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Mpls, MN, United States

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Incidents & Accidents

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Brian posted today about a close encounter with a mouse, one closer--and funnier!--than many of my tales of the historic Mouse Wars. As I was looking through a few of those stories earlier today, I found some that I could definitely laugh at, and others that still seriously creeped me out. Of all the things I don't miss about the old place, the vermin are high on the list.

However, last night we came home to another horrifying pest: a house centipede. Seriously, these things are awful. According to Wikipedia, they can have up to fifteen pairs of legs. (Wikipedia also includes this charming quote of 1902, credited to entomologist C.L. Marlatt):

It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, particularly women, evidently with a desire to conceal itself beneath their dresses, and thus creating much consternation.
I'm pretty sure they're the grossest bug I've ever seen, and that's counting Louisiana cockroaches and Borneo cicadas. We were indeed consternated to find one waiting for us on our dining room wall when we returned from an evening out with friends.

I'm sparing you the close-up of the house centipede;
you can just see it as a dark blur here.
This is the second one we've encountered in this apartment; the last one so disturbed us that we used the vacuum to avoid having to touch it. Because we have one of those lightweight models, without a hose, David lifted the whole thing up above his head to aspirate the foul creature--which, thankfully, worked.

Last night, though, David just smashed it with a paper towel, and I Windexed the wall afterward. Ewwww.

Thinking about that as I read Brian's post and some of my old ones, I wondered whether I'd rather have house centipedes or mice. No question, really: as gross as they are, I'll take the arthropods any day--though I really, really, really hope I don't have to.


Larissa said...

You should get a bugzooka.

CëRïSë said...

Wow--I think you're right! I had to Google that, and it looks really cool. Thanks for the tip!

BrianV said...

Ugh. I hate house pests--especially bugs. When it comes to house pests, I say, the fewer legs, the better.

CëRïSë said...

...Unless it's four legs on a mouse vs. 30 on a house centipede, right? I'm still going with the 30 in that scenario!