Monday, April 29, 2013


I must admit I’m enjoying the long-overdue spring weather, but there’s one thing that comes with it I really don’t like.  Bugs.

It seems as if every year there is some new and creepier species to contend with. For example, last summer, these huge bugs with long legs, antennae, and grasshopper-like bodies on steroids suddenly appeared everywhere. I had so many on the outside walls of my house, they looked like some kind of abstract art decoration.  I snapped photos of the ugly invaders and put them on the Internet, asking if anyone could tell me what the heck they were.

“Oh, those are stink bugs,” came several responses.

I’d never heard of such a thing in New Hampshire before. “Why do they call them stink bugs?” I asked, hoping the answer wouldn’t be the obvious.

“Because they stink,” came the obvious.

I wasn’t about to go stick my nose anywhere near one of those creatures to verify that information.

“They kind of smell like armpits when you squash them,” someone else said.

Great, just what I needed – my house to smell like a giant armpit.  It was bad enough I already had two gaseous dogs to deal with. I definitely didn’t need anything else stinky around.

When my friend came to visit from Oregon last fall, she casually said to me on the day she was leaving, “Oh, by the way, there’s been this really ugly bug in my bathroom all week.”

If there’s one word that fills me with fear, it’s “bug.”  And the word “ugly” in front of it makes it about 10 times worse.

“Um, why didn’t you kill it?” I asked her. I had visions of it peering out from the top of the overhead light where no one shorter than 6’5” could reach it.

 I was just about to head for the stepstool when she said, “I don’t believe in killing bugs. They are God’s creatures.”

“So are rattlesnakes, but I wouldn’t want one hanging around in my bathroom!”

“We have black widow spiders in our house,” she said, shrugging. “We don’t kill them. Sometimes we usher them out the door, but usually we just leave them be.”

I made a mental note never to set foot in her house.

I didn’t care about her “don’t kill” policy. And I wasn’t about to usher anything out of the door. I was out for bug blood.

Armed with a flyswatter, I hesitantly ventured into the bathroom. I found the offending creature, a stink bug, perched on my bar of soap in the tub’s soap dish. Well, I thought, at least this one is into cleanliness so it probably won’t stink so much when I squish it.

I was wrong.  Even “Gaseous Gertie” (a.k.a. my dog, Raven) nearly gagged when she got a whiff.

Someone said that stink bugs come out only in the fall, so I figured I wouldn’t have to worry about them for another six months or so. But the other night I found one on the wall in my breezeway.

“It’s only a stray,” I convinced myself. “It’s probably just a leftover from last year and it’s been dormant in the breezeway until now.”

But the next day I found two more crawling up the posts on my front porch.  I no longer could deny the inevitable. The stinkers were back.

So now I’m wondering how to wage war against them.  If I spray them with bug killer, their rotting little corpses probably will attract another batch of stink bugs that think the odor is pretty tantalizing – kind of like the vermin version of Chanel No. 5.

So there’s only one solution.  I’m going to buy a giant can of deodorant and use it on them. After all, it was created to combat armpit odor.

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