Someday, someone is going to discover that stinkbugs are an enormously valuable insect. Some scientist will extract an incredibly potent serum that extends life for 15 or 20 years, and cures acne and toenail fungus in the process. I don’t care. They are still on my extermination hit list and I don’t miss an opportunity to kill one.
Most bugs do not ordinarily bother me. They go their way and I go mine. If occasionally our paths cross, I brush them off and continue on. I admit there are a few varieties I wouldn’t miss. In a perfect world, fire ants and yellow jackets would fight each other to the death. If there could be a triple annihilation, wood ticks could be thrown into the mix. All those bugs are all aggressive, biting, stinging critters and would seem to welcome a chance to have at others. Stinkbugs don’t seem to be the type that would mix it up in such a battle royal. They lay around, mostly inert, and very often a close inspection is required to determine whether or not they are alive, so I rule out interspecies bug battles as a strategy for getting rid of them.
A few weeks ago, my wife and I discovered a few stinkbugs in our cabin sunroom. We made discreet inquiries to see if other friends and acquaintances had experienced this problem. It was enormously gratifying to find this pestilence was common in the best of homes. We could hold our heads high when discussing eradication tips and tricks with others.
We made our plans. After one stay at the cabin, I set off one of those fogging bug bombs in the sunroom. We were gone for a couple of weeks. When we returned, my wife opened the sunroom door and showed me the results. The floor was literally – I shudder to tell this – carpeted with dead stinkbugs. This ran counter to all my expectations. Tell me, if you were in a closed space and some noxious chemical was suddenly released, wouldn’t you make every attempt to get out? Why hang around?
We were stuck with a 2-hour cleanup detail, but finally got them all cleaned out. Every now and then a lone survivor would wobble feebly among the carcasses of his dead brethren, but there was no escape from our purge. When it was done, neither of us had much appetite for supper.
I decided to celebrate at the scene of our victory. I closed the sunroom up and lit a big, black, Diesel Maduro cigar. We hadn’t had an evening meal, but I had some Guinness in the refrigerator. The great bread chef, Peter Reinhart, once called stout “liquid bread.” I had a couple of loaves worth.