The stink bug menace

Written by Reg Henry on .

For some months now, my wife has been much vexed by the presence of stink bugs in our house. I will be sitting quietly reading a book or watching TV and a little scream will punctuate the domestic calm. "Ew! They are so disgusting. I hate them!"

At this alarm, Sooner the dog will look up to see if a cat or a postman is involved. But it always turns out to be a stink bug and Sooner is not perturbed by stink bugs and nor am I.

As far I am concerned, stink bugs are Public Non-Enemy No. 1. In the first place, you have to squeeze them before they stink. If a giant were to squeeze most of us, I am sure we would be revealed as sacks of noxious fumes too. In fact, if someone like Rush Limbaugh were squeezed, the authorities would have to evacuate whole city blocks.

It seems to me that stink bugs are actually quite sporting. If you don't mess with them, they don't mess with you. That seems fair to me.

It is true that stink bugs are ugly creatures - to my eye, they look like little rhinos. But then again, most bugs are ugly according to our human perception. However, they are apparently quite attractive to their own kind, judging by their prodigious numbers.

As a general principle, I do not think unattractive creatures should be squeezed to death just because they do not fit our human norms of beauty. Live and let live is my motto.

However, it is apparently not the motto of Mrs. H and I am often called from my chair to evict stink bugs. This I do carefully and with kind words for the stink bugs' ears, assuming they have ears, so they understand that it is nothing personal.

I imagine this infestation is not limited to our house but plays out in little dramas all over the Pittsburgh region. There are many spouses in the naked city but many more stink bugs and they are part of Nature's plan - which I surmise is to promote conversation among us giants.


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