Unwelcome Guests

I was sitting at the kitchen table early yesterday morning working on a frustrating essay revision for an upcoming publication (though, perhaps not – if these revisions are not *accepted,* I’m pulling the piece) when I heard The Sound. Unmistakable. Too familiar. The clicking, whirring sound of a recently awakened, stupidly flying, crashing-into-everything stinkbug. It’s a sound that drove me from my last house and is one I decidedly do NOT welcome in this one. And sure enough, I looked up and there it was, clumsily circling the ceiling fan. But it landed on the wall, and I unabashedly scooped it into a tissue and flushed it. The Preschooler has been lately trying to figure out the subtle nuances of the concept of *hate* and I told her the other day, “Mummy doesn’t hate anyone.” Then I paused and thought, and added, “No, that’s not true. Mummy hates stink bugs.” The Toddler found one on the couch this morning. It became something of a joke among my students this semester, my utter loathing for these horrible, awful creatures. We kept finding them in our classrooms even into December and I am sure I came across as irrational in my reaction and finding them.

Someone really, really, really needs to find a solution to the Stinkbug Problem. Really. But, it doesn’t sound like we’re making much progress.

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5 thoughts on “Unwelcome Guests

  1. Mel — I actually find stink bugs adorable. Their little eyes. Their weird, plodding demeanors. I've never known them to bite, nor do they seem particularly odiferous. Apparently they were imported from China by accident and have wreaked havoc on Pennsylvania farms, but I can't help but enjoy their company.

  2. Hi! Happened upon you as I was checking out what one of my many (8) followers were following. =) I am glad I did. Love your profile note about human-animal relationships in folklore, myth, etc. I am from Hawaii and of course our stories of “Amakua's” (Family animal guardians) that help the people respect the animals that walk the same ground as us.

    Now on the topic of your post. I DESPISE the stink bug. Here in Pittsburgh, where I am currently living, there is a stinkbug rap song that was going around on the radio……I don't smash them, because I don't want to know what they smell like.

  3. Hi Melanie,

    I've had a few stink bugs in my home recently as well. I didn't know what it was exactly but I had a friend over who identified it for me. I did a quick Internet search and read that they'd only been in this country since 1996. I'm surprised at this because I know my grandmother from the South spoke of stink bugs in Tennessee. So, I am wondering what that bug was.

    Anyway, I squashed my stink bug without a worry of repercussions. I lost most of my sense of smell a number of years ago. There's only a few things I can still smell faintly. I can't even smell a skunk spray! Besides the fact that I can't smell rotting food in my refrigerator, I do consider this as quite a handicap. It's especially a disability with writing as I am now tending to forget olfactory images and have to remind myself about them, conjuring up memories of old smells.

    Similar to your relationship to stink bugs, I loathe cave crickets and waged quite a war on them in my house. In my case with these critters, I learned about making my environment inhospitable to theirs and they ended up going elsewhere though I still have to catch them with those little glue traps.

    If it's any solace, I found that Rutgers University, which has a big agricultural department, is researching stink bugs as well as ways to repel them. I'm wondering if Chinese folklore might have some tips or home repellent ideas.

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