Pest Control

Pest control spray Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the flat...

Am I a bug magnet? No, the roaches haven't returned. I solved that problem once and for all.

But no sooner had I patted myself on the back for being resourceful, more problems cropped up. I awoke to find half a dozen tiny little ants crawling around on the kitchen countertop. I killed them.

More appeared the next morning. I killed them.

Guess what? The next morning I found more. I killed them.

It's not like there were 100 running around, but were I to let six ants get away today, I'd have 20 tomorrow. I dropped poison bait in small doses around the cracks in the wall, hoping they'd ingest it and bring it back to the colony.

"... the words 'poison' and 'kitchen' don't mix well."

Over the past few days I've seen one or two ants, so it appears to be working. I'm glad for it, because the words 'poison' and 'kitchen' don't mix well.

Did I mention the centipede?

I walked into the kitchen (again in the kitchen; it's a recurring theme), and spotted the largest freaking centipede I've ever seen cruising along the floor on its many feet. This thing was six inches long and 1/4 inch thick.

After my initial shock and revulsion, I hunted for something with which to kill it. I grabbed a paper towel, but as I reached out to squash the insect, it did an about-face and sprinted toward the wall.

Then it pulled a David Copperfield: I watched with complete amazement as its body disappeared into the corner. I bent down but still couldn't see where he'd gone. I had to get down on my hands and knees and peer under the edge of cupboard, where I spotted the hole in the corner.

I wasn't about to wait for a return visit; I grabbed a can of roach spray and zapped the crack. Then I sealed the hole. If it worked with cockroaches, then it'd work with centipedes.

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Did I mention the spiders?

In the eight weeks since we moved in, I've whacked at least eight spiders. I don't relish the idea of one creeping up my nose while I'm sleeping; I kill spiders on sight.

"... when it comes to crawling insects, I'm a girly-man."

I know what you're thinking: What a wuss. So what? I may be a Big White Guy, but when it comes to crawling insects, I'm a girly-man.

Did I mention the flying bugs?

The weather is becoming warmer and more humid, and every night I have one or two wee insects buzzing around me, attracted by the light of my desk lamp. I'd turn it into a bug zapper, but I don't want their sticky carcasses gumming up my keyboard.

I may wage a daily battle for supremacy in my own home, but once I step outside, larger pests must be dealt with.

Did I mention the nuisances at the MTR station?

They stand outside the exit with flyers and shove them in my face every time I walk by. Despite the obviousness of my appearance, they insist on handing me leaflets printed in Chinese. They don't care; they're paid by the number of flyers they distribute, not by who gets them. Worse yet are the long-distance salespeople carrying clipboards and applications who chase me down the street, begging me to switch. Some jump in front of me to impede my progress.

Think about the recklessness of this behaviour. When I walk, I often move fast. Some of these people weigh no more than 90 pounds; I weigh twice that.

Picture a BB going into a marshmallow. Someone will lose, but it won't be the marshmallow. I've come close to stiff-arming a few of them who wouldn't take no for an answer, as killing them is out of the question.

Now I tell them I'm already a subscriber, and they leave me alone.

Think of it as another form of pest control.

March 16, 2000

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