It was the week of Halloween, almost 10 years ago, when my wife and I decided to use a gift certificate for a weekend stay at a bed and breakfast in a town near Boston. This wasn’t just any B&B, but the famed Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.
The Story of the Wayside Inn
Longfellow’s Wayside Inn opened in 1716 as Howe’s Tavern, but was renamed in 1892 because of the popular book Tales of a Wayside Inn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Legend has it that the dead sister of a past innkeeper haunts Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. There has been unexplained music, footsteps and the lingering scent of perfume. Some guests claim that they have actually seen the ghost! Rooms 9 and 10, where the sister stayed when she was at the inn, are said to be the most haunted.
(Photo by Gary Van Valkenburgh)
Stink Bug Fright
When we arrived at the inn, we checked in and brought our bags to the room. We were in room 10, a small room that was furnished exactly as it would have been in the 1800s. There was no air conditioning and it was stuffy in the room, so I cracked open the windows before we left for dinner.
After a delicious dinner at the downstairs restaurant, we went to the inn’s famous pub. It was there, over a couple of cocktails, that the staff told us all the ghost stories of the inn. When we had our fill of haunted tales, my wife and I retired to our room. As we opened the door and switched on the lights to haunted room 10, my wife let out a blood-curdling scream. With big eyes and a shaking hand, she pointed at the ceiling. Dozens and dozens of stink bugs were crawling above us!
Not wanting insects for bedmates, we hurried to the front desk to get a room change. The next day I did a little investigating and noticed a large Conifer Tree towering over the side of the building near room 10. Conifer Seed Bugs, a type of stink bug, spend the summer drinking sap from the tree’s seeds, twigs, cones and needles. In the fall, these insects look for a warm place to spend the winter. These stink bugs must have been attracted to our warm room and snuck inside through the open window.
Protect Your Home From Stink Bugs
To avoid a fright like ours where stink bugs take over your room — or worse, your home — be sure to replace damaged window screens and seal any other cracks and crevices that could be a possible entryway for stink bugs and other flying pests. Physical barriers obstucting any entrypoints, even the small spaces above and below door, are the best long-term solution and will ensure the creepy crawlers are left outside.
You can also remember some simple tips for getting rid of stink bugs in the event of a home invasion similar to our experience at the Wayside Inn. Be sure not touch or squish stink bugs, and if you have to catch them, use a vacuum to do and empty the bag afterwards (never use a bagless vacuum for this job!). If you don't have a vacuum handy, use a plasty bag or water bottle to avoid touching the bug directly.
And, of couse, if you run into a stink bug problem that just seems too big or you just can't seem to fix, contact Catseye Pest Control for quick and easy solution.