They are ugly, prehistoric-looking monstrosities, and every fall they flutter with absolutely zero sense of direction into our cars, beds, clothes, hair, hotels and cafés.
NOT JUST IN/ON YOUR HEAD.
According to recent studies, the annual influx has seen greater numbers than most years. Western conifer seed bugs—more often referred to simply as stink bugs—sense cool weather approaching and are attracted to warm places to spend winter. Like your hair. “They’re everywhere,” says resident Peter Humphreys. “Last year was the worst I have ever seen it. We still had them well into the spring crawling out of every nook and cranny.”
CALLING: EXPERTS IN STINKBUGOLOGY
Humphreys supposes we haven’t figured out their value. Perhaps in Revelstoke’s near future people will flock here to pick stink bugs to use for some unknown future medicine and then honour them with Revelstoke Stinkbug Days. “We’re going to have a stinkbug festival,” he says. “You call them a scourge, I think they’re our salvation, our future.”
DIFFUSING A STINKBUG
Like any weapon, ammunition is expensive to produce. Seed bugs are unlikely to use their chemical arsenal unless they feel threatened. Picking them up gently by the antennae is a good way to throw them out a window. This doesn’t seem to upset them too much. Squashing a western conifer seed bug will assuredly release the odour you are trying to avoid.
Attracted by their own smell, seed bugs congregate in large numbers as a defensive strategy to intensify the effect of their odor. But, our local stinkbugs are by no means the stinkiest, so … small miracles?