Pests : LUSENET : Reflection in the Dragon's Eye : One Thread

What persistent pests perpetually piss you off? Ants? Mice? Roaches? All of the above? How do you deal with them?

When Matt and I were living in Stratford Apartments, we had two pest problems. The first was that every spring, for about a week or so from late February to early March, we'd get a termite swarm every few days. The termites had eaten into the wall that separated the kitchen from the bathroom, and they emerged into both rooms. The good thing about this was that it rarely happened while we were home, and by the time we got home, the termites would all be dead, and we could just vacuum them up. (Termite mating swarms result in a lot of dead bugs. Only the fertilized females return to the nest.) It was, however, really, truly, GROSS, as the little critters would wind up in the bathtub. The other good thing about it was that it was an apartment - we had no intentions of living there for more than a few years, so it was no skin off our nose that the apartment managers essentially ignored our reports. (After we'd report a swarm, they'd send the exterminator around to treat the soil outside our section of the building, which just drove the termites further into the building. It never occurred to them to treat the building or to get the exterminator to do regular treatments to take care of the problem for good.)

The other problem we had there was during our second year living there. A group of Mexicans moved into the apartment upstairs from us, and they brought roaches with them. (I swear, I like to think I'm not a prejudiced person, but these people really tempted me. They had no respect whatsoever for other people's desire for quiet.) Anyway, roaches are a frequent problem in Williamsburg, because Williamsburg is essentially one big swamp, and roaches like damp places. But we hadn't had any problems until the Mexicans moved in, and then they showed up in droves. I remember sitting on the sidewalk outside one night and realizing that I could see at least a dozen roaches wandering around in the street. It was disgusting. We couldn't get rid of the damn things. Finally, finally, the Mexicans moved out. The roaches lingered for about a month after that, and then everyone in the building agreed to demand that the whole building be fumigated, and that took care of the problem - I didn't see another roach for the remaining year and a half that we lived there.

-- The Dragon Herself (, September 09, 1999


I hate bugs. All bugs. Every bug. Anything that has more than four feet is a bug and I hate it. (yes, yes I know... spiders are arachnids and millipeeds are... whatever the hell they are, but you know what? They're still BUGS!)

So far, in this apartment, we have had 2 swarms of ants, one at the beginning of summer, and one is going on right now as we speak, although I think we're getting it under control, several silverfish (which I hate most especially... nothing worse to a bibliophile than a bug that eats BOOKS), a very large furry millipeed, several flies, beetles, and one wasp. That's one thing I'd forgotten about living in the Tidewater area... too many damned insects!

I remember one year that was especially bad - roaches. Not the big palmetto bugs (thank god, what's worse than a roach? A big, fat, flying roach!) but the little bitty black ones. We were living in a pit called Woodshire, below sea level, and we were paying our rent to the roaches. You'd get up in the morning, click on the kitchen lights, and they'd all stand there, with their little arms on their little thoraxes and say "Hey, lady, we ain't done yet!" We had to keep all the glasses in the cabinet turned upside down, or they'd fall in and die in there. Ick! And the exterminators at that place wouldn't spray ALL the apartment in the building at once, so essentially, they just chased them from apartment to apartment.

That same year, we got a bad infestation of fleas as well. Now I think ants and roaches and silverfish are annoying, but at least they eat food or books. Fleas eat people too! It was so bad, you couldn't walk across the room without picking up twelve of them. When I finally moved out, I took them with me, but managed to bomb them out in about two weeks.

I hate bugs!


-- KT Hicks (, September 09, 1999.

Okay, after reading *your* two posts, I'm feeling positively creepy-crawly now, as if my experiences LAST night weren't enough (a big, nasty, house centipede, and a really BIG...ummm....nevermind, sorry Liz). I'm a huge NON-bug fan, also, although small rodents invading my space don't exactly charm me, either. When I worked in my parents' camp store in the Adirondacks, we continually did battle with the chippies (chipmunks), squirrels, and mice for the candy, bread, and soft goods. ESPECIALLY in the fall, when they started looking for nesting material and things with which to stuff themselves into a torpor. We actually had the chippies chew their way THROUGH the sliding wooden door on the back of the candy case to get to the goodies inside...although it was from their obvious preferences in THAT little raid that we knew to bait the traps with Reeses. And they were *really* fond of Freihofer's brownies and doughnuts...well, at least they had good taste! ^_^ I'm not exactly a stand-on-my-chair-and-scream sort of person, but I *do* try to get out of the little suckers' way, because there's always that thought in the back of my mind that they could be carrying something (insect- or disease-wise) that I don't particularly want to share. I'm not particularly phobic about them, or disgusted by the sight of them, I just view most rodents as mini-thieves and trespassers. Although I've only ever seen one once (and that outside), rats are a little more threatening, because of their size and the fact that I'm a medievalist.

