An Ezra Interlude

My Infestation, Let Me Show You It

A couple years ago, shortly before we moved from DC to the Stupid Suburbs, my recently-transplanted-from-California friend sent me a camera phone photo and a hysterical text message.


The picture was of the most hideous insect I had ever seen. Including the time I found a cockroach in my bathtub.

(Although cockroach encounters are almost like a bizarre form of street cred for City People. It reaffirms that yes, I am so hardcore in my desire to Walk To Things (translation: Starbucks) that I am perfectly okay with spending half a million dollars to live in a 800-square-foot hellhole.)

Anyway, this bug was ugly. It was obviously some kind of beetle but the kind of beetle that would eat ladybugs for lunch and then poop out some kind of flesh-eating disease. All over your face. While you slept.

I texted back.


My phone was silent for a few minutes. And then.


And a few minutes later, she called.

"Cilannnnntrooooo!" she wailed.


"Cilantro! I squashed it with Skip's shoe and now the whole room smells like rotten goddamn cilantro."

(Skip is her husband.)

We both got on our computers and started Googling "cilantro smelly rotten egg beetles" and quickly determined that it was a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. A nuisance bug accidentally introduced to our continent from China, like a plague of mass-produced lead-painted Thomas trains. And we learned that by squishing the sucker inside her house, my friend had essentially broadcasted to every other stink bug in the area that her house was a nice warm place to infest.

"That's stupid," she said. "That's the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Come to this house, bugs! They have shoes! It smells like death!"

Then she fell oddly silent, and asked if she and her son could come over for awhile.

"Amy," she whispered. "There are like, five more of them on the outside of the screen door. They're just...sitting there."

"Oh my God," I whispered back, for some reason. "Grab your keys and the baby and get out of there. Don't worry about anything else. We have diapers and blankets and you can borrow clothes if you need them. Just GET OUT OF THERE."

When she arrived, I immediately told her about the time I found a cockroach in the tub. To this day I will never understand why she moved back to California.


And now we live in the suburbs. And every fall it's the same disgusting thing. Stink bugs all over the outside of the house and window screens, waiting, plotting, inevitably finding their way inside. Mosquitoes, too. They sense their imminent wintery death and go completely berserk in September, biting you through seventeen coats of DEET, making every trip outside to drop wine bottles in the recycling bin an exercise in terror. This year, we have a nest of yellow jackets in the flower bed right outside our front door and Jason found a dried-out snakeskin near our dryer vent. And then there's the fucking CRICKETS. And then! Three days ago I noticed some other giant (HUGE) mysterious beetle-bug-thing on one of our windows, and as I have considerable problem-solving skills, I simply closed the window to trap it, because it just looked entirely too substantial to crush with a tissue. As of right now, the thing is STILL NOT DEAD YET.

It's all so gross, this stupid nature.

This year seems like the worst one yet, though. Almost Hitchcockian. The stink bugs just all simultaneously APPEARED yesterday. I noticed one on the crown molding in the living room...right as I heard the telltale buzzing of another one taking flight behind me behind me don't land on me don't land on me gaaaah. I lowered the window shades and HOLY FUCK, they were everywhere, just sitting there. First-floor windows, second-floor windows. I checked all our screens for points of entry and armed myself with the Shop Vac. 

We have a service contract with a pest control company, and twice a year they come out and spray for termites and check the perimeter and windows and set out little sticky traps to see if we can figure out how the fuck all these bugs are getting in and twice a year the visit ends with a baffled shrug. 

Yesterday, I think I cracked the mystery.

(Oh hey, if you're still reading at this point but are like, itching from head to toe a little bit? You might want to finally cry uncle and bail.)

So ever since the Great Fertilizer Dog Buffet Debacle and subsequent shutting down of the Canine Liver Contingent, we've been diligent composters. Yesterday, however, I left the pile's offerings (bruised section of peach, apple core, lettuce) sit out on the kitchen counter for juuuuust a bit too long, as we've yet to buy a suitable indoor container. I went to toss a banana peel on top and OH MY GOD, a fucking mushroom cloud of fruit flies sprang from its depths. I gagged and grabbed the nearest bowl (Sorry, Dora the Explorer), swept everything into it and bolted outside to deposit it in our composter.


As soon as I opened the back door, the stink bugs attacked. Five or six of them flew towards the opening at top speed. I shrieked and slammed the door shut. The motion once again disturbed the flock of fruit flies who were following me and my bowl of mush like the Pied Piper, and a stink bug ricocheted off the door frame and landed on my hand. I dropped the bowl and shrieked again, and the bug fell off my hand...and into my shoe.

(Gardening clogs, okay? That I promise I only wear for GARDENING. And picking up dog crap. And fine, maaaaaybe taking Noah out to the school bus sometimes but it's just because they are usually right there by the door and that's just really convenient.)

