Because of my bat situation and how it's affected me, I've been giving thought this week to the emotional response that one has when a pest of any sort -- be it bats, yellowjackets, mice, cockroaches, termites -- invades your home. It's a lot like the feeling you have when your home is burglarized (something that's happened to me as well). You feel violated. You're fearful. And you get angry because home is supposed to be a place of refuge, and something or someone has destroyed the peace that you normally feel there. You can't relax because you're too worried about seeing another one of the dreaded creatures. Extermination of a serious problem is usually very costly, and it's an expenditure on which you hadn't planned.
Emotions got the better of me this week as my fear from going inside my own house led to tears of frustration. At times I felt like it was affecting my mental health as I envisioned walking in and seeing hundreds of bats in my living room. Bats were foremost on my mind before anything else. A simple "How are you?" by a friend would elicit a heavy sigh from me and an explanation of my bat problem.
Jason, my neighbor who helped with the bats, used to live in Austin, Texas. That area had many bats, but the big problem Austin residents had in their homes was scorpions. He tells a story of when he once put on a long-sleeved shirt from his closet, then felt something moving up his arm from underneath the shirt -- it was a scorpion. He had to remain very still so it wouldn't sting him while it crawled up his shoulder and out the neckline of the shirt, when he could finally flick it off.
My next-door neighbors had a mouse problem over the winter that exasperated them. Thankfully, my two cats have kept our house mouse-free. And at least with the bats, the females have only one "pup" a year -- unlike mice, who reproduce rapidly and exponentially.
When I read about the Oklahoma family who found 20,000 bees living underneath the floorboards of their home earlier this week, I empathized with them. They have to move out of their historic 1930s house indefinitely while someone tears out and destroys what are probably beautiful hardwood floors to remove the bees.
It seems that just about everyone has a story about a major pest problem that has affected them in their home. My boss had to call an exterminator for squirrels in his attic. My parents recently found a killer bee hive in the valve box for their irrigation system. I know of several people (myself included) who have found yellowjacket nests within their walls. At trade shows, I've heard the desperation in many voices when people tell me about the Asian ladybugs overwintering in their houses.
This is why I think it's so appropriate that the brand name for our line of pest control products is RESCUE! If you've ever dealt with an invasive pest issue that's gotten the better of you emotionally, rescue is exactly what you need.
Have you ever dealt with a pest problem in your house like any I've described? You can tell us about it by posting a comment here. Know that you have a sympathetic ear in me, RESCUE! and this blog.
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