose Candy

    For a city that once (or for some still) preferred perfume over soap and water, you'd think coriander stink bugs would be a welcome blessing?

    Now if we could only genetically modify roaches and rats to have the same gift, all the big cities could smell great.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think there is a language confusion here

    Between stink bugs ("punaises") and bedbugs ("punaises de lit"). There's nothing particularly complicated about removing stink bugs, they're big, noisy and don't sting. Much unlike bedbugs, which are indeed difficult to get rid of.

    Also, the Ouest France article says they smell like stink bugs, which is definitely not the same as coriander (I do like the latter, not the former...).

  9. Scroticus Canis Silver badge

    Can't imagine the stink bugs are worse than the cockroaches

    Back in the late seventies when I was living in Paris the local councils would have your apartment sprayed twice a year for roaches. All along the skirting boards and bottom edges inside of floor level cupboards, whether you liked it or not. The older buildings were permanently infested due to wooden floors and loads of hiding places.

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    They don't outdo the lingering odour of old piss

    I'm currently in Paris and can assure those who are afraid of the punaises thatbthey don't have to worry as the odeur d'urine largely covers up the coriander...

    Even amongst the high risers of La Defense it doesnt get any better....

    Vive la France

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They are becoming a big problem now in Budapest, too.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    their fair city has an unfortunate reputation for, shall we say, aroma d'urine

    Let's just say they failed to build a wall in time and now it's over.

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Welp!

      Oh no, they built the wall.

      Les parisiennes were using it as a toilet within a day.

  14. JLV Silver badge

    Arome de pisse? Could have something to do with having to pay for bathrooms everywhere, including in businesses you have to pay for.

    Exhibit A. Sundays 20 years ago Gare de l'Est would be filled with trains taking Army draftees to their barracks in Germany. Very poorly paid, beer guzzling draftees, like me, I would add. SNCF insisted on making extra money on their bathrooms, so the back alley to the left was flooded with piss.

    Free toilets - mostly serving SNCFs customers - would have solved that in a jiffee. But, no, gotta have our Dames Pipi instead - old women, in the men's room, sitting at a desk, collecting coins.

    Effin embarassing to be French in this context. And don't get me started on that other tradition, the ever gross Toilette a la Turque - squat upright loo.

    1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      Paris's aroma d'urine

      the ever gross Toilette a la Turque


      first time coming across one was whilst working in Spain early 80's, was slightly [VERY] drunk, hobbled into toilet, seen what looked like a shower basin with a 6" plughole, and had to come out and shout to the barman that "someone's nicked ya bog matey" :o)

      1. TRT Silver badge
    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SNCF has free toilets on mainline trains but they still charge for using the toilet in Gare d'Austerlitz for one.

      Many a time I've been there waiting for them to unlock the automatic toilet door as the train leaves the station because I thought a euro for a quick pee was a bit excessive but not being one for public urination...

      Earlier poster has it spot on about language translation with la punaise, stink bugs do indeed stink when threatened, though they're so slow and noisy its easy to evict them, but they make a mess if you splat them. That low drone is either a asian hornet or a stinkbug, and I actually feel a sigh of relief when its the stink bug because I know I'm not going to have to do battle with one of natures heavily armed arseholes.

  15. Fungus Bob Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Paris is drenched in urine?!

    I didn't know she was into that sort of thing...

  16. Mike 137

    Wow! big bugs!

    "... insects with small white marks measuring between 12mm and 17mm"

    If the 12mm to 17mm white marks on these beasts are classed as 'small' the bugs themselves must be huge!

  17. dbtx Bronze badge

    all of my hate.

    There are about a dozen of them currently taped to my walls and ceiling because the easiest and least smelly way to get rid of the lil' sons of whores is to tape them to whatever they're crawling on and gently peel them off (dead) a week later, gently fold the tape over, and bin the bundle. Obvious downsides include there being bugs on your walls for days as part of a fairly twisted anti-aesthetic. Like maybe it'll make your bedroom look like a really crazy person sleeps there, I dunno. "I'm not CRAZY but..." if there was a trigger that I could pull, I would probably be able to make this species extinct and not regret it.

    I used to hate fleas! Fleas are horrible but hey! There are drugs that make my cat into a fully automatic flea-murdering haz-mat site, but these little bastards usually don't care about chemicals. Here's an obligatory horror story for you. Mind you, I never had those degrees of nightmare yet, but I want to be so, so far away when Ohio gets that bad. It just got cold enough that the ones that found their way in already ought to be the last.

    ...for this year. This is the 8th since I first saw one.

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