Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the stink bugs bite

When the end of the world comes, the cockroach might not be the only species left to roam the planet. Don’t discount the brown marmorated stink bug. Those things just won’t go away.

We’re in the waning days of winter and still, these little suckers are skulking around the bathroom, crawling out of sock drawers and clinging to bedspreads. Even when I don’t acknowledge their presence on a brush or in the shower, one always dive-bombs at bedtime while I’m reading beneath a solitary light.

They loiter in our bedroom and cluster in my office — sometimes I feel like they’re stalking me — like the one I spied at a friend’s house last week. It was trudging across the crown molding like a lone explorer traversing a span of desert or a sheet of arctic ice.

When I encountered our first stink bug clan last winter, I thought they were interesting, even friendly, in an entomologic kind of way. Back then I didn’t peg them as the house guests who never leave. Or have the decency to die.

Websites are cagey about the life span, but a few claim that the marmorated stink bug can live for years. They’re the Bob Hope of the bug world.

I’m happy to report that Hadley has suppressed her urge to eat them off the floor. Now she needs to “save” them by setting them free. Unfortunately in transit, she pinches them between her fingers — dispatching the bug she intended to save, while unleashing a rancid stench that lingers for hours.

In springtime I hope these armor-plated insects heed the grumble in their stomachs and seek sustenance outdoors. Until then, stay out of my hairbrush and stop stinking up the place!