how to reason with a stink bug


In case you ever have an infestation* of stink bugs,** allow me to share some hard-earned wisdom with you.

* Infestation consists of at least one sighting.

** Stink bugs, a.k.a Pentatomidae, are shaped like a shield and apparently emit a smell of rancid almonds if disturbed/squashed/or in any way hindered in their slow crawl across your couch.

1. First and foremost, proceed with caution. These are essentially the skunks of the insect world. In other words, upon seeing one, do not screech or flail your arms spasmodically. This could result in agitation and therefore stench.

2. Be complimentary. As in: “My, what a gallant and dignified creature you are – to which Order of Knights do you belong?”

3. Act interested. “So, I presume you’re residing in the attic. What, pray tell, brings you down to the living room?”

4. A little bit of graciousness and hospitality go a long way: “Thank you so much for stopping by. May I invite you to take a look at our lovely front door? From the outside?”

5. Distract with flattery: “That is my infant son you are walking toward. He is a young human, unable to greet you with the respect you deserve. He does not yet know how to shake hands, bow, or salute. Might I therefore suggest that you take your explorations in the opposite direction?”

6. Finally, if all else fails, resort to the kindly escort. “Can I, by any chance, interest you in a ride on this nice envelope containing a Citibank bill while encased in this clean glass, through which you can see many wonderful sights, including our entrance hall and our front porch?”

If he refuses this offer, then pick up your helpless child without visibly panicking, or, eh hem…”making a stink,” and flee to another room, or another house, or another country, whichever makes most sense at the time.


Are stinkbugs taking over your house and your life? Have you ever squashed one? Do they really smell that bad? Have any other insects or spiders had the nerve to come near your baby?

Categories: Kid, Shelter

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20 replies

    • They do have an interesting “drop down” method from the ceiling, kind sky-diving-esque…but otherwise very “creeping”…better for sneaking up on us innocent dwellers…

  1. ewwwwww. luckily we don’t get them inside generally, but i agree that an infestation consists of one sighting 🙂 thanks for the bug etiquette – i guess i have some work to do!

    • Yes, Emily Post surely had some thoughts on this subject, I will consult. Lucky they haven’t “invaded” your home. I wish ours had some boundaries… 🙂

  2. Alas, we have quite the infestation – its gotten to the point where we are naming them like pets. I’ve been able to develop a rapport with them and gently talk to them as I scoop them up and toss them out the window. They don’t “stink” me when I do this, so I must have found the right tone and calm yogic movement. Actually, we find the smell to be more like a very intense cilantro – which has basically ruined our taste for cilantro. Ira is convinced he ate a stink bug once by mistake when he noticed a strong cilantro taste. But we hadn’t used cilantro in that meal. Yummm.

    • oh yikes, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. I will definitely think twice before having any guacamole at your house… 🙂 But if it helps your new cooking experiments (in that fab kitchen) I can send more of ours your way… 🙂

  3. Oh goodness, I’ve been doing it wrong all along. DANG! I guess a pleasant tone and simple reminders to an unwelcome guest are a much better solution. Usually it’s high pitched screams for the husband to come earn his keep. I imagine this probably DOES upset the stink bug. I’m with S&S… I’ll have to work on my approach. (you’re hilarious, Jocelyn!!!)
    For some reason stink bugs don’t bother me as much as tree roaches. TALK ABOUT SCREAMING! (LOL)

    • Well, from my New York City and Philly days, I am familiar with sink roaches, bathroom tile roaches and even underwear drawer roaches, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting a tree roach…I’ll have to keep an eye out. I wonder what would happen if a tree roach and a stink bug faced off in the wrestling ring…do you think Goode House would be up for sponsoring that match?? 🙂

      The ol’ peace-loving Rob is so gentle with his escort of all creatures outside…I guess this is my attempt to work on my own reaction to invaders – “some people” around here have suggested that I could “dial it down a few notches” 🙂

  4. Ha! I shall try these tricks. If only the stink bug’s worst vice was his smell and not his habit of eating my garden!!

    • I’ve never seen one outside – as far as I knew they’re all living in our attic! But yes, good ol’ wikipedia schooled me on the fact that they do love a good garden (or whole crop…) I guess that’ll impede your next gazpacho-fest!

  5. I once nearly threw my baby to the floor when a large carpenter ant fell from the ceiling onto her head while she was nursing. That was nearly 12 years ago and I’m still traumatized!

    • ha ha! Yes, the ants have been encroaching here as well – there’s just no telling what mama bear can do when her cubs are threatened (even when the threats are teeny tiny…) 🙂

  6. This is hilarious, Joc. I hate bugs! Just wanted to let you know your boxes are on their way. All your “old” boxes that your Dad was storing were shipped UPS on Mon and your birthday box was shipped yesterday (Tues). They will probably all arrive by the weekend.

    Hope you, Rob and little Ian are doing well. We sure miss that little guy and can’t wait to see you all again. xoxo

    On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 7:08 AM, the home tome

  7. Ugh… we’ve been seeing them more and more. We’ve squished them, but never had the smell. I always secretly wonder if they’ve actually been squished because of their shield shaped body. So gross!

  8. Every once in a while we get one of them in our house, but they are always flying around erratically which makes me scream and flee the room. It doesn’t help that we have a cat who is relentless in his pursuit of the stink bugs so he leaps through the air trying to catch them. I’ve actually run out of a room and shut the door to trap it inside until such time as my husband can come home and escort the critter to the awaiting whirlpool aka toilet.

    • Excellent technique – trapping, husband, whirlpool. I can implement all of these but I don’t have a cat to help me out… 🙂

      Yes, I have seen them fly a little bit too, but not continuously – it’s almost like they’re parachuting/skydiving…

  9. No conversations here..silent treatment, a stare, a grab with tissue and an escort to the porcelain bowl! So funny!

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