At this point I probably looked and sounded like I was being attacked by bees. Or sharks. Or hell demons. I kicked off my shoe and sent it sailing across the yard and stood there for another three or four minutes shaking my limbs and hair and clothing while gasping out stuff like "ew ew ew ew ew shit shit shit."

When I stopped to catch my breath and retrieve my shoe and Dora bowl (opting to allow the compost to stay where it fell, providing all kinds of essential nutrients to the wood of the back deck), I made the mistake of surveying the back of our house.

Stink bugs. Everywhere. On the brick, on the windows, on the gutters. I slooooowly reached for the screen door handle and I SWEAR, they all fired up their wings, ready to attack. 

I dashed in as fast as I could, slamming the storm door closed (AND LOCKING THE DEADBOLT, BECUZ I ARE SMARTER THAN THEM BUGS). I walked over to the sink to deposit the bowl...and felt something on my ankles.

Two mosquitoes. I smashed them, leaving smears of blood on top of the already-forming welts.  (FOUR BITES, already. FOUR.)

And that's when I noticed something in my hair. Multiple somethings.

You guys. They rode inside the house IN MY HAIR.

By my count, THREE OF THEM. I have since vacuumed up one, another is MIA (shakes hair shakes hair shakeshair), and I have cornered a third one inside the living room blinds, unable to coax it quiiiiite close enough to where my vacuum can get at it.

No, seriously:


The way we live now.

(And just for the sake of completeness, besides the two mosquitoes that used my ankle as some kind of illegal border crossing van, minutes later I found a third one, BITING MY BABY ON THE FACE. Without thinking, I smacked it off him [AND THUS, HIS FACE], which shocked him so much that he did the whole heartbreaking face-melting-sobbing-real-tears thing, and then STILL woke up this morning with EIGHT gigantic angry red bites on his face and legs. Obviously, the suburbs are dirty, disgusting and absolutely no place to raise children.)



Oooo, am totally squicked out here. ewewewewewew...

But, I have lived in TX and they (along with FL) must be the bug capital of the US. The crickets!!! Ooooo...thousands of them hanging from the doors, walls, ceiling...afraid to go into the grocery store because you need to run the cricket gauntlet. Gah, getting into my apartment HAVE TO STOMP CRICKETS!!!

Seriously, not exaggerating.


Ohmyword, MOVE! That is the only logical next step.

No, I'm just kidding. But holy cow, I FEEL for you. You weren't kidding about getting to about the fourth paragraph and feeling itchy. I honestly shook my head a bit and ran my fingers through my hair...just to be sure they didn't, you know, climb out of your story and ONTO MY HEAD.

You handled that like an absolute HERO, in my book. I may have thrown up and died, if it were me.

Bugs, I hate bugs. *shivers*


holy hell. you've made me feel a heck of a lot better about the lake erie-loving spiders that cover my house. they at least keep to themselves on the OUTSIDE. (i serioulsy can't stop itching after reading this post - gah!)


The HORROR. I'd write more, but I need both hands to deal with the swatting and scratching of all this psychosomatic discomfort.



EEEW. had to go brush my hair after that one. Just remember to get the hell out of town in 2021 when the cicadas come back! :)



We live a couple of hours west of you, and they hit here about 2 days ago.

It seems like we'd see just a handful each year until a couple of years ago, when suddenly they were everywhere.

Get this - I heard that they'd been INTENTIONALLY INTRODUCED TO EAT - wait, you're not gonna believe this - LADYBUGS!

Yes, we've traded pretty little, bad-bug-eating ladybugs for THIS monstrousity!

(Granted, the ladybugs SWARM up "on the mountain" in western MD, like where Shrike's grandparents used to live, and even ladybugs, in such large numbers, can be creepy and gross, but really, how is this better?!?!)

We are really bad about leaving our back door open for the dogs to go in and out, and OH MY FUCKING GOD! yesterday there were about 10 of the little fuckers on the hanging screen (hung to keep out the flies that were infesting us a few months ago).

That's when I declared that the door will no longer be left open.

Shrike hasn't gotten the memo yet. Nor have the dogs.

(Plus, Peeper will be independently mobile in a few weeks and we'll have to keep it closed anyway, so she doesn't escape. Onto the frozen tundra.)

At one point I saw several had made their way inside and, no, I did not go after them with the vacuum (why not? dumbass!) so God only knows where they are now.

And crickets, too. I've made Shrike "rescue" and remove at least five of them now.

And the moths. And spiders.

Oh my God, it's just disgusting.

But I grew up in Southeast Texas, so I just keep telling myself "at least they aren't roaches..."


Dear God.

I've been all kinds of pissy/angsty/fretty (that can be a word, right?) about the lone monster spider building a web across the doorway into my backyard for the past three days. I will now totally get over myself, knock him down and kill him, and move on with my life. Because damn.

Bugs. In. Hair?!

