Here it is, fall. The beautiful changing colors, the graceful tease of the orange and yellow leaves as they flutter down to the ground. The cool, comfortable temperatures. The stink bugs.
Yup, they’re here. Stink bugs. Got them?
Two years ago, when my friend Judy and I were having lunch, riding up in an elevator, she first mentioned them to me. I had never heard of them. In fact, I thought she was using code to refer to the woman standing in front of us –because the woman reeked of cigarettes to the point where I feared we would be asphyxiated then and there.
But no! She was referring to real live, invasive species-type insects! Whodda thunk it. They are annoying beetles that get into your house and can become quite an expensive pest.
I am actually quite confused about stink bugs.
My husband, John, who knows everything and who more annoyingly is never wrong, insists that they do not stink when you smush them. John claims that the ones WE get are a special invasive species from Asia that do not stink.
“Why do they call them ‘stink bugs’ then?” I keep asking. He never answers. And he never produces genetic evidence that they are, in fact, Asian. Disillusion is starting to penetrate my marriage.
My friend Judy is also one of the smartest people I know. She is far less annoying about it, though. Besides, she is a much more practical sort of smart. She assured me that when smushed, stink bugs smell like stinky socks. She assured me that her son is far away and that her husband, Steve, has delightful feet. Therefore, to Judy, there is only one place the stinky sock smell can come from. Smushed bugs.
So I just don’t know who to believe.
Me, I am a very careful person. As a rule, I am a bit of a life-lover. I have never actually smushed a stink bug. Why tempt it? Actually, though, I try not to smush stuff intentionally. There is always something else, some other way, something natural you can use to rid the house of pests.
For example, when we lived in France about 10 years ago, we were informed by the animal control squad that the best way to keep certain rodents at bay was for a man to pee in the area where they had taken up residence.
Yup. That’s what French Animal Control told us. You may not know this, but the French don’t always like Americans. Sometimes there are clues.
So when my husband was told by guys in uniforms to go up in to our attic and pee into the dark corners, well, we thought twice about it. John more so than me, I’ll admit. One of those thoughts, naturally was that the critters we were trying to evict had long, sharp teeth, and were known to be rather aggressive. They were “fweens,” a type of weasel. A type of weasel that is not afraid of humans, of the peeing or non-peeing variety. A type of weasel that is too ferocious to be made into a coat.
So back to the stink bugs. I think I’ve figured out a compromise. We catch the stink bugs in toilet paper, throw them into the toilet, John pees on them. We flush. Everyone is happy.
And we make the French proud.