What the Stinkbug Taught Me


If you haven’t learned your lesson from an interaction with a


let me save you the trouble.

Bugs teach us valuable lessons.  Maybe that’s why they’re here.  I never really thought about this until this morning, when recalling an incident that happened yesterday.

My laundry room is located at the back of our house.  When we leave the back door open for our roaming Beagle, we also run the risk of insects entering the laundry room.  Because of this fact, I was at work yesterday, when I felt a bug crawling up the inside of my pant leg.  I had to excuse myself and run to the bathroom – without screaming at the top of my lungs.

We both survived.  In this case, the Stinkbug got tossed somewhere on the bathroom floor, and I returned unharmed.

Never squash a Stinkbug.  Not even by mistake.  The odor is unbelievable, and you end up regretting your knee jerk reaction to this little armored insect – for hours afterwards.

We learn diplomacy from Stinkbugs.  If you want them removed, you gently hold them by their sides, walk to the door, and toss them outside.

We learn other things from bugs.  Here’s just a few thoughts, written too early in the morning, without enough coffee to be fully awake:

  • We learn dancing techniques from bees, wasps and other such creatures.  We learn a simple two-step to the left, two-step to the right technique.  Sometimes we learn a spin and a quick ducking feature to add to our routine.
  • Butterflies teach us grace.  We learn to hold our arms out, ever so gently, hoping one will land on our finger.  We learn to hold our fingers very still. Butterflies teach us to walk slowly, and carefully like a sleepy ballerina.
  • Ticks teach us detail work.  How to concentrate.  They teach us not to panic, and how to work in a group.  They teach us how to work with small instruments, and working with a team – depending on where the tick is embedded.  Ticks teach us to wait, patiently, while someone else plucks painfully at our skin to remove it. That person learns how to use tweezers – maybe for the first time in their life.
  • Mosquitoes teach us quick action.  They teach us how to slap ourselves without regret.  They also teach us how to slap mosquitoes – without regret.  Mosquitoes also teach us that things are the most dangerous, when it is quiet.  Only mosquitoes, without that buzzing sound, are the ones that bite.  We learn not to care who bites and who does not.  We learn to move our hands quickly from mosquitoes – and not to care if we accidentally hit someone/something else while attempting to slap it silly.
  • We learn cleanliness from cockroaches.  We learn to scrub things.  Disinfect things. We learn to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher –  immediately.  We learn stomping techniques at a very early age.
  • Fireflies teach us wonder.  We learn that some things are magical, and can’t be questioned.  We learn that some things are so beautiful, that they must be preserved in jars.  We also learn regret from having put those things in jars.


Bugs are valuable.

They teach us to to dance, swat, pluck, and stomp.

And, sometimes, when we’re very lucky, to merely sit silently and watch them hover over our lives in twinkling circles of light…



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