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Monday, September 28, 2015

Home Invasion Story

English: High detail closeup of a cockroach.
 High detail closeup of a cockroach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


       I had a post ready to go for today, but then I decided to hold off on putting it up on my blog.  My reasoning goes along with some of my previous posts that spoke about political correctness and avoiding controversy that might work against what I'm trying to achieve with Tossing It Out.  This blog is certainly no stranger to controversy, but sometimes it can be better to let things stew in the pot a while longer.   For now I'm going to turn the heat down on my intended controversy and put that pot on the back burner.   Instead, managing to still stay with the theme of my upcoming Battle of the Bands, I will present something that is more allegorical than overt.

The Cockroach Invasion

      A year or two after moving to our house in East Tennessee we were faced with a highly unpleasant situation.   Cockroaches had been sighted in our kitchen.   In all of my 16 years of living I had never seen a cockroach.  To my mind they were almost mythical--something one might see in a cartoon or hear about in urban slum dwellings.  Yet now they were here in our home.   We were all horrified by this discovery.

      At first the sightings were random and few.  We killed as many as we could see and thought this would win the battle.  However one night after returning from a family outing we turned on the kitchen lights to face hundreds of the dreadful creatures scurrying every which way.  The kitchen that night must have looked like a barn dance hoedown as my father, sister, and I began stomping every roach we could manage to destroy.  War had been declared and we were hopelessly outnumbered.

       Our best guess as to where the nasty critters came from was that they had made their way in groceries from the neighborhood market.  Since there weren't many grocery shopping choices in our area back then we continued to shop at that market.  Now however we were more careful about our pickings in that store and checked bags carefully after we brought them home.  Perhaps that stemmed the flow of new incoming roaches, but the ones that were already firmly established in our home were breeding with great abundance.  Roaches were in every cupboard and even showing up inside food packages.  This war was now going to call for drastic measures.   None of our family wanted to live with roaches in our midst.

        So we did the obvious thing and called the exterminator.   This was after an ineffective attempt to use bug spray we bought from the store.  That stuff smelled horrible and probably was eventually as likely to kill us as it would the cockroaches.  The exterminator used a substance that had little lasting odor and the delivery device he used covered every room of the house.   I'm not sure what poison he was using, but it seemed better to deal with that than having to share a house with an ever growing population of cockroaches in that house.

          My mother signed a year-long contract for the exterminator to come by once each month to spray.    After his second visit the cockroaches appeared to be conquered.  If any were still hiding away in the deeper recesses of the house, the succeeding visits by the exterminator must have finished all of them off.   In the fifty years since that incident we have yet to see any return of cockroaches.

          When unwanted invaders threaten to take over ones home, drastic action needs to be taken in order to maintain the status quo of ones life.  Cockroaches are amazing creatures to observe as well as being hardy survivors.  Let's face it though, they are not willing to assimilate into the family like a dog or a cat or any other pet.   Cockroaches are set on establishing their own society without regard to the society upon which they are encroaching.  I for one am not desirous of sharing my living space with cockroaches, rats, or any other unclean pests.   What other options do we have?

Battle of the Bands Song Clue



        On Thursday I will have another Battle of the Bands post.  The story above offers some hints to my song choice, but let me give you a few more:






  • The song I'll be using is a very well known folk song that is speculated to date back to the 15th century.


  • The song's lyrics have often changed depending on the times and circumstances, but typically the subject matter has to do with politics.


  • This song can often be heard in cartoons or comedies.


  • You may have sung this ditty when you were a child in school, but with age appropriate lyrics.


  • My first presenter of the song is a highly respected American artist who had a fondness for marijuana.


  • The second recording is by an immensely talented and highly educated artist from Mexico whose name might make one think she comes from the United States.


        Please be here on Thursday October 1st to find out what song I'll be using and by which artists.   I've been having fun with this one and I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

         Have you ever had to deal with an infestation of pests?  If so, how did you remedy the situation?   Do you have any idea what my next song choice will be?   Can you guess the artists?

84 comments:

  1. I'm thinking Willie Nelson . . .
    The idea of the song tickles the edges of my mind . . . This Land is Your Land?

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    1. Sheila, I figured Willie would be a common choice, but it's not him. Good guess though. "This Land Is Your Land" was written in the mid-1900's by Woody Guthrie so it's not that song either.

