Once upon a time, long, long, LONG ago, my family had real Christmas trees at Christmas time. Every year until I was 18. And then something happened that made us cast off real trees forever, which I wrote about here.
The tree pictured in that post is the very same as this tree:
It looks woefully bare on top because the lighted star we used to have broke and I hadn’t bought a new one yet. We have a pretty, glittery red one now as well as a tree skirt that never looks nice because, just like every other year, Baby G has this need to ruin it 5 seconds after I fix it up.
I have considered that past spider infestation to be an even more legit reason for not wanting a real tree in the house than the old “I’m afraid the cats will eat the needles and drink the water and then barf everywhere even more than they already do” excuse. Besides, my tree looks just as real as a real one and I love how I can pose the branches to make them hang ornaments a certain way, which you cannot do with a real tree. Also I can leave the lower branches off in the back so the tree sits closer to the wall and not all out in the middle of my living room.
Unfortunately, now those last two things are about the only things I really love about it because I’m sad to report that we are dealing with an unforeseen infestation of another kind. I’m not going to post a picture because these things are freaking gross, but if you really want to torture your eyes, click here and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
That is a halyomorpha halys, better known by its sexy nickname, the “stink bug”. These bugs were native to China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan before they were accidentally introduced to my area several years ago when they arrived in a cargo carrier to the Mid-Atlantic. Now they are native to my house. THANKS, CHINA.
The best thing about winter is that they go away. Whether they were dead or just hibernating, I was never really sure of, but it didn’t matter to me because I didn’t have to see them. This year I learned that they do, in fact, hibernate. I guess it makes sense that some of the bugs would be hiding in the basement of our building since they spend all of autumn trying to break into the apartment. And guess what else hides in the basement of our building for 11 months out of the year??
Stink bugs are really stupid, so even when the Salt Family fake tree is broken down into a billion pieces in storage, I guess it looks like a real tree to them and then they decide to live in it. OR maybe stink bugs are actually brilliant masterminds and this was their plan all along. I had thwarted their evil intentions for months and they hid in the tree knowing I would bring it upstairs eventually.
Either way, they are gross and I want them out of my house. At least those freeloading spiders stayed in the tree. These bold bastards have no problem flying around right out in the open. I’ve killed maybe 8 of them since putting the tree up and who knows how many of them are left. Unlike the spider situation, however, I have no plans to take the tree down and throw it away; I refuse to let Betty go through her first Christmas without all the trimmings. I’ll just be sucking it up and dealing with these stinky jerks until January.