It was one of my first pest management lessons and it wasn’t even about pest management.
I was a rookie and my manager, Bill, and I were inspecting the exterior of a home that had bat issues. Suddenly, the next door neighbor lady appeared and asked what we were doing. Bill told her there was a colony of bats in the attic and that’s when she freaked out. “Those things suck your blood!” she screamed as she ran into her home. Bill and I just looked at each other and he said, “Uh-oh.”
Sure enough, the next morning the homeowner called and he was furious, “My neighbor called and said that if I don’t get those bloodsucking bats out of our neighborhood she’ll sue me to kingdom come.” Bill grabbed the phone, apologized profusely, and offered the homeowner a discount. A week later we had gotten the bats out of the attic—and dodged a bullet.
Nowadays, whenever I’m treating a home and a neighbor says, “What’re ya guys doin’ over there?” I go on and on about how great the weather is. But there’s nothing wrong with healthy curiosity, so here’s my spring report card on which pests might be active in your neighborhood:
Rodents have been busy and those eager breeders will remain active until, well, doomsday. Spiders are laying low, but on warm days they come out to play. Bats—which do not suck blood—are vacationing in Cancun, but they’ll be back soon. We’ll need every one of them to gobble all those mosquitoes coming our way.
Finally, speaking of neighbors and pests, I’m often jokingly asked, “My neighbor’s a pest—can you help me deal with him?” Sorry, but that question calls for an expert in the genteel world of the social graces. Try asking Miss Manners.
Back in my domain, next week I’ll discuss the proper way to clean mouse poop. That’s about as genteel as I get.