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Global warning may be exaggerated but could have contributed to an increase in activity by a bug prevalent if not peculiar to France, that produces an unpleasant smell to discourage its predators. Although quite harmless, this bug has glands on the underside of the thorax, which release the smell when compressed.
The so-called ‘stink bug’ is often seen buzzing irritatingly around light bulbs. It can be distinguished from flies and beetles by its overlapping wings, shaped like a shield. In winter, once it reaches adulthood, the bug hibernates in cool corners of the house. Stepping on them can be a big mistake: squashing one of these bugs results in a stink that can last for days!
From our October 2006 newsletter