The Return of Terrible Things

So I guess last year’s truly epic battle with brown marmorated stinkbugs was not an isolated incident. In the last few days, a literal brown blanket has appeared, covering the entire outside of our house, as these critters all try to find a way inside, a place to over-winter (turns out it is primarily the females who do so). And thus far, many of them have found a way in. This year, we’ve gotten a bit smarter after last year’s experience and much research – air conditioning units are fully sealed and are running 24-hours-a-day (at least the fans, since we suspect that’s one entry point). But this house is a crack-and-crevice nightmare; there are still so many other ways in. And in they will come. And since we were still seeing them in the house all the way till spring last  year, I can only imagine that it will be the same this season.

I have never, ever in my life been able to say that I *hate* another creature before. Until these bugs. And my hatred runs to a truly unfathomable depth. We have come to the unfortunate realization that there is just no other alternative – well, relocation, which given our lease, is not an option – except insecticides. J. has spent the entire day spraying every window, every crack and place outside where he sees them. That would be upsetting on its own, but coming on the heels of my having just finished Silent Spring (in entirety for the first time, shameful for a nature writer I know), I am conflicted to the point of going straight out of my head. I honestly don’t think I would be quite so upset if I didn’t have children to consider.

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2 thoughts on “The Return of Terrible Things

  1. Mel, I felt the same way when my son was a toddler and our house was invaded by huge wolf spiders. Turns out they are relatively harmless but when I took him to the doctor and learned those red spots were spider bites and that meant they were in his bed at night,I gave up and called the pest company. I felt I was betraying everything I believed in and I still feel that insecticides are only a temporary cure and cause more harm in the long run. When it involves your children, sometimes there are no easy or simple choices.

  2. I find your story comforting, since I'm experiencing the same sort of moral conflict over the use of chemicals. This house has one infestation after another of various bugs, and it looks like we're also going to have to get a professional out here – this is beyond the scope of what we can deal with.

    The stink bugs aren't harmful, exactly, but in such large numbers in the house – and in the kids' rooms primarily – they become a huge problem. Especially since they're not-very-smart and fly around clumsily!

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