      Lee

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  2. Oh my gosh, I've had to deal with cockroaches. First at a family member's house on Long Island, and then when I moved to Louisiana…where they flew! For that we called in the pros because I couldn't handle that nonsense.

    As for BOB, I have no idea.

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    1. Elsie, bugs are everywhere in Louisiana. Like someone told me it's essentially a jungle climate there. I've been in restaurants down there and seen cockroaches crawling around. Very unappetizing.

      Lee

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  3. Hi Lee - not nice at all ... I gather you can get strong deterrents ... and certainly I used them in South Africa when we had an invasion of fleas ... not nice. Glad your mother was sensible ...

    Cockroaches takes me back to New York ... I think they were endemic - the good thing was they disappeared in daylight! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary, I think roaches are endemic in any urban area. They mostly disappear at daylight, but it no consolation to me when I know they lurk behind the walls, under the floors, and in other dark hiding places.

      Lee

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  4. Living in the South, cockroaches are a possibility. Our bug guy is good though and we only see dying ones in the garage about twice a year.
    Is one of the contestants Jimmy Buffet?

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    1. Alex, not Jimmy Buffet, but a decent guess. Does Buffet smoke pot? Is "Parrot Head" a code word for "Pot head"? I've never thought of that before but know I see a possible connection.

      Lee

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  5. There's nothing worse than an invasion of insects. We had ants in our house one year, big black ants, and they didn't just hang out kitchen. They were everywhere! Crawling up the walls, the couch, even up the stairs to MY ROOM. What a horrible night.

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    1. MsHatch, we used to get a lot of small black ants in our house here in Los Angeles, but then after getting a termite treatment they disappeared. Now with the recent hot weather and "drought" conditions I've been seeing ants trying to make it back inside. So far I've managed to stave them off. At least ants are "cleaner" than cockroaches.

      Lee

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  6. I'm gonna guess La Cucaracha (sp?) is your song choice. lol Fortunately I've never been invaded by anything. Saw a couple roaches in the laundry room of my Boston dorm, but that was it. I hate bugs. So gross.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. JoJo, excellent song guess. Come back on Thursday to see if you are correct.
      Bugs fascinate me--I like to watch them and attempt to understand them, but I don't want to share my living space with them.

      Lee

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  7. I once had termites swarm in a house on Long Island and we now have an ant infestation in our house. Pesky little critters.

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    1. Karen, we've had termites visit us and managed to rid ourselves of them through extermination. Termites seem to be a bigger problem here in L.A. then in other places where I've lived. Ants are everywhere.

      Lee

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  8. We've had cockroaches a few times and they just freak me out. My husband has to kill them.

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    1. L.Diane, cockroaches are probably the worst pests to have unless one were invaded by mice and rats--that would be really freaky.

      Lee

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  9. ACK! You gave me the shivers. I worked in a restaurant that got them once (probably similarly--through a vendor). We of course had to get a professional, and we also really ramped up storage so there was nothing a critter could easily get at. My best friends had them once because her neighbors below had them and THAT was a nightmare. She moved eventually because they just wouldn't do what they needed to remedy the situation. Our own worst bit was carpenter ants. We had to have someone come spray.

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    1. Hart, pest control at a restaurant must be an ongoing thing. Bugs in an eating establishment would be very bad for business. Bugs in an apartment can be a very difficult situation since not everyone has the same standards of sanitation and a bug free apartment can easily get infested by another that has them. Yuck.

      Lee

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  10. Hi, Lee! Mrs. Shady recently received a book that she had ordered by mail. When she unwrapped the package it was filled with large ants that were apparently attracted by the glue used in the packing material or the book binding. It amazed us that the ants survived a cross country trip in a sealed, air tight package.

    When I first moved to Florida in the mid 80s I rented a small apartment and experienced a terrible roach problem. It was exactly as you reported. When I turned the lights on at night dozens of them scattered in every direction. I had signed a year lease and learned too late that the locals nicknamed my apartment complex "The Roach Motel."

    I am stumped, but you have me curious to see which song and artists you will feature in this week's BOTB. Is it safe to assume that Disco Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes is not one of the competing acts? Have a great week, good buddy Lee!

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    1. Shady, Tex and his sexy back-up singers will not be a featured artist in this upcoming Battle.

