Dealing with bugs and other critters in the house

When you have cats and a pet door, you can expect your cats to bring you “gifts.” Yes, thank you. I see you caught a gecko, but kindly take it back outside. I don’t want it in my house! (The cat rarely obliges.)

Typically, I can deal with a lot of things they bring in. And no, I am not picking up any of these things with my hands! (More power to you if you can do that.)

Live birds – Close the blinds, open the front (or back) door and using a broom to get them to fly and hope they go out the open door. This is sometimes hard when they get to the second story of the house and always gravitate to the window that doesn’t have blinds.

Live Snakes – Usually not a problem as again, you open the door and guide them to the outside.

Live Geckos – These are a little harder as they don’t take direction well, so usually the broom is out unless they are already near the door. If I can get them to climb on the dustpan, I carry them outside.

Live Mice/Rat – We live near a greenbelt/wilderness area so occasionally they bring in a rodent. Again, chasing it out the door is a good option, but often it hides too well, and I am left hoping the cats catch and kill it. (Or occasionally my husband has had luck catching them under a plastic bin and then transporting them outside.)

As you see from above, most of my methods involve not killing the creatures my cats bring in. I simply release that creature out into the wild again. If I find one of the creatures above dead in the house, I usually can it onto the dustpan and can carry it to the outside trash can.

But one thing I don’t handle well is bugs. Sometimes they are brought in by the animals but sometimes they just sneak in the house as bugs do. I know there are people who say spiders are good as they feed on common indoor pests. I can ignore spiders if they are small or better yet out of sight, but if I find them in my sink, I am washing them down it. But if they are bigger…well, that is another story. I’d freak to find a tarantula inside. I don’t want to get close enough to squish them. Luckily, I don’t encounter too many spiders in my house.

Flies and mosquitoes are easy to kill. But the one insect that drives me crazy and creeps me out is the cockroach. I live in South Texas where these suckers are quite common no matter how clean you keep your house.

Typically, we spray some bug spray around the perimeter of the house, and it keeps the bugs away. But lately, I’ve seen some cockroaches on their backs. You would think they were dead, but these icky creatures are usually aren’t dead…yet. I’m not stepping on them or hitting them with something. That crunch sound drives me crazy and honestly, I don’t want to get that close to them. Typically, I make my husband deal with them.

Then there are the times when he is away, and I have to do something. If they are truly dead, the dustpan trick usually works. But when I notice them still moving slightly, I pull out the bug spray. This sometimes works in killing them or it could turn out like it did the other day. I sprayed the cockroach who was lying on his back in the kitchen. He freaked out, flipped over and scurried under the refrigerator (where I hope he succumbed to the poison.)

Ugh. I feel like such a wuss being scared about picking up these bugs and disposing of them. But I just can’t seem to bring myself to squish the live ones or carry the dead (or dying) ones away. I know many others out there have the same problem and have read their tips of dealing with these bugs, but I still think my best bet is to have my husband take care of the bugs. And I’ll agree to take care of the one thing he hates – snakes.

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