Nature would be SO much better without bugs.


This is why I want to move back to the arid Southwest. There are bugs in Colorado, but nothing like in humid areas of the country. For us, it's been crickets lately, but we've also had fruit flies, flour beetles and scads of spiders.


What a timely post... yesterday morning when I was brushing my teeth a damn gecko crawled out of the drain! It scared the hell out of me. I dropped my toothbrush, started to pee my pants (thankfully I was in the bathroom), the dogs came running in to see why I was screaming and then ate my toothbrush. Now all I can think about is if a gecko can come up the toilet drain...

Tiffany Dahle

Oh. My. God. This is my worst nightmare. But you are officially the funniest person ever to get me laughing over my most dreaded encounter. Thank god for shopvacs. I'd sleep next to mine if I lived in your house right now. Can you get a hazmat suit for doing your recyclables?

Mama Bub

Burn it DOWN. That's the only solution. Burn the damn house DOWN. I found a mosquito on my baby's face one day and smashed the hell out of it only to find my hand covered in blood and then shrieked, "My baaabeee, it was sucking my baaabeees blood!"

Then, it occurred to me that could be someone else's blood on my hand and it was all I could do not to cut the hand right off.

Currently I'm smacking imaginary bugs off all parts of my body. Oh, and eating lunch, too. Not so tasty anymore.


Ohmygod. I have NEVER been so happy to be a Californian. We do have bugs, but nothing like THAT. Even our ants are more civilized. I went to a BBQ in Boston once and the ANTS OHMIGAWD THE ANTS. They were huuuuge. And they bite! What the hell?

I am very sorry Amy. That is the stuff my nightmares are made of.


I grew up in the country and have used that window trick many times on bugs, bees, etc. However, you missed an important step! First you ease the screen or storm window (outer layer) up a few inches, being careful not to disturb the bug too much. THEN, you close the inner window. It will eventually exit and voila, you've gotten rid of it without actually having to touch it.

Jessica (@It's my life...)

I would just like to say that as I was reading this a fly landed on my arm and I almost screamed. In Starbucks. In California. Where people don't understand BUGS. Because we don't have any. Hallelujah.
Reason #1 to pay $1Million for a teardown piece of crap home? No freaking BUGS.
I spent a week on the East Coast this summer and I couldn't get home fast enough. My 4yo still talks about the huge green bug we had to run away from!


OMG I am never ever moving to the East Coast. And I think today, when I get home, I am going to spoon my (crazy-expensive, about 7 square foot) Los Angeles apartment.

Amy K

We have stink bugs in Seattle, too, and I keep finding them in random and startling places, like the inside of a clean coffee mug that I was getting ready to use. The worst are the hobo spiders. They're so huge that they'll fall into the bathtub and are too heavy to climb out again. They apparently have a serious bite, but if I ever find that out for myself, we'll be moving to a new state.


I live in Boston, and occasionally the hubs and I consider moving to the suburbs. Your blog helps me remember why that is a bad idea.


We had an infestation of them last year in Southern NJ. I had never seen them before or since and never knew what they were until today.

There would just be dozens on every screen door & window. I would vaccuum them up all the time because they were too gross to squish.


Ah, yes, we've got soybean aphids flying around here in one of the worst infestations most people can remember:





Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.

Katie Kat

"Shakes hair shakes hair shakeshair!" OMG, I'm crying I'm laughing so hard! The image of you out there like Tippi Hedren in the stink bug version of "The Birds" is f'ing hilarious. I think it's because I remember the day when I was a kid, out in our backyard (in my pajamas, a robe and pink fuzzy slippers - don't ask) swinging on our tree swing. I had taken off the slippers (but of course) and when I was finished I put them back on and heard this horrible "sqreeeeeeeeeeeee" - it was a locust - IN MY PINK FUZZY SLIPPER! I kicked that sombitch off and half way across the back yard and hightailed it inside. To this day I'm terrified of those icky little suckers (locusts, not pink fuzzy slippers).

Worst part for you is you can't squish em! And what if they crawl back out of the Shop Vac? And who has to empty it - THEY MIGHT NOT BE DEAD FOR MONTHS IN THERE! Ewwwwwwwwwwww.

bad penguin

I grew up here, and seriously, I have never heard of these stink bugs, and now you're the second person today to talk about them. I'm glad I've missed out on them so far! bugs in my hair would freak me out like you would not believe.

We just moved a little farther out, and while I don't think we have stink bugs, there are a lot more bugs. Big ones.


We are TOTALLY with you on this. We live in southeast PA, and just yesterday hubs says "what's up with the stinkbug attack?" They are EVERYWHERE.



Thank you for this LOL encounter with the creepy kind. I am now twitchy and itchy. I hate bugs!


