A preschooler was crying inconsolably at the park as a stink bug walked past. I asked, “Are you scared of stink bugs?” She sobbed, “I only have one place on my body that stinks and I NEVER want a bug there!”
Stink bugs in my area are prevalent. They are near playgrounds, near my garden and now that it is Fall, they are sneaking in my house. When I was a preschooler, I never saw a stink bug. That is because they did not come to the United States until 1998. They snuck into Pennsylvania from China or Japan and have been quickly spreading to other states.
Stink bugs cause destruction to apples, apricots, Asian pears, cherries, corn, grapes, lima beans, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and soybeans. This makes them extremely versatile, as they do not require a specific plant on which to feed. To obtain their food, stink bugs use their stylets to pierce the plant tissue to extract the plant fluids. In doing so, the plant loses necessary fluids, which can lead to deformation of seeds, destruction of seeds, destruction of fruiting structures, delayed plant maturation, and increased vulnerability to harmful pathogens. While harvesting the plant’s juices, the stink bug injects saliva into the plant, creating a dimpling of the fruit’s surface and rotting of the material underneath.
We cannot give a stink bug any pesticide because that can hurt the foods they too are eating. Scientists are trying to create traps that will smell like food they like. To protect themselves, the stink bug can release an order similar to coriander. “They stink” is the familiar preschool term.
Luckily for us, stink bugs do not bite people. They are not attracted to us and only give out odor if we touch them. Bad for us, they love to sneak into our houses right now. We need to diligently get rid of them so more don’t breed around us. The same is true with bad habits in our lives, they can sneak in, make us become repugnant to others.
The preschooler at the playground knew where her vulnerable repugnant areas were, When you look at your life, can you detect where yours are?
- What areas of your life really stink right now?
- Have you had a time in your life when you were attracted to a repugnant habit?
- Think of something really good in your life that you do not want ruined? Will you bravely guard it?