      Cheap apartments can be notorious for pest infestation problems. I've lived in two such places, but fortunately it was only for very short periods.

      A book about ants might be interesting, but a book full of ants would be very disturbing. Not something I'd want to get in the mail (or anywhere else).

      Lee

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  11. Living in central Georgia, I am quite familiar with cucaroaches. Some of those flying bugs around streetlights are roaches.
    You have made me curious about BOB, I love pieces of history.

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    1. Ann, I was not aware of flying roaches until the comments I've received today. Crawling roaches are bad enough, but flying roaches are truly disturbing to me.

      Lee

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  12. Growing up in the tropics living and dealing with cockroaches is just one of those things that you do. They are everywhere and impossible to totally get rid of. We call them mahogany birds because of their beautiful brown color and because they fly. My grandmother used to say your cockroaches are only as dirty as your kitchen or bathroom. On time my sister and I froze one. About six months later we defrosted it. The damn thing started to wiggle at which point it was crushed...

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    1. Bish, that revived cockroach story is like a horror story. I don't care how clean my house is, if I had roaches I'd still consider them to be filthy.

      Lee

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  13. I'm thinking some Willy Nelson. The school I worked at had a roach invasion one year and it cost them a lot of money to get rid of them. I was so afraid of bringing them home in my bag. I believe the warmer the climate the more roaches.

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    1. Susan, I figured my clue would bring Willie Nelson to mind. That would have been my first guess based on the marijuana clue. I understand that places like NYC have big roach problems so cold weather does not hinder the roach population, but warm weather does encourage the growth of roach communities.

      Lee

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  14. Yuck to bugs! I grew up in the country so you would think I would be ok...but I'm not. When my mom and dad moved into the house they bought(I was 1 and my brother 3 - there were several issues (no stairs to basement but door opened), no kitchen cupboards) but my mom had to deal with flies and mice. She sprayed raid in the bathroom and sat to have a piece of cake and she heard this humming sound. She opened the bathroom door to find the floor black with dying flies. Carmen Miranda comes into my head for the Mexican singer and I hear her sing a song that was in more than one movie during the 40's when Mexican music was all the rage but I can't place the song

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    1. Birgit, I guess most of us can never really get used to bugs or at least not in our houses.

      Carmen Miranda is an interesting choice, but she's not part of my next Battle.

      Lee

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    2. I will listen tonight but that's the song I was thinking! (in your next blog post):)

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  15. So I am guessing that the sing is La Cucaracha...and I'll even guess the artist...is it Doug Sahm?

    Larry

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    1. Larry, you know your music, but the artist is incorrect. Good guess though.

      Lee

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    2. I googled who had covered it (my first guess would have been Willie Nelson but he was not listed)...

      I have a second guess, though-Charlie Parker?

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    3. I just scanned comments to see if anyone else guessed the song-for the record, I'd not seen Jojo's comment until now (did not influence my guess)

      I see a couple other guesses for Willie, but if he covered the song, I am not finding it.

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    4. Larry, since Willie is such a notable marijuana user he seems like an obvious choice, but it's not him. Charlie Parker is a good guess, but doesn't win you any cigars (or joints).

      Lee

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  16. Yuck! is the first word that came to mind. As I sat here reading the story I started to hear something in the duct work above my desk and my skin crawled. We've seen roaches out on the street in broad daylight lately with the excessive heat. My co-worker from NYC says they were so bad there you couldn't lean against a building in summer because they were covered with roaches. YUCK!

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    1. Kat, that is gross! I don't recall seeing any cockroaches since moving to California, but I'm sure they are here. I've heard that NYC is really bad, but in a big city I'd expect it.

      Lee

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  17. I hate cockroaches! I had a problem in my apartment. A new neighbor moved in upstairs and brought cockroaches so they found their way into my apartment and multiplied like crazy. I moved and was very careful about cleaning and packing but I think one little a**hole snuck in somehow and now I'm getting cockroaches again in my new home. Ugh! I'll be calling an exterminator for sure!

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    1. Chrys, once they start multiplying it's difficult to control a cockroach population. Best left to the hands of a professional. In the end it's worth the money spent.

