We at uglY cOUsin share a great deal in common with the stink bug.  Like us, they mean no harm.    Like us, people consider them a nuisance and want to get rid of them.  We are fortunate, though, that no one online is supplying instructions to home owners on how to lure us with light into bowls of soapy water so we’ll drown.  Then again, we haven’t searched too hard.

This is the glorious time of year when the wandering stink bugs seek refuge in warm homes.  They won’t eat your food; they just want a warm, dry place to rest.  Cold temperatures and shoveling don’t appeal to the wise stink bug.  You never see one ski.

In the words of the immortal Bob Seger, they’re “perfect lodgers, perfect guests.”  In return for lodging, they will provide you with extra insullation by sleeping between your walls.  When it gets warm, they will visit and keep you company.  Stink bugs are excellent listeners.

So, put out a welcome mat for the uglY cOUsin of the insect world, which is the uglY cOUsin of all life forms as it is.  Take a moment to get to know them.  Their stories will inspire you.

Just like you and I, the stink bug came here to America to provide a better life for their families.  Stink bugs were often persecuted in their home countries.  Efforts to eradicate them have followed their every move.  Even in locations where they weren’t actively killed, they were taunted, made to live in bad neighborhoods, and told they stank.  

But the stink bugs have held onto their beliefs and their practices even as they have moved to our great nation and tried to learn our ways as well.  They want us all to get along.  Did you know that when stink bugs find a warm place to rest in your home they send out a special homing scent to their friends?  The group is more important than the individual in stink bug culture.

In the great story of wintering passed down from generation to generation, the stink hero says to his family members, “Remember, children, we’re perpetual guests with no home of our own.  We must respect our gracious hosts.  We must walk quietly.  We must not eat walls or glue like roaches.  And if we starve to death, we must die in an obvious place, like a counter top or window sill so our deaths do not cause inconvenience to others. ”

Watch for them.  Wave them in.  If you haven’t yet, read this article outlining six reasons to  love the stink bug.  But also read this cautionary tale in which I learn that serving a drink garnished with a dead stink bug is a social faux pas.