A stink bug landed in my coffee cup. This was disconcerting to me because I then had to add another Sweet’n Low. The bug didn’t seem to notice. These pests have once again infiltrated our house, in spite of a complicated security system that includes an attack dog that cannot, repeat CANNOT be bribed with a squeaky toy. By the way, for your own safety, if you are a mailman, burglar or Jehovah’s Witness, I recommend that you do not make any squeaking sound whatsoever. 

The brown marmorated stink bug, or halyomorpha halys, is an Asian insect not originally indigenous to the United States, proving once again that previous administrations have been SOFT on immigration. They are considered an agricultural blight, and in 2010 alone caused $37 million in damage to apple growers in Mid-Atlantic states alone, which they refused to pay back. 

If you have noticed these insects in your home, rest assured that they are harmless. They don’t sting, they don’t bite, they don’t tweet incendiary little quips that might ignite a nuclear war. The stink bug doesn’t even actually smell that bad. It has kind of an earthy odor, and I’m not trying to stick up for stink bugs or anything, but I’ve smelled weirder things at an Indian restaurant. If we picked up everything that stunk, wrapped it in a Kleenex and flushed it down the toilet, I would be a goner after two sets of tennis.

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They’re about a half-inch long, have six legs and two antennae, even though most bugs have switched to cable. They don’t get around that well. Their flight pattern resembles that of a four year-old child, still groggy from a trip to the dentist, trying to pilot a helicopter. Which begs the question: how can a four year-old child have THAT many cavities?

The stink bug seems to be given to bouts of loneliness. One landed in my hair recently, which could be construed as an act of bravery. I’ve looked down and seen one walking along my arm, and I had no idea how it got there. Last thing I remember is me and the stink bug went out for just one drink, and I said I had an early meeting the next morning, and I wanted to be just friends, it’s not you, it’s me (it’s you), etc., etc.

Not sure if you have a stink bug infestation? I don’t think you’ll need a special dog to locate them, like bedbugs. If your dog can’t sniff one of those out with one nostril tied behind his back he’s an idiot. But if you do find them, I’m going to share some secrets about how to get rid of them. First of all, if you see a stink bug you can exterminate it using a solution of one part dishwashing liquid to one part water. If you use less detergent than that you will have an angry but fairly clean stink bug, and if you use more, you’re probably going to have dirtier dishes.

These little arthropods usually establish themselves in your house in the fall, seeking warmer environs for the winter. You should seal any cracks around chimneys or windows, weather strip your doors and repair broken screens. And frankly, now that I’m looking around, it wouldn’t hurt you to dust once in a while.

What was that? I thought I heard the stink bug say, “He who smelt it, dealt it.” I wanted to punch it right in the thorax, but I’m better than that. So I said, “He who denied it, supplied it,” and left it at that. I didn’t think it necessary to go into a demonstration of what “sacrifice fly” actually means.

Say hello at: rlife8@hotmail.com