Monday, June 3, 2013

What's Bugging the Hillbilly?

 Speaking of hillbillies, and we were, here's a post from My Hillbilly. I love him, but he's been known to tell a fish tale on occasion. You'll know it when you read it:

In my post today, I want to talk about critters (animals, insects, and such) we have around our houses.  Having grown up on a 40 acre farm in an old farm house that was surrounded by a barn, old chicken house, feed storage shed, and other miscellaneous outbuildings, we had our share of critters.
old farm house
The Old Meents Home

Surprisingly, being an old farm house, mice weren’t as bad as one might think.  That could have something to do with us constantly having cats that roamed around us.  Spiders were a different thing.  We always had tons of them.  I wasn’t particularly afraid of them, but at night, being awakened by one that was large enough that you felt it walking across your chest, had a tendency to create instant adrenalin and frantic action.  This probably had some good medicinal effects – for instance if your blood pressure was too low, it would raise it.  It probably was good to improve bowel movements, mmm- probably not so good for incontinence!

Roaches were something with which we occasionally had a problem but it never seemed to amount to much.  However, there was a house at which, every time I went and visited, a couple of roaches would crawl on me.  I don’t know if they were greeting me or letting me know that it was their house and that if I didn’t get out, that they were going to call their enforcer, Butch, to throw me out.  I actually think the roaches were so bad there, that the mice and other critters had left.  I don’t know if they thought the neighborhood had gone to pot, or if possibly Butch had already thrown them out.  The family that owned the house finally got rid of them by using Spectracide at double strength.  I suspect that someone else got roaches shortly thereafter.  You kill very few.  They just suddenly feel unwanted and move to the next closest house! 

Fleas are just nasty!  We never had them in our farm house.  We had too many cats and dogs on which to live.  However, when my children were growing up, one of our indoor/outdoor cats got sick and immediately, the fleas left the cat and got into my house.  I got rid of them with a few pans of soapy water.  I would put a light over the pans at night.  It would take about 2 to 3 weeks to get rid of them all. The fleas would jump at the lights and fall into the soapy water, and they drowned.  It was so exhilarating to see their little bodies floating in the water!  Ya-Ha-Ha!  It was even more exhilarating when eventually you quit finding any of their little bodies.  

Unfortunately, in looking at real estate, I have been in houses where the minute you walked in, hundreds of the little critters jumped on you and began biting.  I and whoever was with me on these occasions, would look like we were crazy as we went running out while trying to slap them off.  Yuck!  You immediately felt dirty, like getting naked, (not for the right reasons), throwing your clothes away or at least into the washing machine, and taking a shower!  Ooh!  I hate fleas! 
Fleas in Dresses: Photographed by The Times
Maybe The Hillbilly should have put the fleas in clothing!  Source: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Ants are something by which we have all been affected.  Every house in which I have ever lived, at one time or another, has had an invasion of some type of ants.  My first home when I married in 1975 was a mobile home.  Yes, if you want to call me trailer trash, that’s okay!  The trailer was a 2 bedroom, 1 bath with washer and dryer, eat-in kitchen and a very warm, homey living room.  It came with a front porch, a small back porch, some furniture, central heat and air and I had almost a ½ acre lot. 

 At any rate, my mom told me that after I cleaned it all up, I should burn some sulfur candles in it to kill any insects, critters, and germs.  I did!  The instructions said to close it up and not enter it for about 3 days and even then to air it out.  I looked through the windows sometime after I lit the candles and couldn’t even see inside.  For the first year, insects would not even come in the door, I don’t know what it was doing for us, but boy were we bugless --- except for ants!  However I used some powder from some mail order group my mom suggested and they died quickly!  

We once had a really strange night in this mobile home.  My parents' dog, which decided to sleep at our mobile home, was just super upset and kept barking.  We kept smelling coffee as if someone was in our kitchen brewing it.  We were somewhat spooked, in fact, we kept getting up and looking around inside and outside.  Then later, I heard a really strange sound of something on our window screen.  I pulled back the shade and there was a bat just kind of bounce climbing up the screen.  

Of course it got more weird when it pulled out a note that said, "Invite me in"!

 I'm not stupid; I've watched enough vampire movies to know better than that! So I told it, (I don’t know if it was male or female), "You don’t even want to come in here.  You look like a mouse with wings.  Trust me on this; if there is anything that looks like a mouse in this house, my wife will take a shoe, chase it down and beat it bloody!  You don’t even want to come in here!"

Squirrels, rats, and packrats are critters you don’t want in your house.  A friend of mine got flying squirrels in his attic.  They were chewing up everything!  Rats and packrats are just nasty.  For one thing, their poop is about the size of a small dog’s.  They also chew up things.  We once had a nice Indian woven rug, that a rat almost ate up!  Packrats will carry off money, jewelry, and other things.  A friend of mine that was living in a nice looking old farm house, when a packrat carried off his wife's wedding ring.  Not Cool!  Another friend of mine said that he knew that he was in trouble when he found a loaf of bread that had been dragged across the house!  

I was living in a duplex that had some kind of rat.  I put out traps and would find them empty and across the room from where I left them.  My son got a look at the rat and told me that I needed a much larger trap.  He said you are just making this thing mad with what you are using!  So I got a much larger trap.  However, I really knew that I was in trouble when I found the trap broken in half with a little note pinned to it with a little knife, challenging me to a duel ---- dueling banjoes.  I mean, I don’t know how to play banjo!

From the Hillbilly’s Corner

The Hillbilly is basically an honest man and wants to come clean about a couple things:
Things that are untrue --- the bat did not pull out a note, but it's true that I didn’t look to see if it was male or female, I mean that just seems perverted!  And my wife would have beat it bloody with a shoe!  

And no, the large trap was not broken and it didn’t have a note pinned to it with a little knife.  

But it is true that I don’t play the banjo!

That's My Hillbilly, y'all, a mighty hunter! I'm still trying to figure out what the bat at the window had to do with the smell of coffee brewing. If I can get a bat to have my coffee ready for me every morning, he'd be more than welcome! Maybe he has friend who vacuums too! 

I once lived in a house that had roaches. They moved into the Roach Motel and they were gone! Great product! What kinds of pests have you had to deal with? How did you dispatch them? And what do YOU think the bat had to do with the smell of coffee brewing?

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