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.
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.