I woke up this morning, certain there was an intruder in the house. Lucy D. WonderCat had the big eyes, and I could hear what sounded like someone rifling through the contents of my toilette in the adjoining bathroom. I was momentarily paralyzed by fear, but soon recovered my wits and was proceeding towards the noise with my baseball bat.
There was someone in there, all right.
One of those as****e spider crickets was *get this* dragging my toothbrush around! Back and forth behind the sink and amongst my beloved beauty products he went, standing in striking resemblance to a biped. Oh, and that’s not all. He would stop to hump it now and again in some bizarre love-struck ritual that I did not want to see the culmination of.
It was go time. Zero hour. The battle had to be fought, and won. But how to kill an arthropod the size of a Papillon? Preferably from long range?
The assault began with Kaboom! shower cleaner. It’s one of the few truly caustic things I keep on hand for mold, mildew, and things like as****e crickets and black widows. I shot him a few times, and he went into the sink: an ersatz foxhole. But I saw him. I knew his game. More Kaboom! foamer. I mean, lots more. Instead of quickly killing him, he seemed excited. And although I’m sure the bleach was melting his guts, he was trying to prove a point. That point being “Look lady, I’m going to jump on your face and ruin your life.”
Think again, you bastard.
I moved down the pH scale to GreenWorks natural toilet cleanser. This weighed him down so he couldn’t jump and bought me some time. How to finish the job? Again, from long range. Plotting, thinking, scheming. I had a momentary lapse of judgement and thought maybe running water over him would wash him down the drain.
Wrong-o! I just rinsed off the only thing that had tamed the beast! Again, he lunged for my face. More GreenWorks. I topped him off with some Tall Grass shampoo, just for extra measure, and a nicer smell.
Twitch, twitch. He was of such enormity that I could see his eyes from 10 feet away. And they were looking at me, and I think I saw him smile. He was so not dead. I knew what I had to do. My heart raced, I steadied my gaze, and I reached for the bat.
At 7:18 this morning, the people who were not already awake were treated to my battle cry and two loud thuds.
And then six smaller thuds and some minor shrieking.
My foe lay felled in the sink, his corpse so large that it would not go down the drain unassisted. As a testament to his worthiness as an opponent, I opened my very limited edition Mrs. Meyers rhubarb dish soap, turned on the water, and beat his remnants to a soapy pulp with the end of the bat until there was no trace left of him.
I picked up my toothbrush, threw it in the trash can, made a cup of tea*, and came here to tell you the tale. The moral of the story?
Don’t move my toothbrush. I really like swearing. I am obsessed with household products that get discontinued. (true, though.)
Don’t be a spider cricket if you’re in my house. You’ll end up dead, mulched, and sparkling clean.
*thus showing enormous restraint, considering there is Patron Añejo in the pantry.
Oh my God this is funny.
"And then six smaller thuds and some minor shrieking."
You may want to fortify your domain with ample as****e cricket elimination material soon. Once it begins to get cooler outside there will be a concerted migration toward warmer (i.e., indoor) climates. Every autumn here in Kansas we under go a minor invasion, occasioned by playful cats torturing crickets and judicious use of the vacuum cleaner to hoover up the survivors.
Mark has an excellent point. It's not even close to cricket season yet. I shudder to think what the November invasion might be like.
*emailing landlords now to set up extra exterminator service*
Man, if I lived near one of those alleged "crickets", I'd need to keep an extra bottle of Nature's Miracle around because I would wet myself every time I ran into one. I've moved entirely to eco- (and nasal tissue)friendly cleaners except for the spray bottle of undiluted bleach I keep strictly for either mildew abatement or bug death.
In addition to this, you may want to look into a diatomaceous earth compound (mine has the brand name "Flea Stop") that is totally pet and people safe – it kills anything with an exoskeleton by lodging its tiny particles into the carapace of the bug and dessicating it. Those with endoskeletons are entirely safe. We had bug problems in the last place until we started using that, and then we never saw another one.
Alternatively, you could get Lucy a companion who is a keener hunter. Maybe a Manx or a Norwegian forest cat.
I am NOT CLICKING ON THAT LINK to the spider cricket again. I am permanently emotionally scarred from the first time I clicked.
NC: I love the words diatomaceous earth. Diatoms. Cool. 🙂 And thanks for not outing me on the whole "exoskeleton" thing. Ix-nay on the eleton-skay! Glad someone can keep a secret.
Hey Janis: I almost linked to this with you specifically in mind! Don't worry, it won't scar or scare you!
I just can't get over that the damn thing was dragging your personal hygiene products around. What the hell are you going to find next, one of them with its feet up on your furniture drinking milk out of the carton and watching pay per view porn on the TV?
Whoa! The antennas on those suckers are like 2x their body size! You should get a spray bottle and put pure bleach in it. The earth friendly products are inadequate for killing as they are too friendly and too low in chemicals.
Oh, just harmless little critters. Must be having some big-time humidity out there — revenge for leaving California.
Gee, if you hated that poor little thing, you would have really been dismayed with the bugs I saw in Costa Rica and Peru.
That f****r looks huuuuuuuuuge! I didn't believe my co-worker a year ago when she said she had those monsters in her basement.
We killed a disturbing amount of spiders in our first two weeks here in CA (ok, 6), but argh! It was HUGE!
We've traded costs.. I think it's only safe to warn you about house centipedes. Please don't Google them if you want to eat something soon….. but then again, you just battled a possibly more loathsome creature.
<3 your writing style!
Well, it was a crappy day until I read this blog. OMG! I fell out of my seat laughing…literally. On a personal note, I was stalked by a large bug a couple of years ago. It was loose in my old apartment for TWO weeks. I call the landlord every day to let her know, "If you don't get rid of it now, it is going kill me one night…" I was scared to death at night. I don't envy you…and by the way, perhaps you can patent that insect killing method…or not.