W&L Campus Crawls with Critters

By: Ashley Duckworth, 1L

Staff Writer

Stink bugs, cockroaches, and bears—oh my! If you have taken the time to look around, you know that this is just a short list of the wildlife encountered at W&L. A more exhaustive list includes: deer, raccoons, possums, stinkbugs, skunks, cockroaches, spiders, and yes, bears.

On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the W&L Department of Public Safety received a report of a black bear on campus and alerted everyone to the possible dangers it may pose. The warning included a list of black bear safety tips—including the traditional “remain calm and avoid sudden movements”—but the National Park Service offers an even larger list, so that everyone can be safe if they happen to encounter a bear.

The National Park Service’s first tip is to, of course, avoid an encounter, so, no, people, do not go looking for bears. The NPS then continues with a list stating to identify yourself by showing that you are human and not a prey animal. This honestly sounds ridiculous, but this is coming from the National Park Service, so hopefully the Service knows what it is talking about. You also are advised to, once again, stay calm, do not make sudden movements, make yourself look as large as possible, pick up small children, and do not feed the bear.

Honestly, people, use common sense. The most intriguing of these tips was that there is an option to use bear pepper spray if you come into contact with an aggressive bear. It essentially works like normal pepper spray,

Source: http://jfbrownrealestate.com | Oh deer! One of Lexington’s fiercest predators, after stink bugs and black bears, of course. Here, the deer is shown poised to scare unassuming law students as they walk to their cars at night.

Source: http://jfbrownrealestate.com | Oh deer! One of Lexington’s fiercest predators, after stink bugs and black bears, of course. Here, the deer is shown poised to scare unassuming law students as they walk to their cars at night.

but, of course, this is specifically for bears and can be purchased for $39.99 at Walmart, or, for the more frugal buyer, $29.97 on Amazon. This way we can, as a whole, be more prepared the next time a bear decides to roll through campus.

The deer on campus pose an entirely different problem. Although many consider them cute or non-threatening, I argue that they could be even more dangerous due to their sheer numbers and close proximity to our school. When walking up to the parking lot on top of the hill one evening, I was startled as a deer darted right in front of me. It could have ran into me, or any other law student, causing injury. Who knows, this might be the opportunity to introduce deer battery claims.

On multiple occasions, I have also seen them while driving around Lexington, which poses a severe threat if they run out in front of my car. This may sound heartless, and I love the outdoors around Lexington, but the deer are seriously out of control!

However, everyone knows the real problem on campus is not bears or deer. It is stink bugs. They are everywhere: at home, walking into school, in the school, in the bathroom, in the brief stop, and yes, even crawling beside you in class as you attempt to follow along to every word the professor says. On many occasions, students have been startled to find them, and the worst part is that you cannot even squash them because they release an odor that, for lack of a better word, stinks.

Many have asked how one should get rid of these foul creatures, and a quick google search provides some compelling answers.

The first tip is, of course, to prevent them from entering your home by blocking all points of entry. Some suggested ways to do this are by rubbing screens with dryer sheets or squishing a few stinkbugs outdoors because the odor warns other stink bugs to flee.

If these tactics do not work and they do get inside, DO NOT SQUISH THEM. Instead, find a way to get them outside, prepare a soapy solution to drown them, or simply vacuum them up.

Sadly, insecticides do not control stink bugs and do not keep them from emerging around baseboards. Unfortunately, none of these tips really help our problem at school, and I fear we will simply have to endure these pests until winter is upon us. Fortunately, winter is coming.

Categories: Opinions & Editorials