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Bug wars: The stinking menace

October 13, 2012
By SUMMER WALLACE-MINGER , Weirton Daily Times

Fall is here, and that means many things - my kids are involved in five activities too many, I'm making the rounds of the fall festivals at work and the Long Suffering Husband is mourning the lost potential of another baseball season.

Also, the stink bugs go on the offensive.

Does anyone know how to kill these things? Poisoning and drowning don't work, and I don't want to crush them. I'm so desperate, I am just about ready to welcome the spiders with open arms, and you know how I feel about spiders.

On a recent rainy day, I came home to find a virtual army of the things camped out by my front door. Finally finding a use for those annoying mail circulars, I cleared a path. Unfortunately, I had left several windows open, and literally dozens and dozens had invaded the house. I had to shut and lock every single window. I am now scared to open a window. As I told the children, we have to maintain constant vigilance, especially when entering and exiting the house.

I had diverted the main body of the army, but that still left the advance scouts in the house. Plus, I couldn't even look out the window, because the stink bugs were clinging to the outside in the hopes I would be dumb enough to open it up and let them in. (Apparently, much like vampires, they must be invited inside. Also like the undead, they are very hard to kill.)

I knew there was no way I could sleep in a house full of bugs. The idea that one of them might land on me while I was sleeping made me itch all over. So I went hunting. With a clothes hanger. And every curse word in my vocabulary, along with such choice phrases as "you picked the wrong house, bug," "die, invader" and that all-time favorite "ahhhh! help, it's flying right at my face!"

I am height-challenged, so I needed the hanger to knock them off the walls where I couldn't reach. I would then stalk them, all Steve Irwin-like, waiting for them to land somewhere I could actually reach. I was standing on furniture and crawling over sleeping children; it was ridiculous. It was like they knew if they flew to the ceiling, I couldn't reach them. They were laughing at me. Mocking me from the ceiling.

Every time I thought victory was at hand, I'd make one last circuit and there another one would be. I think there were only two or three of them, and they were all switching places, like those kids in "The Parent Trap," to mess with me. Either that or they reproduce very, very, very quickly.

It must have been about 10 p.m., and I heard giggling from the Sainted Child's bedroom. Now, she was supposed to be sleeping, so I stuck my head into her room.

"Why aren't you asleep?"

"Momma, are you cursing at bugs?"

" ... no."

"You were. You're so funny, Momma."

I wasn't being funny. I was a warrior on a bug-killing mission. She just thought it was funny because she's two inches taller than I am. It sucks when your kids are taller than you. It's hard to be intimidating when they're literally looking down at you.

It's OK, she can sleep safely at night, knowing I'm on guard against the leggy menaces.

Does anyone know where I can buy a tarantula?

Side note: Apparently the Greek Orthodontist's grandmother doesn't believe he is, in fact, the Greek Orthodontist. He is. She has the good taste to read my column, but is under the assumption that our adventures are fictionalized. I only wish they were; trust me, with the inmates running the asylum I call home, there is absolutely no reason to embroider or engage in hyperbole. Hi, Grandma!

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at

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