Now, oddly enough, the typical Halloween-scary pests don't bother me. I have no problem with bats (they eat mosquitoes, after all, and if you've ever seen one up close, they're really cute...but again, watch out for rabies) or spiders (ditto-- sorry, Liz, but it's only the poisonous ones or REALLY big ones inside the house that bother me) or snakes (which eat the aforementioned rodents...but again, I make exception for poisonous ones, which is why *I'll* never move to Texas or Florida). Cats, on the other hand...well, I won't go into that.

But BUGS. I hate MOST of the house-infestation-type bugs. Roaches disgust and frighten me (especially the way they seem to know to run at your toes when you're trying to smoosh them, and that awful SOUND they make when they're squished--URGH!); flies annoy the bejeebers out of me (the sound, and the fact that I know they're puking on my food whenever they land there); and ants and termites (BOTH of which I've had unfortunate experience with this past winter and spring) I view as smaller versions of my rodent invaders. I've never experienced silverfish, but the mere THOUGHT of what they could do-- come on, people, I'm a librarian, what do you expect? Wasps I treat with GREAT caution, and spray from a distance if I can get away with it. For some reason, millipedes and centipedes *really* gross me out, and any one I see is an immediate target of whatever large and heavy non-contaminable object is near at hand (a shoe, a magazine I'm done with, newspaper, rocks, sticks, a family member, but NEVER a book). The things highest on my ick-list, though, are the bloodsuckers and parasites-- fleas, ticks, chiggers, lice, leeches (okay, so I'm getting carried away with the list a little, but I hate them, too). The very thought of insects piercing my skin or getting inside me is just REPULSIVE. (Recall that I'm not a big fan of needles, either...I've often wondered of my subconscious relates the two). Mosquitoes I've learned to deal with over the years (you can't live in the North woods and NOT learn to deal with mosquitoes), but I *do* worry about the disease-carriers. NYC is undergoing an attack of encephalitis mosquitoes right now, and it's SCARY. If you're bitten by a carrying mosquito, you're pretty much guaranteed a dose of the virus-- it settles in their saliva glands. Now, in most ppl, the virus is pretty inert; although the very young and the very old are at much higher risk, the average person has, like, a 1-5% chance of exhibiting actual symptoms. Even then, most ppl don't get more than a couple of headaches or a brief, light fever. But if you show *major* symptoms, that's it. There's no cure, it moves fast, and the majority of the time it leaves you dead or brain-damaged. In a word:


-- Karen O. (, September 09, 1999.

Ants are annoying, rodents are annoying, and wasps are annoying.

But ROACHES! (And to a lesser extent, silverfish.)

(BTW, Karen, thanks. I'll be thinking of you in my dreams tonight, as I wake up screaming and wanting to puke.)

As Liz has stated in her journal (ISTR) that I have a slight disagreement with roaches. I suspect that it stems from my mother, who had never seen a roach until she got to Okinawa (she was a DoD teacher).

While we were living in these apartments in Virginia, waiting for my Dad to retire from the Army, we had a problem with roaches. Not all of the neighbors would move out at the same time, and given common utility runs through the walls, the pesky little buggers would just move down the block. So, from infancy, all I knew about roaches was that they must be really scary things that would eat me, because every few months, Mom would dash through the house, exiling us to a strange place for half the day, because she had seen (although I never did) a baby roach and had to use poison gas that powerful on it. You might say that my mental picture of a roach was somewhat incorrect in my fertile and young mind. (Must be about ten feet tall, with fangs and sharp claws and stuff, 'cause Daddy is a paratrooper and he can't deal with it, and Mommy who was a farm girl couldn't handle it, so. . . )

-- Richard A. Randall (, September 10, 1999.

::embarassed little shuffling of the feet as she suddenly seems *very* interested in what her toes look like:: Sorry, Richard. But...Liz ASKED!

-- Karen O. (, September 11, 1999.

'S Kay!

I'm sure you have very cute toes. *g*

(It's my fault for not putting a *g* by that statement. Besides, I'm sure it's just a plot by you to ensure you're in my dreams. <g^2>.)

-- Richard A. Randall (, September 11, 1999.

Ack! *cough, COUGH* Richard, I do not have cute *anything.* But I have to give you credit-- before this, I didn't know there *was* an HTML tag for 'pickup line.'

*grin* Liz, I thought you said he HAD a girlfriend!

-- Karen O. (, September 11, 1999.

I have many friends who are girls, but no actual girlfriend at this time. I am accepting applications, however. *g*

And the HTML tag for pick up line is:



-- Richard A. Randall (, September 15, 1999.

::shakes head:: If I hadn't seen it, I never woulda believed it. Are you as outrageous in real life as you are online, Richard?

-- Karen O. (, September 21, 1999.

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