      Lee

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  18. Well, I'm going to skitter right past that which could be made of cockroaches "not assimilating" for the time being, and also right past the guesses. My first cockroach came after the split in my marriage. I had left her a house that never saw a cockroach in over 30 years of my living there. About four months into the seperation, I came over to babysit, and killed the first cockroach of my life- after a beating that would have left you dead- which appeared from under a mound of dirty dishes I would have sworn only silverfish and maggots could have survived in.

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    1. CW, that's really a loaded comment--short in length but with volumes left unsaid--or to be said at some later time.

      Lee

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  19. When I lived in Spain I had a huge cockroach in my lounge, being the coward that I am I got some insect killer and sprayed most of the can on the offending creature...........it died.
    Great post Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, if there was one there may have been more.

      Lee

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  20. When I was in high school, I had a friend whose house was filled with little roaches. They covered everything. If you sat down on the couch, they would crawl all over you. They even filled the fish tank.
    It was horrible.

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    1. Andrew, not a place I would have visited more than once I don't think. That's really gross.

      Lee

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  21. Cockroaches are amazing survivors, but they can stay out of my apartment.

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    1. Patricia, I've heard it said that if there were ever a nuclear holocaust that wiped out humanity, cockroaches would be left to run the world.

      Lee

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  22. Were they regular cockroaches or palmetto bugs? When we lived in married student housing at Indiana University, we couldn't get rid of the cockroaches. One day I was getting ready for church. A cockroach ran down my skirt. I found a cockroach in the baby's crib. We moved. Many years later when we moved to Illinois the mice tried to chase us out of the house, but we couldn't afford to move. They literally fell out of the kitchen cabinets. Droppings rained. We had already blocked most of their entrances, but it took an exterminator to find all of them. After that, we only had mice in the garage. Then we only had snakes in the garage.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, now I'm going to have nightmares. Great story though.

      Lee

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  23. Uck, I hate cockroaches. And Ants. Once they move in, it is nearly impossible to eradicate them.

    I'm thinking one of your artists is my boyfriend Willie Nelson, but without an extensive google search, I don't know which of his folksy songs you'd be posting. One of my favs is Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. So nostalgic. But, I'll be looking forward to your post, whatever it is.

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    1. Dolorah, not Willie though I can understand why you'd guess him.

      I guess I'd prefer ants to cockroaches but ultimately neither.

      Lee

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  24. Lee -- interesting allegory. Here's my cockroach story -- In Florida, I discovered huge cockroaches were called by a lovely name--Palmetto bugs. I'm not sure whether that was to make us more tolerant of their invasive ways (including eating the wallpaper off our kitchen walls) or fool us into thinking they were harmless. If we had not flipped the light switch on in the kitchen at night, we would never have known how many there were and how fast their nests were growing...

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    1. Patricia, I don't care what anyone calls them, I don't want to share my house with any kinds of bugs or other critters. Even so, I know that there are always spiders and other creatures that dwell in houses in limited numbers unlike cockroaches and ants which are like hordes and armies.

      Lee
      .

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    2. I'm with you! Wasps invade en mass as well -- they came in through the air ducts, and they're not at all benevolent. One cannot let one's guard down.

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    3. Patricia, a wasp invasion would be very bad. I've seen them outside of my house, but never have they come inside.

      Lee

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  25. Yikes! There is nothing more disgusting than a cockroach! Ugh! Makes my skin crawl. I had an experience with roaches when I moved to DC: I rolled into town and stopped at the apartment manager's place to get the key to my new apartment. I couldn't wait to see my new place. Well, I was horrified. First I opened the door and the carpet is a mess. I flip the light on in the kitchen and roaches go scattering. I opened the cupboards and see roaches crawling around in there. I immediately left and drove straight back to the apartment manager and demanded that they get an exterminator immediately dispatched to the apartment and that they also get someone over there to shampoo the carpet before my furniture comes. What a horrible experience that was. Nothing like adding to the already incredible stress of moving!
    I wasn't going to relax with just an exterminator coming. I did a bunch of research and found that boric acid is the key to fighting cockroaches so I went out and bought a shitload of boric acid and lined every inch of the apartment perimeter. That kept them out. Success!
    I'll probably have nightmares tonight about cockroaches! My skin is crawling just talking about them!
    As for your BOTB, I can't guess the song but I'm going to take a stab at one of the artists: is it Willie Nelson??
    Looking forward to checking it out on the 1st.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, maybe we need to compile a book load of cockroach stories. You've got a good start with this comment. My skin is crawling as well.

