10/12/14 6:00am
10/12/2014 6:00 AM

Perhaps it’s a leftover painkiller from recent dental work or a magical stress reliever saved for a future airplane ride.

Or maybe you just didn’t know what to do with it all.

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, a good time to take five minutes to check out your household’s stock of prescription medications and get rid of what’s no longer needed. You’d be surprised by what you might find.

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10/11/14 5:00am
10/11/2014 5:00 AM

• Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead will host an epilepsy support group Monday, Oct. 13, from 7 to 8 p.m. in conference room A on the second floor. The group provides encouragement, acceptance, comfort and empowerment. Patients, friends and family are all welcome. For information or to recommend a speaker, contact Charlie Petersen at CharliePete71@aol.com or 728-2804.  (more…)

10/04/14 6:00am
10/04/2014 6:00 AM

• Dr. Erin McGintee of ENT and Allergy Associates in Aquebogue will give a talk, ‘The Scoop on Seasonal Allergies,’ at Cutchogue New Suffolk Library Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. She will discuss symptoms and management of allergies to common triggers like ragweed and grass pollen, as well as a meat allergy that can be caused by the bite of the Lone Star tick. For information and registration, call 734-6360.

• The Family Service League offers a free caregiver support group to help those who care for frail or elderly relatives cope with the stress inherent in their situations. The group meets at the Riverhead Family Center, 208 Roanoke Ave., at 1 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Call 369-0104.

• North Shore Public Library in Shoreham will host a free Medicare seminar from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 17. A professional will provide vital information about understanding Medicare and selecting the appropriate supplement and prescription drug plans. The presentation will include a Q&A session. Registration begins Oct. 1; call 929-4488.

Weekly Al-Anon meetings take place on the North Fork on the following schedule: Monday at 7 p.m. and Tuesday at noon at Cutchogue Presbyterian Church; Wednesday at 7 p.m. at First Universalist Church, Southold; and Thursday at 7 p.m. (open adult child meeting) at Church of the Redeemer, Mattituck.

To send Health Beat news, email dfates@timesreview.com, fax to 298-3287, or mail to Times/Review Newspapers, P.O. Box 1500, Mattituck, NY 11952. Copy deadline: Friday at 5 p.m. to appear the following week.

10/03/14 4:00pm
10/03/2014 4:00 PM
Riverhead High School students count the different types of species caught in their seine. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Riverhead High School students count the different types of species caught in their seine. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Students immersed chest-high in waders as they worked with fishing nets explored East End shorelines Wednesday morning, learning what “A Day in the Life of the Peconic Estuary” is like.

About 400 middle and high school students ditched their classrooms, rolling up their sleeves to collect data samples from one of 11 different beaches in an endeavor sponsored by over 30 environmental agencies to help inspire younger generations to learn about water quality issues.

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10/02/14 8:00am
10/02/2014 8:00 AM
One local expert says stink bugs may become more of an annoyance in years to come.  (Dan Gilrein courtesy)

One local expert says stink bugs may become more of an annoyance in years to come. (Dan Gilrein courtesy)

For one thing, they are aptly named.

Residents who casually squash a halyomorpha halys underfoot will be assaulted by a sharp odor coming from the deceased marmorated (marbled) stink bug.

The smelly critters are here, with some people saying their houses are full of them: climbing walls, underfoot (careful) and hanging out in window curtains and drapes. “Everyone’s asking me about stink bugs,” said Wally Ogar of East End Pest Control on Shelter Island. “I’ve got them in my house, too.”

He’s not the only one. Joanne Sherman said she had never seen one until this spring, and there was no trace of them this summer. But just recently they were back. Neighbors, Ms. Sherman said, told her their house is covered with the bugs.

Mr. Ogar said it’s not a new phenomenon, but happens every fall when the bugs, ready to hibernate, make their way into houses.

But Craig Rosenberg of North Shore Exterminating in Southold said stink bugs are relatively new residents of the East End.

Daniel Gilrein, an entomologist with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, said “there had been low numbers of stink bugs recorded over the last several years,” but that he and his colleagues “have seen more this year than previously.”

Mr. Gilrein added that he had about 15 in his Riverhead house last week.

Stink bugs might smell bad if roughed up, but they don’t bite and won’t hurt pets or do any structural damage. They’re unsightly and can be a nuisance in large numbers, the entomologist said. Stink bugs are not so benign to farms, orchards or gardens, however, feeding on fruits and leaves.

The jury is still out on getting rid of them, according to Mr. Rosenberg, who is cautious about using insecticides in homes without more information. He’s consulted with Mr. Gilrein and other entomologists and is waiting for upcoming seminars that will address a stink bug solution.

Mr. Rosenberg and Mr. Ogar said some insecticides can be put down outside houses near foundation lines, and Mr. Rosenberg has used “fly lights” in attics, which attracts the bugs and then captures them.

They can be vacuumed, Mr. Ogar said, but the bag has to be thrown away immediately. What should you do if you’re sharing quarters with stink bugs?

Mr. Gilrein advised making sure all possible entry points are sealed or screened off, but admitted this could be impossible for older homes.

“Over the next few years the population may be building, so if that’s the case and they become a serious annoyance, you might contact a pest control professional for assistance,” he added.

What shouldn’t you do if you’ve got stink bugs in the house?

“Panic,” Mr. Gilrein said.