House of 1,000,000 Roaches

As a pest control technician, I often have customers ask me about my experiences in the field.

“What’s the worst infestation you’ve ever seen?” is the most common question I get, especially with new customers.

I always respond with, “Are you sure you want to know?”

The answer is always “yes!”

I’ve been fighting pests for almost three years, and I’ve found myself in some rowdy situations from time to time.

But the worst, absolute WORST infestation I’ve ever seen? Let me tell you:

It was a dark and stormy night (nah, it wasn’t), and I had a new service, or a “start” as we commonly refer to them in the business, in a town called Henderson.

The service was for German roaches, which differentiate themselves from other cockroaches by going out of their way to remind people that they are not, in fact, Nazis (they’re not really German, either).

I pulled up to this old, rickety, probably-against-fire-code trailer, got out and knocked on what appeared to be a door.

I stood there for a minute, listening to a chorus of barks coming from inside. The supposed door creaked open and a young woman appeared, with three dogs crowded around her.

She told me two of the dogs were parents to the third one, but the dad was about a third of the size of the mom.

I made the mistake of asking how that worked out. Too. Much. Information.

ANYWAY, I asked the woman how long she had been dealing with roaches, and she said about a year (if someone has had German roaches for a damn year, then you’ve probably got a nasty infestation on your hands).

“Where do you see them mostly?” I asked.

“In the kitchen,” she replied.

I put on my latex gloves and strode into the kitchen.

I looked around for a moment, then opened one of the cabinets.

Boom, infestation found.

The roaches didn’t crawl out of the cabinet, they FELL out of the cabinet.

Literally, FELL. That’s how many roaches there were, and that was just in the kitchen.

As I continued my inspection, I realized that the roaches were concentrated in the kitchen, but they had spread throughout the house.

They were in the TV. They were in the PS4. They were behind the outlet covers. Any crack they could squeeze into, they squeezed into.

“So, do you think we can get rid of these things?” the customer asked me.

I thought to myself, “Well, do you have a gallon of gasoline and a match?”

“Oh yes, I think we can,” I actually said, “but I’m not gonna lie. It’s gonna take some time.”

And it would have taken me some time (read: a year) before I’d be able to get the infestation under control.

There were dirty dishes all over the place, so that didn’t help.

What’s worse is that the woman and her boyfriend were letting their three dogs go to the bathroom INSIDE THE HOUSE.

Does your dog poop inside? No problem, just put some training pads down!

🤮

Soooooooo, that was the worst infestation I’ve ever seen. I hope you weren’t eating while you read this.

Happy Monday, y’all!

Halloween Memories: The Cat’s Paw

How could I write about Halloween without mentioning Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

Or, in this case, MORE Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

So, I’m honor of today, I’d like to recall one of my favorite tales from that heralded collection: The Cat’s Paw.

First of all, woooo boy, that Stephen Gammell illustration! Holy shit, that creature looks like a 5th-grade teacher who’s just been told by one of her students that the dog ate his homework.

Anyway, the story goes like this: a dude named Jed notices that someone is stealing meat out of his smokehouse.

Instead of being a whiny little bitch about it, Jed gets his rifle and hides in the smokehouse one night to see what’s what.

So as Jed waits, a big ol’ cat comes in and starts helping itself to some ham.

Jed jumps out and blows off one of its paws (he only fires after the cat lunges at him, though, because he’s not an animal).

The cat, understandably, doesn’t react well to this. So it tears around, “spittin’ and yowlin’…” and escapes through the chimney.

When Jed looks down to see the cat’s paw, it’s gone; instead a bloody woman’s foot is laying on the floor (okay, how does he know it was a woman’s foot? Were the toenails painted or something?)

“So it’s a witch that’s been doing it,” is Jed’s thought.

A chick who turns into a cat? Yeah, it sure sounds like a witch to me, Jed.

Turns out it was his neighbor’s wife.

Nothing about this story is particularly scary, except for the damn illustration, which is one of the scariest pictures in the entire Scary Stories collection (second only to one in The Dream, in my humble opinion).

But it’s also pretty awesome, because Jed doesn’t take any shit, unlike many other characters in horror stories.

The morals of the story are pretty simple: meat is important, don’t steal, and shoot cats who try to steal your meat.

Although it would have been more bad-ass if Jed had used a flamethrower.

Relax, PETA. It was a witch, not a mere cat (or a meerkat).

Halloween Eve: Psycho and Deadly Affairs

My wife has never seen Psycho.

Sure, she’s met a few psychos in her life (I’m not one of them, just in case you were wondering), but I’m talking about the movie.

The original.

1960.

Alfred-Hitchcock-directed.

Non-Vince-Vaughn version of Psycho (no offense, Vince!)

My response: “WHAT?!”

We were watching an episode of Deadly Affairs on Investigation Discovery (Susan Lucci, y’all) and the story dealt with a woman who dismembered her husband with a saw.

Wifey had to turn away from the TV when they re-enacted it. Fair enough.

I brought up the infamous chainsaw scene in Scarface, which then led me to mention the even-more-famous shower scene from Psycho (if I remember correctly, neither scene actually shows steel cutting skin).

That’s when she told me she had never seen it.

I immediately combed through my DVD collection to see if I still had it, and was disappointed to see that I did not.

That’s good news for Wifey, because that meant she could avoid two hours of me looking over at her while we watched Psycho to see her reaction to all its famous scenes (think Jim Carrey’s impersonation of Chuck Woolery).

But maybe, someday, if I just tell her that the blood in the movie is just chocolate syrup, and that you never actually see a knife penetrate Janet Leigh’s skin, I’ll be able to talk Wifey into watching Psycho with me.

Maybe.