We moved from Florida to South Carolina in March and I certainly didn't think that the bugs here would be worse than Florida. The same, maybe, but not worse.
Roaches EVERYWHERE (which is common place in the swamp, also) but not as many mosquitos. Sound great? Oh wait, it's just a trade off. SO MANY FUCKING SPIDERS I CAN'T BREATHE. Every morning I get in my car theres a new spider web on my steering wheel, everytime I open the front door I walk through a web...and they aren't silky little webs, you could probably make cotton sheets out of them. uuuuuggghhh.


Oh God. I had a hard time getting through that post Amy. I feel sick now! IN YOUR HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reminds me of the time when I was living in Thailand and I was about 9 or so and I was getting a straw for my soda and when I straightened up there was a cockroach on my chest making its way up to my FACE. I screamed and screamed and jumped up and down until it fell off and then ran to the livingroom, threw myself on my big brother and cried HYSTERICALLY for half an hour. There was no calming me. It was awful.


OMG I have those effers in my house too and I never knew what they were! I only began to see them this year. I also live in the DC suburbs; maybe it's the biennial East Coast NSBC (National Stink Bug Convention). I had one on the INSIDE of my car windshield the other day, and I didn't leave my window open. WTF?? I can't stop itching. Gross.


Ohmygod. Ohmygod. Ohmygod. Bugs are the WORST. It squigs me out to the nth degree to step on a bug that makes a CRUNCH sound. I have about a million goosebumps on my legs and arms thinking about BUGS.

Less BUGS, more baby cheeks! kthxbye


Did I just read on this site that those bugs BITE and grab on and don't let go?

You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I am scared, sad and, yes, angry. I have never been bitten by one but take considerable satisfaction in flicking them off of the screens back into the wild.

One time I caught my dog Romeo eating one. And needless to say, his whole face stunk. Stinketty stunk!



I just moved to Northern Virginia from California and after getting over feeling slightly smug about the lack of smog and wildfires and fear of The Big One, I have been shocked and disgusted by the bizarre Jurassic Park-type bugs around here on a daily basis. WHY OH WHY?

Those stink bugs just appeared! And I haven't squashed any yet! So consider this your PSA for the day. Now I know (and am THOROUGHLY disgusted. Also: itchy.)


Eeeeuuuwwww!!! and, hahahahahaha!

As for camel crickets (especially your coworker's daughter, Just Shireen): Cats. You'll find a lot of bodyless legs and some legless bodies around the house, but in a week or so, no more living crickets to jump out at you. When we first moved to our current house, it had a seriously robust population. Indoors. The dog did nothing - NOTHING. Going downstairs meant watching the crickets literally cascade before you. Once the cats arrived, though ...

Four years later, I don't even find them in the basement where the cats aren't allowed. Beautiful.

Mrs. Q.

laughing. sssss-o. hhh-hard.

Yeah, thank GOD someone told me what a stinkbug looked like and to NEVER, EVER squish it. Just grab it with a tissue and shake it outside. While screaming.

I grew up in Western Massachusetts, only two hours from where I live now, and I never saw one of these before. I was in 4-H for crissakes! Don't even get me started on silverfish, those crazy-fast creepy flat gross, BLURGH!

And all playgrounds and sports fields in town are closed at dusk now. Because we have EEE mosquitoes. Ya know, the ones that can KILL YOU. Mother nature can suck it.


I grew up in Louisiana. The bugs there are things nightmares are made of.

For serious.

I've been wondering lately if we are just incredibly filthy people or if all the flies in the Northern Hemisphere just like my house. Then my husband reminded me it's fall. It's always this way in the fall.

So now I am stupid and fly-infested.Sigh.

Parsing Nonsense

I'm shaking with laughter. Poor Ezra!

This was a horrifying account. Thus illustrating for me why it's worlds better to live in the Northwest. Yeah, we never see the sun but the worst we have to deal with is a few non-poisonous spiders that are easily vacuumed up.

Lucy's mom

I laughed out loud at this but I also realized my heart was racing as you battled your way back indoors.

I live in Wisconsin and we have japanese beetles who are master home invaders. Last year my friend and I were having a glass of wine in the kitchen. I decided we needed a little light so I switched on the overhead, attached to a ceiling fan, and the next thing we knew we were being dive-bombed by the hundreds of beetles who had taken up residence on the top side of the fan blades. (And lest anyone think I'm a pig, I had dusted the fan only a few days before).

I hate beetles. All beetles. Spread it around.


I think it is just the close in suburbs. B/c when I lived in the FAR OUT suburbs I don't have these problems. But we moved to the closer in suburbs and we have a massive ass cricket under our china closet that WON'T SHUT UP AND CHIRPS ALL NIGHT LONG AND WAKES MICHAEL UP.


But I love my new house.

