Another Hair Raising Encounter

I shared in an earlier post about my fear and hatred of Stink Bugs. This morning I had another encounter with one of the little beasts. I’m not sure how they’re getting in but the house is 80 years old. There must be hundreds of places these insects can enter. This thought invoked an involuntary shiver.

In an effort to not bore you I’ll give the short definition of Entomophobia. It is the excessive or unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect. My fear has a name and that name is Entomophobia. Okay, that doesn’t make it sound any manlier and I really don’t feel any better about it.stink-bug

Back to my earlier encounter. The little bugger was on the wall just outside the pantry. It was about eye level. My first reaction was to back up quickly. My dog, Otis, who was evidently on my heels, didn’t pick up on my abject terror. I tripped, he ran, but the bug, the instigator of this meeting, didn’t move. Once I caught my breath and finished my rant at Otis for following too close. I returned my attention to the offending insect.

As if realizing my full attention was now on it, the bug began to crawl up the wall. In a flash I ran to the nearest box of tissue. I quickly withdrew three of the tissues then paused and grabbed two more. This definitely warranted a five tissue attack. Back at the wall I reached for the Stink Bug with tissues in hand. When I made contact I dropped the tissue and Bug to the floor. With reflexes normally reserved for jungle cats and striking snakes I grabbed the entire bundle from the carpet and began to squeeze. With a Stink Bug there is no catch and release. Once you grab one they release a noxious odor that permeates skin, clothes, and, evidently, nostril hairs. The smell can last for hours.

Back to the squeezing of the bundle, I ran to the kitchen garbage hoping the creature had a quick death. If not I would have Stink Bug smell all over my hands, clothes, and nose hairs and the little devil could crawl out and strike again. Another involuntary shiver just ran down my spine. Against all odds it seems as though I won this battle. There was a minor stink that lasted mere minutes and I don’t think this guy will be escaping from the garbage.

Today was another victory in my war with the insect world. I’m just glad this Stink Bug didn’t have any backup from a spider or even worse, a Spider Cricket.


Don’t Mess with a Man’s Fear

Usually I see order and beauty in nature around me, the splendor of trees, placid lakes, and summer breezes. Nature can be beautiful as long as insects stay in their place. I hate spiders but tolerate some around my front porch because they eat other pesky insects. I tolerate them but I’m still very cautious about where I place my hand and try to avoid their webs. Unfortunately they do not eat the one insect that must be from hell.  Why would God, in his infinite wisdom, create an insect so insidious that predators will not touch it? This bug eats crops and some insects but that’s not enough to justify its existence. I’m talking about the Stink Bug.

stink-bugIn the fall this ugly and odoriferous insect invades my home. Today I walked by a short wall along the walkway to my door. On the wall was a Stink Bug. Knowing it would soon try to enter my house I smashed it with a rock and quickly discarded the rock. I never touched said bug. Now, I smell nothing but the stink from that awful smelling bug. It’s as though it exploded and covered me in gunk. It did not. It deserved to die because you don’t mess with a man’s fear.

I don’t normally go out of my way to kill an insect. I say live and let live. But when invading pests enter my living space all bets are off. I will stop at nothing to end the lives of ants, spiders, and Stink Bugs. The ants can enter in droves and eventually cover everything if you don’t stop them early. Spiders are nothing but scary, especially the hairy ones. I’m not sure what happened to me as a child that damaged me but if I see a spider I usually scream, run, and try not to lose sight of the little monster until I can convince someone to kill the beast for me.

My wife tells a story of an incident that happened soon after we were married. We were in bed and being young I was nude. She knew of my fear of spiders, it was no secret. While in a warm embrace she whispered, “I think a spider just bit me on the leg. Without hesitation I broke from the embrace and shot out of bed. Once on solid ground I began jumping up and down thinking I could dislodge any of the hairy little beasts that might be attached. In the process of leaping from the bed I banged my head on the headboard and nearlyspider-1 knocked myself out. Several things in this story usually embarrass me. I did not try to defend my wife. I fled without as much as a helping hand for her. I screamed. I was naked. I hurt myself. My wife was laughing at me. I can only imagine what I looked like jumping up and down while naked. I’m sure it was not a pretty sight. Looking back on the incident I hang my head in shame. At the same time I have no doubt I would do the same thing again. Hopefully without knocking myself out in the process. Don’t mess with a man’s fear.

When removing Stink Bugs you must have the calm hands of a surgeon, latex gloves or a paper towel, and the speed of a cobra strike. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I detest that smell to the point that I fear it. With that in mind I will crush the little bugger if I think I can get it before it unleashes its cloud of stink. I once pulled a hamstring running from a Stink Bug that hit me in the ear while flying. Don’t mess with a man’s fear.

I will have to include the Spider Cricket in my list. Other names for this nightmare of an insect are Cave Cricket and Camel Cricket. If the names of this horrible little creature don’t illicit the “run for your life” response down deep in your soul, there is something wrong with you. I once stood in a bathroom minding my own business as one should. cricket_camel1While urinating I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a Spider Cricket. Without hesitation a scream escaped from my mouth and I ran. Yes, with zipper still in the down position, barn door fully open, I ran. My critics would ask, “What can this small creature do to you?” My answer is, “I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.” Everything I’ve read says they don’t bite or sting. I don’t believe it. I would rather face an angry wasp than a Spider Cricket. Did I mention the Spider Cricket can jump? A shiver ran down my spine as I wrote that last sentence and I think I wet myself.

For Halloween you can fill your haunted houses with Demons, Witches, Vampires, and other monsters but if you want to really scare me you’ll have to include Stink Bugs, Spiders and Spider Crickets. Being startled and scared are two different things. The Halloween monsters I mentioned earlier can startle me, but a few little insects could scare the bejesus out of me. I once slipped and fell on a dirty, public bathroom floor banging my elbow in the process while trying to distance myself from a Spider Cricket. If you want to keep Halloween safe, do not include insects in your celebration. Don’t mess with a man’s fear. Someone could get hurt.