Another thing about Georgia

Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kansas…all these places I’ve lived. Typical exterminator service plans in these areas are offered on a quarterly basis. There were times perhaps when I wanted them out sooner, but for the most part, 4 treatments a year seemed to work.

Down here, the guy comes monthly. I thought it was excessive at first, but since my landlord included it in our rent, I wasn’t going to argue. When my girlfriend contacted a different company, they said the same thing. I had seen very few bugs in the house, so I figured I shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

Every time he would come, he would ask me: “Seen any bugs?” Perhaps I had seen one small silverfish in the last month. Or a spider. He would grimly nod his head and charge off to deal with the invertebrates that dared cross his spray lines.

A few weeks ago, Bill killed a roach. I don’t do roaches. I just don’t. They scare me. They make me scream. They make me cry. So, when the bug guy called to set up a date to come, I told him about the roach.

“Yeah, you’ll see those,” he replied.

“Oh, no, don’t tell me that,” I whimpered.

“Ah, come on,” he said, “This is Georgia.”

Between the bugs and the heat, I’m becoming convinced that joining a mission in a poor country and helping them build water treatment facilities (my retirement plan) is something I just don’t have the fortitude to do. Or maybe this time in the Deep South is part of my training. And I’m failing.

This morning, I took something into the laundry room and turned to find a roach on its back in the doorway. I do not know how I missed it coming in, but now I was trapped. I am not fooled by the “dead bug” ploy. I have experience enough with roaches to know they aren’t dead unless they are squashed.

“Fritz,” I called with alarm in my voice, “get your father!” Bill came quickly, worriedly.

Good man. He didn’t even tease me about hiding behind the washer from a dead bug.

I did warn him that it wasn’t dead, and sure enough, he witnessed some wiggling legs right before he crushed it. My hero. What would I do without him?

Laundry. Until the thing managed to get away.

11 thoughts on “Another thing about Georgia

  1. Newbie Southern Gals Unite!
    I don't do roaches either…. even dead ones. They stay on their backs until DH gets home… sometimes they are there for days, if he forgets about it.
    They are just so nasty!

  2. I hear you on the roach front. In Hawaii they come monthly too. The other day I found a roach on the ceiling, sprayed it, and it FLEW away….which made me wonder if it has been living and breeding somewhere since we left Hawaii 5 years ago????

  3. Ewwww. We are moving to Georgia next month. Ewwww.

    Any other tips for this Great Lakes Gal to have in her pocket when she arrives in the deep south, mid July. (30 weeks pregnant?)

  4. Beth, just be prepared to spend your savings on A/C. I hope you're moving close to the ocean. That is a huge break for us.

  5. Keep in mind, I grew up in GA. Seeing a roach in not that big a deal to me. Squash it, toss it out, move on. But here in Hawaii, I get the heebie-jeebies because there are so many roaches. Sometimes at night, the grass outside looks like a moving carpet. I was outside at a friends house recently and one ran over my toes. I literally jumped out of my flip-flops.

  6. Roaches are DISGUSTING!! But you've never seen one until you've met a flying Palmetto Bug. Those are the worst – and they come after you. Ugh.

  7. Rachel and Amy – thank you for convincing me that I am happy we didn't get to go to Hawaii.

    Kris – my husband tried to convince me that the bug he squished was “just a Palmetto bug.” He googled it to show me and started laughing. I said, “Let me guess, palmetto bugs are roaches?” And they were. Fancy name. Same disgusting creature.

  8. The bugs are yucky, but the snake is my fear. They are in the bushes, grass and even on the road in FL. Where we are — I have been told — most are not deadly.
    We had a four foot (looked like 12 ft.) black snake cuddled in the garage right at the door from house to garage. I watched my husband and son try to coax it out. Should have taken a movie but you couldn't get me within 20 ft.
    I insist on air conditioning 24/7, 365!!!

  9. My first apartment had roaches – mainly the little German roaches, but a few of the big round water roaches too. I went to extraordinary measures not to take them with me when I moved.

    Then, in my new apartment, a while in, I saw a water roach and FREAKED. Fortunately, my cats (for perhaps the only time EVER) stepped up and dispatched the thing for me. Unfortunately, they left the carcass on the kitchen floor.

    I steeled myself. I got a wad of paper towel and a grocery bag. I quickly picked the thing up in the paper towel, stuffed it into the grocery bag, and IMMEDIATELY (do not pass Go, do not collect $200) walked it out to the dumpster outside. I cannot swear that it was dead, but at least it was out of my home.

    Another time, my upstairs neighbor (an odd duck) caught a roach in her unit. She put it in a jelly jar and put the jar, with a note and a printout on prevention, outside my door (and presumably all the other doors in the building). Then she put the jelly jar on the banister end and left it there until I wrote her a note telling her about my bug phobia, that she had made her point, etc.

  10. I thought that roaches did not bother me when I grew up in Oklahoma. Just a little thing here or there, and you can easily keep things clean and not have a problem.

    Then we moved to Houston. It really freaked me out! They are huge, they fly, and they are everywhere! My husband was saying that it wasn't so bad at first. As for me, I refused to go in the garage at night.

    Then I could hear them scurrying all over the attic. The final straw was when one dropped out of our ceiling fan one night.

    Since then, we LOVE our bug guy! I do see an occasional dead bug, but that is usually the week before we are due for a spray. I notice what we spend on exterminator bills, and I know that my sanity is worth every penny!

  11. Ug. I hate roaches! We have the really giant ones here in Arizona. Giant! And recently we have been seeing at least one every other night. They are horrible creatures and so fast!

    Since moving into our house we have the bug guy come once a month. I usually just have him spray the outside, but that doesn't seem to be enough in the summer. So about every other month he comes inside. This may move up. I don't know what I'm going to do when my hubby leaves for 5 weeks this summer. I've been known to use suck them up with the vacuum wand, but then I'm stuck with them in the vacuum. So that sits outside until my hubby can come home and empty it.

    A few things we have done, and in the past week seems to have helped. All food in the pantry has been put in extra plastic containers. No more cereal boxes, chip bags, spaghetti boxes. It costs some, but it has helped. Also, I read somewhere that they hate bay leaves, so I crushed the rest of the bottle that I had and put them in all the kitchen cabinets and the pantry (if we see them, they're in the kitchen). I also plug up all the sinks and tubs at night because they can come up through the sewers. And I really try to keep my kitchen super clean.

    After saying all these things, I'll probably see five tonight!

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