Abbey Road

OMG this sounds exactly like our house right now. The absolute worst is when I wake up with bugbites that I'm 90% sure weren't there when I went to bed. I have changed sheets, washed all sheets and mattress pads in steaming million-degree water and vacuumed and inspected EVERYTHING and still. I can smoosh and trap and go to war with the suckers everywhere else and keep a stiff upper lip, but my BED. Is nothing sacred?


GAH. I live in Texas, and we do have stinkbugs, but thankfully not en masse. And I do not think that ours fly.

Oh my hell. I would have to wear protective clothing everywhere I went. You are one brave lady. I would be curled up in the fetal position, sobbing.


To make you feel better, google "rhino beetle" and imagine one of them suckers about 3 inches long, 2 inches wide, staring you in the face on your back porch. Yep, never going in my backyard again!
Seriously, though, fanastic post :)


EW, HAHA, EW, AW POOR BABY (and i'm going to hell for adding a little haha to that, but i totes would for my baby too), ETC.

Two centipede demons invaded my apartment last week (and another last month,) along with a poisonous recluse spider that was about to lay eggs over our fuckin' pillows. Pest guys will be here tomorrow (LIKE 3 YEARS AFTER I REALIZED THERE WAS A PORTAL TO INSECT HELL IN MY LIVING QUARTERS) and then i'm going to wash all the baby clothes, clean everything with bleach (INCLUDING MY BODY BECAUSE OMG A CENTIPEDE TOUCHED ME), board up the windows and door and never open anything until frost has hit a few times. Which might mean i give birth in my own tiny bathtub, but whatever, at least i wont grab any more 80billion legged satan minions thinking it's a piece of paper sitting on the floor..

Maxine Dangerous

My cat brought in fleas and I thought *I* was in hell. I already hate bugs AND cilantro and now hate them MORE as I feel your squicky-get-it-off-me-killit-killit-KILL-IT!!! pain. That post was damn funny, though. :) Might I suggest a flamethrower? :)


Right there with you...I live in NOVA (holler!) and the effing bugs are kids have a playset out back and I HAVE to send them out there so I can drink my wine in peace...but then I feel really bad when they come back in with head to to mosquito bites AFTER I have doused them in bug spray.


AAAAAGH. And yeah, I'm now itching. So much for a relaxing time on the couch while the baby naps.

About smacking Ezra in the face, I will tell you a story, if it makes you feel any better. When my daughter was still rather wee, I popped her in the car seat to go for a walk (travel system) and buckled her in (that's important). And then, ye gods! a spider the size of my FACE, I am so no kidding, popped out of the little slot where the buckle comes through the bottom, and it started CRAWLING ALL OVER HER. All. Over. Her.

Okay, so it wasn't the size of my face, but I have spent the last 20 years of my life in Wisconsin, and it was about as big a spider as I have ever seen.

Anyway, I could just pick her up and shake her because she was buckled in. And because shake babies is bad. And I couldn't unbuckle her because then the spider would jump on my hand and eat my soul. And I couldn't just leave her there because then it would eat my baby's soul.

So, I did the only logical thing: I picked up a shoe and smacked her in the forehead with it. And I MISSED. And the spider crawled around the back of her neck, in her hair, for crying out loud, and by this point I was weeping, and the child was shrieking, and she already had a red mark forming on her forehead, and I suddenly came to my senses and realized how crazy I was and went to get the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed that bastard right up. I do not know why I didn't do that in the first place. Moron.

Anyway, she survived with minimal brain damage, but there was a lot of crying for a long time. And I am pretty sure that spider bred with all the other spiders living in my vacuum cleaner because we had a summer-long infestation that just would not diminish no matter how many I killed.

And now I really itch.


I was so agitated I couldn't even type correctly. That should be, "I COULDN'T shake her," and "ShakING babies is bad." Ahem.


Oh my God. Exchange the stink bugs for spiders and I think we had the same day. Well, at least I haven't stood paralyzed with fear of a mangy, sneaky little eight-legged monster recently. That doesn't mean I haven't seen any of's just that my response time is finally amping up. You know - after 32 years.


OK. So I think I have a line on the stinkbugs - I live in West Chester PA outside of Philadelphia. They DID come from Allentown and the pest companies have an insecticide for them yet:

"Don’t spray insecticides inside your home to combat stink bugs. Most insecticides don’t
work against stink bugs and none are safe to use inside your home. There are a few
insecticides that can be applied in the fall outside your home to kill stink bugs. However,
they only last a few days and won’t kill the many stink bugs that will be around long after
you spray."

Ugh. Not that it helps, though.


These stink bugs have been TORMENTING me for several years now! For the longest time, I seemed to be the only person who had them and everyone thought I was nuts for complaining about them. Now everyone in the Virginia area knows I am not crazy! These things came straight from hell! I am not usually very squeamish about bugs (I do hate mosquitoes because they love me) but these stink bugs make my skin crawl.


