All Creatures Great and Small

A pest infestation

I told this story before, and it is interesting. Someone asked me if I ever saw a home that was really infested with bugs. Yes, I did. I have seen several that were badly infested, but one in Florida was unforgettable. In 1973 I worked for a pest control company in Hollywood, Florida. We received a call to do a “clean out” in a home in Ft. Lauderdale. I went to the house to do the treatment with a new employee who I was training.

When we arrived at the house and went in, I knew we would be busy as there were American roaches (Palmetto bugs in Florida) and other bugs running all over the place. The lady who lived there with her children left. When we opened the kitchen cabinets, they were full of palmetto bugs. We proceeded to fog the kitchen with a petroleum based pyretheum pesticide. The roaches came flying out of the cabinets, from under the appliances and every other hiding place. We couldn’t see the floor through the sea of roaches. There were so many of them, they were running up our pant legs and inside our shirts. My body was literally crawling with roaches.

We then went into the bedrooms and repeated the process of fogging and spraying. Large numbers of big huntsman spiders came out from behind pictures on the walls, under furniture and even from under the mattress in a crib. In the bathroom, a large, black scorpion came out of the overflow drain in the sink. In the paneled living room, the fogging drove out hundreds of silverfish and roaches and more huntsman spiders from behind the paneled walls. One large spider that was affected by the fog was running across the ceiling and then just fell down. It landed on my trainee’s shoulder. He screamed and went running out the door, never to be seen again. I don’t think he even came back for his final paycheck. The roaches were exiting the house through every opening possible, including windows and doors, which were open. A neighbor who was watching started pouring a bag of chlordane dust along the property line to keep the roaches from infesting his house.

That was the most severely infested house I have seen in all my years in the bug business. It must have been an adventure for anyone to get up in the middle of the night and walk to the bathroom or to get a glass of water.


About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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