First and foremost - they are clearly not my friend. Despite the fact that they are relatively harmless, I have developed a "freak out" mantra for when one appears. They started arriving in our house towards the end of Fall, trying to escape the colder weather. Once inside they really are harmless, flying around like they are lost and hiding behind things to hibernate. "I don't want to bother you, I just need to sleep through winter." Even so, the sound they make while stumbling around lights and windows and the brown armor shield of a look they portray frighten me.
Below is a picture I grabbed from Wikipedia:
Now, with a bit of understanding of the creepiness this pest beholds for me, I'd like to tell you just how it and it's friends have startled me on more than one occasion.
They visit me when I'm working. I hear that buzz buzz and clunk clunk against the fluorescent lights and I'm immediately on alert and searching for the source. Eventually, it will land and I have learned to take a paper towel or piece of paper, prompt it to crawl on and then dance hurriedly to the door and set it free. I'm fearful of just killing it because I'm afraid it will stink, plus it's not really going to hurt me so I prefer to just remove it, not destroy it.
One day though, I didn't hear it. It came out of nowhere and was in my space, the too close for comfort zone, and arrived completely without my knowledge. I was working and went to take a drink of my large McDonald's Coke (a personal addiction), and POOF! it was there, on top of the lid, near my straw! My heart beats fast just recalling the close encounter. I deposited it outside and was sad to have to discard my precious drink.
Myself and three friends took a short road trip to a conference. I was sitting in the back when it appeared. It was on the back of the front seat and just sat there, tormenting me. In my startled state, I tried to use a napkin to trap it, but it fell into the side door compartment. I let it stay there but was on alert most of the trip, keeping my eye on the little bugger. Once, when I looked down to check on it, it was gone! I found it crawling in the floor, managed to prompt it onto the napkin, opened the window, and said adios! That plan backfired as it came flying back inside, nowhere to be found. I must mention here that although my friends were a bit skittish, they thought I was a little extreme. I'm beside myself - it's in the car and we do not have any idea where. I'm sure about to crawl up my neck or something. And then the front seat screams! It had found its way to the front of the car and I was so relieved it was found and not near me. We rid the car of the stink bug and the rest of the trip was pleasant - thankfully.
Earlier this week, I was straightening up the kitchen after dinner. Washing dishes, putting away food, the usual, nothing out of the ordinary. I went to throw something away and HELLO! there it was on my trash can. I jumped back and called for the man of the house. He did not come, would not come. Claiming it was just a stink bug and that I should leave it alone or throw it away! Comical, that one is. I managed to get it in the trash can but I wasn't okay with that. I knew it would be back. And sure enough, before I was done with the kitchen, there it was again. I wooed it with the fly swatter and released it outside. Freak out averted.
The most recent and far too close for comfort encounter was Thursday morning. I was getting dressed and as I picked up my bra and started to put it on, I noticed the little sneakster on the inside edge. WHAT?!?!? I threw it down and jumped back. Once I regained composure, I tried to shake if off in the toilet but it wouldn't budge. It was clinging on for dear life. It jumped a bit, startled me, and I dropped my bra in the toilet. I fished it out, threw it on the floor and the stink bug flew onto the wall. I retrieved the fly swatter again, managed to get it to crawl on and then I tossed it in the toilet. Flush!
I managed to snap photos of the little dudes before removing them. I thought you might enjoy.
Here's to hoping I've seen the last of these little critters.
Thanks for reading.
January 5, 2013