Northern Virginia here, and my baby has a big old welt of a mosquito bite on her cheek and on her arm I have too many to count. AND, we've been indoors almost 24/7 cause she's been sick, so I know they are indoors. I've killed several, but the little emeffers are EVERYWHERE.


OMG. Seriously, OMG. I grew up in the DC burbs and either we didn't have those on the south side of the Potomac or I've completely blocked it out because the memory was so aweful. I do recall the summer the 17 year cicadas woke up and one flew into my hair. I've never quite recovered.

When we first moved to Atlanta we discovered the biggest bug ever - the Palmetto bug. My husband beat the first one we found to death with a hammer. Now we live in a neighborhood with fewer trees and we have a fantastic exterminator. His name is Chuck, he visits me quarterly (and will come between visits for free but I've never need it) and he sprays a little inside but he basically hoses down the outside of my house so the bugs can't even get in. Worth every single penny.


Two words for you: HOUSE. CENTIPEDE.

Our old apartment used to get those fuckers every fall, and I'm near to crying just thinking about them. They can be a good 3-4" long and 2" wide, when you take into account all of their fucking legs. OMG the legs. I am so so so hoping our new place doesn't have them. I saw a largish centipede the other day, and many large spiders, but thus far no house centipedes.


I just realized that I was so traumatized by your story that I spelled awful wrong. Which, in my world, is AWFUL!!!


Ooo...I'm gonna have nightmares from this. And you're living it! Awesome for you!


I'm in Florida, not many stinkbugs here, although I did brush one off my shoulder at work a couple weeks ago - how did it get into a 36 story building and all the way up to the 22nd floor? But we have cockroaches and we have palmetto bugs which are really just giant flying cockroaches, and the thing that really gives me the skeevies - LIZARDS! Little lizards that run all over the place, sometimes not so little. They used to come into my apartment and live among my potted plants. After a couple of weeks of not going near the goddam potted plants, I discovered that the pizza delivery boy would catch them (IN HIS BARE HANDS!) and carry them outside, so from then on I ordered lots of pizza and gained 14 lb.

Now I'm on the 5th floor of a building and not so many lizards, but a couple weeks ago I came home from work, and hanging on the sliding screen door out to my lovely balcony overlooking the river was a BAT! Luckily my son was able to remove it to a wooded area (with me literally having heebie jeebies the entire time). Since then I never go onto the balcony without doing a quick visual sweep to search for bats.


Oh, fuck I'm itchy itchy itchy. I can't believe I read this post to the end. I hate bugs. HATE! If you meant to send shivers down the spines of your readers leaving them with a lasting feeling of ITCH and ACH, while also educating them on the fucking grossness of stink bugs...JOB WELL DONE! FUCK.


Hmmm. Tone didn't translate in my comment. I was trying to be funny. Not bitchy. Maybe a little of both...LIKE YOU! (haha)


Your story just confirmed it for me.

I am NEVER leaving CALI! Can live with fires, Santa Ana winds, earthquakes, crazy politicians, taxes etc but cannot live with BIG BUGS. Yes, we do have bugs but they are not of Godzilla proportions, and the bugs most have issue with out here are ants. And those are stompable WITHOUT sound effects.

I was TOTALLY laughing hysterically when you mentioned your friend bailed and came BACK her to CA!


Lizards. They eat bugs. Might want to round some up.




Now I itch all over. Thanks.


I love how you get over 150 comments on a post about bugs. Seriously! LOVE IT.

Being an ambassador to the arachnids, as I am now, creepy crawlies do not creep me out. But I will say that I still hate, loathe, crickets. And I do not mind one bit buying them and dropping into our tarantula enclosures. Take THAT, cricket.

Also, am still grossed out by anything resembling larvae - the Indian Meal Moth infestation we experienced a few months back still has me hyperventilating - every time I see a grain of rice, I stop and pray it is not a larvae. *shudder*


Omg, so glad I live in England...we don't get really gross bug infestations because, well, it's too cold and rainy. Woohoo!


I read online somewhere that if you freeze the suckers they will die instantly and will not emit their radar stench.

To freeze: get one of those aircans, turn upside down, and spray! bug should die immediately.

Ps: i havent tried this yet, and seems like you'd have to get pretty close to the bug so ... not sure if its a good idea, haha.


Ohhhhhhhhhh -- so THAT'S what we have!! I've been calling them "armor bugs" because seriously, those bugs look like TANKS). And dammit - I just killed the first one of the season today inside the house! I have sent out the alert!

I remember last year having them leap off of shelves and out of drawers and bzzzzzzing straight for my face. So freaking gross!!


OMG, what's a yellow jacket?

