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Foodways Traditions – stink bugs

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Terri Hunter

While this installment of Terri Hunter’s humorous musings about life growing up in Macon County is not food related, as the title Foodways Traditions insinuates, I can share that my sister once chomped down on a stink bug hidden in a salad that she ordered at a retreat center. She already has fear and loathing for stink bugs, so this experience has provided lasting heebie-jeebies. She said for days and days after the bug-laden salad incident that all she could taste and smell was that of a stink bug! 

This, my children, is the execution chamber, the chamber of horrors, the jar of doing my part to eradicate stink bugs; or you might call it “the stinky jar.” Do any of my former students remember the stinky sheet? Well, this is it on a much grander scale.

Thanks to the wonderful world of the Internet, I read this idea and decided to try it: Get a jar with a lid, put a little liquid soap and water in it, knock those slow-moving stink bugs into it, and quickly replace the lid. The soap will kill ‘em. I admit I get a hoot and the thrill of satisfaction with every stink bug I am able to capture. They ain’t quick, so it’s pretty easily done. I use the lid to encourage them to jump to their demise, and then I quickly screw on the ring.

The only disadvantage I have discovered so far is the aroma wafting up from the open jar. It’ll about kill you. However, I persevere. I figure at least 30 or maybe even 40 have met their Waterloo in the jar.

Yesterday, a stubborn stink bug would not graciously accept my invitation; and, as I tipped the jar its way, I spilled some of that foul smelling stink bug juice on the porch! If it had been in the house, we’d ‘a had to move. I captured the stink bug, however, and then dumped 20 gallons of water on to the spill. 

This morning, I was telling Walter about spilling it. We’ve lived together long enough for him to say what I was thinking: It was almost as bad as kicking over the spit can at Mammaw’s and Granddaddy’s — a thing I never did but saw done once. 

So, stink bug haters, grab a jar. Happy hunting!