Friday, August 12, 2011

TCB - "Taking Care of Business"

Not everything is about pretty things and decorating when it comes to moving. 

We have 2 major issues to deal with when it comes to moving.  a) Bugs and b) Asshole cats and electrical cords

Bugs are just an issue here.  It's the south and the air is thick like cream.  You can talk to anyone rich or poor, city or county, clean or dirty and they all know about the giant cockroaches.  I myself, have a disorder, a phobia, and I don't even like to go outside at night in the summertime.  They are hanging out on the sidewalks and decks and anywhere else I might be walking or standing.  And I just can't deal.  It's just a fact.

I pretty much take care of the bugs DIY.  At the office we have an exterminator come out every 3 months.  They have a jumping spider problem at work and I really can't deal with flying bugs or jumping bugs.  But at home and even when we were at the big house I use this stuff my mom gets from her exterminator.  If you are under contract you can call them whenever you see a bug problem even if it's between the 3 months.  I guess she called so much he started giving her her own cans of what we call "the good stuff." 

I don't really go crazy with the stuff.  There's too many cats in a small amount of space so I stick with corners and thresholds and near the a/c vents, under cabinets, appliances, anywhere plumbing comes out, and big cracks.  I spray the front and back porch really well.  When we bought the yellow house it had a termite problem and the bug guys came out and went under the house and sprayed every part of under the house.  It took them all day and I had to be there.   The entire bathroom flooring was removed and you could see the ground.  Never saw a bug in the house.  Of course as time has past we've had some bugs but it doesn't feel like it was anything like the old house.  We had a spider problem two years ago and I read everything I could and everything said you had to spray directly on the spiders, residual spray doesn't work like it does on other bugs.  So I went around with a caulk gun and caulked any place that had a crack I could caulk.  And it really seemed to work. I also kept things active, I vacuumed regularly and dusted, moved things so spiders couldn't really settle in.

The blue house has had problems since the first tenants.  I remember while the yellow house was being sprayed underneath I walked in the blue house the first time since we bought they house and there were spiders everywhere.  I ended up having them go in to spray for spiders because I was too scared to go halfway into the living room.  And during renovations I didn't have any problems.  But the first tenants had problems and it looked like a real bug problem, not an occasional giant cockroach problem.  I had someone come out and use gel and other bullshit and the tenants never really brought it up again or asked for them to come back but if you asked them they'd be like, yeah they are still around.  But they didn't want the bug guy to come back.  And all the tenants have been like that.  No one wants an exterminator.  Crazy people.

The last tenants brought it up and we offered to have someone come out but she was worried about her baby.  They did want us to seal a hole behind the stove, which the handyman pretty much thought was a joke and not going to do anything, but we did it anyway.  So now that we are moving in there, the crazy bug house, I'm really worried. 

I spent about an hour yesterday researching options and ended up buying some kit for a DIY pest place.  The funny thing is last night while I was reading in bed on the ipad I looked over to see Zimmy and Fox staring intently at a spot near my shoulder.  I flipped out and was out of the bed in like 1/2 a second.  I found a spider in the bed and killed it and spent the next 3 hours with the lights on thinking for sure something was on me.  And of course, we had to shake out and inspect all the covers.  It was just great irony to be searching for a bug solution for next door and find something IN THE BED.  I haven't found a bug in my bed since the centipede of '93.  I don't think I ever recovered from that experience.

My plan is once the tenants are out, go batshit with "the good stuff" and when my other stuff comes in the mail hit it all again a week or so later.  I also wanted outdoor stuff to get between the house and the house on the other side really well.  I don't know how affective this will be but it's worth a shot.  I used to use granules outside at the old house all the time and I don't think it did anything.  I have this gel stuff the exterminator used and I also have this stuff that's supposed to make them infertile.  Oh the irony continues.

The cord issue drives me crazy.  Crazy crazy.  I bought some bitter apple spray and hit every cord in the house I could find.  I put some cords in covers but the ones I bought from Lowes were really big and expensive so I used them behind the television and in our bedroom (the bedroom is a big problem).  I thought the apple spray was working.  I would spray it on a papertowel and then wipe the cords with the wet towel.  The spray seeps into my skin and doesn't wash off and I taste bitter apple for a few hours on my skin even after washing my hands really really good.  A couple weeks ago I hit the cord to a radio outside.  And then about a week ago I noticed someone was chewing the cord.  It's one of the tiny cords, the cats favorite.  I rubbed my hand on the cord to feel for cat bites and then noticed I had the bitter apple on my hands.  So I know it's still on the cord but whoever it was didn't care about the spray the cord was far too important. 

Then the other night the ipad was low on battery and the only place in the bedroom to plug in is the other side of the room but I have a long cord so I plugged it in.  I noticed Andy down there and called for him to leave the cord alone and he walked away.  About 10 minutes later I felt a tug on the cord and Andy was down there secretly chewing the cord, he was almost through the damn $30 cord (I know how much they are because I've replaced them 3 times!).  I yelled at him and unplugged the ipad.  We have a charging station on the bookcase where the cord is protected so I just put it back there.  I was so mad!

A couple days ago someone had a post about cats and cords and linked to a place where you can get flex tubing all sizes and colors and I bought a lot of it, 30 feet I think in white in a small size.  I also ordered some white electric tape.  I'm going to try taping cords to the wall and baseboards and see if that works.  From the earthquake putty that stops the cats from knocking down nick nacks and lamps to the electrical tape, nothing is going to move in the house, it's going to be like living on a sailboat.


  1. I have a HUGE phobia of bugs too. I was (still am) scared about moving South for that very reason. First thing we did was hire a pest control service. I haven't had any issues yet. When does "bug season" start????

    1. Hey Shel, any day now. When the nights are warm especially. I spray my house and I haven't since Sept but the first big bug it's on!