Stink bugs IN YOUR HAIR make me freak out and start scratching my head like I was demented. Ew ew ew OMG THEY'RE IN MY HAAAAAIIIIIRRRR

Is it wrong that I laughed when you slapped the mosquito off of poor Ez? In that guilty, OMG shocked what-did-I-just-do (because I would have done just that) kind of way? Poor bubba. I'm sorry I laughed. :os


I freak out at any bug infestation, so I feel for you. (we have been invaded by ANTS this summer, particularly bad with all this heat) My daughter once woke up screaming, telling me that there was a stink bug on her pillow. But this was the California type of stinkbug, which is different, doesn't fly, and is all black. But still stinks!! The worst/disgusting thing to find in the house is a jerusalem cricket.


Why this year is so bad for you? It's not as bad up here in Upstate NY...seriously I had them EVERYWHERE last year, and by everywhere I mean between my door and glass door. I didn't use it. UPS came and I opened my garage to say hi. I captured one in a plastic baggie and brought it to Home Depot with me. Proceeded to tell the employee, "What will kill this the most painful way possible?" and hold up the bag. I think I frightened the employee. And while the spray worked for a few days, I constantly had to spray.

This year it hasn't gotten as hot, so they haven't hidden between my doors (where it gets really hot.) So I guess they're all further south. Sorry.


Oh, and by the way, if you ever go to WDW with your boys, don't take them to see the "cute" 3d movie "It's Tough to Be a Bug" at the Animal Kingdom. It will scar you and them.

Jessica J.

Wow! The huge spider I made my husband kill last night seemed disgusting. However, I now have a new appreciation for living in Seattle and having no flying bugs.

Good luck. Feel free to visit me.

Jessica J.

Wow. The huge spider I made my husband kill in my kitchen last night seemed disgusting. However, I have a new appreciation for living and Seattle and no flying bugs.

Good luck. Feel free to visit me :)


I have nothing to say about the bugs. I once had a tree cut down to lessen the number of June bugs in my yard (worked like a charm by the way), so I can clearly not give you practical, non-drastic suggestions. About the compost stuff, though, I have your solution. Get a container that seals (tupperware, zipper bag, empty coffee container, whatever) and put it in the freezer. Toss stuff in there until you can get it outdoors. No bugs, no raccoons (seriously, happened to a friend with a cat door) and no stink.


Oh honey you probably do not want to know then that some stinkbugs spray acid when threatened. I got sprayed in the eye last summer by one. It took about 3 days for my vision to stop being blurry. Doctor told me if they get your eyes or mouth it hurts and I was lucky I'd irrigated my eye for 20 mins or it might have burned my eyeball.


Oh, ew. I lived in the DC area for a few years and never saw those. But now I am in Texas, where at home we have the exterminator come quarterly so there are no roaches here. But there are roaches at school. And as the teacher, I have to act like a grown up and kill them without screaming. Uncool.

ccr in MA

Eeew. Eeeewwww! I would have dropped dead on the spot, because obviously shaving my head while having a panic attack wouldn't work.

You poor thing! I think you handled the whole experience well. Nature is fully gross. I can't understand camping for this very reason.


JESUS H. FUCKING CHRIST, AMY. I am going to be itching for the next week or so. This gives a whole new meaning to the term "bugfuck."

Good luck and Godspeed to ya.


The only way to get rid of stink bugs without smell (aside from vacuum, since I have done this and then my vacuum smelled for EVER) is to wrap gently in a tissue/tp then FLUSH.

I thought they were gone - we had a horrible infestation earlier in the summer, then none for about a month - and now they are back. And I HATE them. Apparently they are so bad this year that the local news is doing a daily update on the bug status.


I live in So Cal..... but I used to live in Illinois. Where we had House Centipedes. Go ahead, Google it. I'll wait.

These creatures are quite possibly the scariest things ever and they move lightening fast. Also, they are like 3-4 inches long. OMG.... the mere fact that they exist in Illinois is enough reason for me never, ever to go back. Well, that and the snow.


Wow, am I the only one that thought these bugs were just gorgeous, before I found out they were an invasive foreign (and stinky) species?


I want to die now. I do not want to live on an earth with stink bug infestations.

Also? Arizona is no better, we have scorpions, tarantulas and 14 kinds of poisonous snakes. I can't WAIT to move back East.


I just moved to Vermont. VERMONT!.. I dont know why I wasn't expecting this.. but the bugs. They are everywhere. We have a screened in porch off of out living room and during the day, the INSIDE of the screens are alive with black flies. And.. stink bugs. It is disgusting. My husband and I were preparing for comapany today and he decided to use my DYSON.. to vacuum up flies from the screens. Live ones. Now they are flying around the canister on montains of dust. Dyson. ::shakes fist::


I am on of those hiding at the beach in California... away from most of the bugs. I actually read this out loud to my husband and he laughed... agree that I could never live anywhere else. This was hysterical because this is exactly what I would be doing... and also turning into a prisoner of my own home. Thanks for the laugh!


OMG. I say move to Colorado. I lived in TX for most of my life and suffered similar bug travesties, but here in CO? I have NEVER seen a bug in the house. SRSLY, my cats are bored. I LOVE IT.


