OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know winter is coming soon, when a certain bug starts appearing commonly within our house — the Western Conifer Seed Bug, or as Bryon and I affectionately refer to them, the Stink Bugs.  We live in a log home, and despite our best efforts to seal the gaps between the logs, there are still little spaces here and there, that bugs seems to be able to find their way in through.  Our first winter here in our home, when we started to get freezing weather, we noticed these bugs, and initially thought they were “Assassin” bugs.  This freaked me out, as you can imagine that a bug with the nickname of Assassin in it, probably isn’t considered friendly and well-meaning.  The Assassin part comes from their beak which as a predator, they use to stab their prey to death, with sharp, needle-like stabs.  Sounds like fun to have a bunch of those in your house?

However, it turns out another bug, the Western Conifer Seed Bug, bears a striking resemblance to the Assassin Bug, but if you look closely will find out legs are slightly different.  On a positive note, the WCS is a fairly benign, innocent bug that does not have the predatory nature of the Assassin Bug.  Whew!  But we found out another interesting characteristic of the WCS, when one of our cats, Zuni, caught one and killed it.  When they are squashed or otherwise killed, they emit this very pungent odor, sort of like a pine/wood type smell that is really strong.  It’s unmistakable, so much so, that you can tell if there’s been a bug in the room from that smell.  So the nickname for these lovely creatures is Stink Bug.  Both our cat and our dog, Shawnee, caught one, killed it and tried to eat it.  However, they too did not care for the “stink” in the Stink Bug, and once they tried eating one, never again tried killing and eating another.

We’ve sort of learned to co-exist with these guys during the winter, since so many seem to find their way into our house, and for the most part I don’t mind sharing our space with them.  But one winter night a couple of years ago, as I was sleeping, I felt an itching in my ear, and discovered a Stink Bug had gotten into my ear.  I shrieked, woke up Bryon, and promptly crushed that sucker.  The bed is the one domain that is not acceptable for stink bugs.  Thankfully, when spring and warmer weather arrive, the Stink Bugs go back outside, so summer sleeping is a lot more comfortable and less worrisome.