Attempting to Share My World with Stink Bugs, Lady Bugs, and Spiders

Perhaps due to the quick change of the weather and the beginning season of autumn, the bugs have been very active lately by showing me they exist. They like to try to share my house with me, but I’m not so welcoming.

I’ve had more bug encounters over this past week than any other week this year. They annoy me the most because they like to introduce themselves by catching me off guard at the worst possible timing. (“Hello, my name is Mr.Stinkbug!”)

Usually if I spot a bug in a location of the house where I feel it won’t personally bother me, I leave it alone. This is because I realize that I must share my place in the Pine Barrens with the insects in some way. Every time I walk outside in the woods I am sure I am intruding their space as well, so it is a give and take.

Many moths make it into the house when the porch light is left on. They swarm around the light like a frantic rioting crowd and as soon as you let yourself in, they somehow seem to get sucked into your invisible air draft and float right into the room along with you.

Fortunately, my cat Zappa likes to hunt them. Sometimes I feel bad because he will proceed to torture them by smashing one wing, then watch it flop up and down on the floor for a couple of minutes. Next he’ll rip off the other wing and watch it wriggle some more. Then he eats it, but by that point I look away.

What can I say? Don’t invade my house little buggy, or my cat (who thinks he really is the lion king) will eat you. I would try to rescue it but I have no motivation because there is just so many of them. There are simply too many to rescue.

Twice last week, I hurriedly went to get into my shower after the water was at perfect temperature.  Each time I went to get in, a giant daddy-long-leg looking spider hovered in the corner of the shower ceiling! I am not a person that handles unexpected surprises very well or things with eight legs. I picked up every shampoo bottle in reach and chucked it at my opponent. When that didn’t work, wash rags were thrown. Finally I won the battle by grabbing the detachable shower head and aiming the water at the ceiling, which knocked the spider off into the tub and down the drain. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that to begin with. I guess that is how one thinks poorly – when they wind up in a panic.

The spider was not a daddy long leg but  a different type, possibly from the long jawed orb weaver family.

Another bug encounter was the stink bugs. They are popping up in houses across the state. I get about 10-20 stink bugs a day because of the old structure of the cottage and the woods. Right before I was settling into bed, I spotted two of them crawling on my ceiling. I couldn’t even get up the courage to remove them. My mom (a.k.a my hero) had to come upstairs with a cup and a piece of paper to trap them and place them outside.

Stink bugs are the worst because they are very tricky. If you smash them, they literally smell bad. They appear at the most random times.

Last year my cottage had the largest infestation of lady bugs I ever witnessed in my life. They swarmed up in the corner of the house. They were everywhere, even falling into our drink cups. We called an exterminator who set off a gas poison. The next day they were dead in heaps and piles around the house. We had to sweep them all outside. I felt sorry for them but we couldn’t live in that condition. I don’t blame the lady bugs at all because they were just searching for a cozy nesting area for the winter. There was no way we would be able to get every single one of them peacefully out of our house.

Living in the heart of the woods means learning to live in harmony with the insects and wildlife. I love walking outside and catching an uncommon view of a beautiful butterfly or a natural beehive with its kingdom of bees. Respect goes along way between human and nature. For me, it is an instinct feeling when I approach the insects.

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