I'm usually not the cussing type, but those little f*ckers have been driving me mad for years. Just saw my first one of the "season" yesterday. crunch. crunch. crunch. I can't count how many I've had to smoosh over the years. *shudder*


So totally feel your pain. Live in ATL and we have roaches galore, especially now thanks to the recent deluge. Also, I went to the College of Charleston (in Charleston, SC, imagine that) and those bitches fly and they are the size of your head. I feel all itchy after reading your post. Damn hippies, damn composting. Srsly, mah haid it itchz.

Abra Leah

Hideous bugs - Houston has them. The first time I saw a giant wood roach (they FLY) I thought I would die right there.


Stop it. PLEASE STOP IT! I'm crying from laughter. And crying from fear.

Years ago I worked at a daycare and there was a naughty little boy who had to sit on the steps behind me in time-out for a couple of minutes. I turned around to check on him and noticed a bird-sized mosquito performing a complete blood transfusion on his neck. (I swear it was the size of a pigeon and just as filthy.) My automatic reaction was to slap the hell out of him. And I did. I felt horrible and apologized. I showed him my bloodied hand and the carcass of the rodent that I had saved him from. As soon as his mom walked in the door to pick him up that afternoon, the first thing out of his mouth was, "Miss Jo hit me today!!!" Yeah... ungrateful little shit.


There are some positives in living north. Bugs are only around a few months of the year.

I did live in downtown TO though, and I know that even the most expensive apartments have cockroaches lurking...


You need to move to Washington the state. You make my little fruit fly infestation of recent weeks look, um, like nothing. Ugh. This is one of the many reasons I will never live east of the Mississippi.


How could you write this?!? I am itching like, like, like someone who has been reading about bugs and icky insects and gross things in the hair...



I too have smacked my baby in the face to get a mosquito. Harsh!

Twenty Four At Heart

I'm in Orange County. I was offered a huge promotion at one point back east. I went back to look around. It "just happened" to be during one of those every 17 year cicada frenzies. The sky was dark from billions of them flying around. The ground crunched with their carcasses when I walked. One landed on me and fell down my shirt. I did not take that promotion. I still live in the OC. I don't regret my decision AT ALL!


OMG! I totally would vacuum them up too. Gah! I hate bugs! I hope my skin stops crawling soon.


There are more bugs and bigger bugs when you live in the country. The Suburbs have nothing on the alien sized spiders and crawly things that you find living in a log home.


OH FUCK. You're welcome here. We've got lotsa cloth and a box of size 4 disposables.


Ugh! I live in TX and we moved into our new house about 2 yrs ago. On the first night when you're already freaked by the new noises and the creepy neighbors I went to throw a box in our guest room in the dark (NEVER again will I go anywhere in the dark again). Anyhoo... my foot raked over something so I turned on the light because in TX if it's a cockroach it's like "whew, it's just a roach... ugh again..." No, it was a freaking massive scorpion. A SCORPION!!! And it was whipping it's tail, etc. So my husband sprayed carpet foam on it. It scoffed. Then we threw it in the toilet and it SWAM. It freakin' swam! I couldn't pee in our house for a week. I shouldn't have brought this memory back suddenly into my life. I feel all creepy crawly... I fear I won't be able to sleep now. Geez.. The point is, I feel your pain. I hate - I HATE bugs.


Oh my GOD. Ew. I hate bugs. Those stink bugs are so gross, my stepmom's house in New Jersey gets those. Also, cicadas? Totally freaky. They usually stick int he trees though (thank goodness). We have a lot of spiders at our place, but I'm trying not to be too much of a freak about it since they eat other bugs... it's been a struggle though.


Oh, I forgot on my earlier comment, but now, rereading everyone's comments and noticing the smugness of the Pacific Northwesters who claim no bugs - I lived in a suburb of Portland, OR for two years and there certainly are bugs, but worse than that, there are SLUGS! I constantly had slugs entering my kitchen through the back door and sliming their way across my clean floor. I finally put a barricade of table salt across the entire threshold and that seemed to stop them. Of course with the constant drizzle, I had to re-salt it frequently but it was worth avoiding the removal of slugs from the house.


Texas girl here, and yes, we go for the monthly exterminator too. Those great big roaches FLY you know.


The last time I saw a stink bug was 22 years ago (I was 8 - you do the math) when we used to have them in our house in the Rockies in BC. (we lived on the side of a mountain in a small town). It's been that long ago, but reading this blog entry - I can smell them ALL OVER AGAIN.

My little brother and I used to chase those little suckers with a vaccum cleaner.


There is hope! Weather predictions are for a bad winter with lots of cold and snow! That will kill off some of those suckers!


Confirmed city dweller here. It sounds like a bargain, your 800 square feet. And walking to stuff? Priceless.

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