      Nope, not Willie, but that's who I would have thought of first. The guy I'm using goes back further than Willie and arguably was a bigger star--or at least an equal.

      Lee

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  26. Roaches are horrible, and almost nothing kills them. (That said, some people do keep certain species as pets.)

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    1. Misha, great--just what I'd need--a pet cockroach to greet me at the door when I come home.

      Lee

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  27. Living in South Louisiana, I've dealt with roaches all of my life. I remember as a kid, we used to chase them then smash them. I hate them though. They make you feel so dirty. My child is terrified of roaches. In her teens, she would jump on the toilet and scream. It sounded like someone was trying to kill her. And she is a black belt afraid of a roach...

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    1. Lisa, fear? Or disgust? Cockroaches just seem so nasty.

      Lee

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  28. I saw a dead cockroach once in the hallway of my dorm at college. Ick! Apparently before my husband and I had moved into our apartment after we got married, there had been a cockroach infestation. An exterminator came once a month for a year and we never saw any the six years we lived there. We did get wasps and house centipedes, which are annoying. A dinosaur-sized one crawled over my foot once. I may or may not have screamed!

    In our house, we occasionally see a centipede, but usually it's spiders. We see wolf spiders, usually in the basement but sometimes on the main floor, in the late summer/early fall (sooo, right now). I stepped on one last year with my bare foot. Ugh! And sadly I didn't even get any spidey powers. We sprayed this year and haven't seen any in a few weeks so hopefully they're gone...

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Laura, centipedes are so freaky as are spiders. I guess spiders can have some value in controlling the populations of other bugs.

      Lee

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  29. Oh gross! Thank goodness the exterminators were able to get rid of your cockroaches. I've never seen one up close, but we sometimes get those horrible centipedes and spiders are common around here. Luckily, not in large numbers. I too am guessing "La Cucaracha" as your song choice. Seems like the obvious answer. ☺ See you on Thursday!

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    1. Debbie, obvious is often the right choice. Fortunately, most insects don't seem to infest a house in large numbers and I can deal with that okay.

      Lee

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  30. I hate pests! Several years ago we had a problem. It was crazy wild to get rid of those things. We did it ourselves and although it took longer than an exterminator to banish them from our home the job got done. Unfortunately, we haven't found a sure way of keeping mice out of the house which they find their way in somewhere every winter. All I can say is thank God for glue traps because they work the best! I have no idea what song you're going to use on Thursday, but I'll be back to find out and to vote. :D

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    1. Cathy, never tried a glue trap for mice, but fortunately I've never had a mouse problem where I live now. We did get some in TN a few times, but we used the old-fashioned typical mousetrap. Disgusting!

      Lee

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  31. Cockroaches are rampant in many areas and very difficult to eradicate! I know this because I used to work in maintenance for a property management firm. Because cockroaches are so adaptable to different environments they manage to adapt themselves to various insecticides as well, so exterminators must constantly change and find ways to outsmart them.

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    1. Linda, I'm guessing that it's also easier to eradicate them from a single dwelling home that is a bit of a distance from neighboring homes as was my parents home. In a building with several units I can see how getting rid of cockroaches could be a much bigger problem.

      Lee

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  32. I definitely figured La Cucaracha for the song. Unfortunately I thought of versions by Ritchie Valence or Ferrante & Teicher... but I don't think pot was involved. How about The Big Bopper? No?

    Ha ha ha - see you on battle day (smile).

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    1. Dixie, you're correct on the song. The Big Bopper was a big pothead? He's not my chosen artist this time though. Ferrante and Teicher is an interesting choice--someday I may have to use a cover by them. I know my mother used to have albums by them.

      Lee


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    2. My Mom took me to see Ferrante and Teicher when I was thirteen, I think. I still have the program and ticket stubs! They were amazing.

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    3. I can't ever recall seeing them advertised as being in concert where I've been. I'm pretty sure I've seen them on TV though. I would imagine it would have been an interesting concert.

      Lee

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  33. Cockroaches. Yikes, I'm out of here. Haven't seen many since I moved from California. Pesky little critters that never go away!

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    1. TBM, I haven't seen many cockroaches here in California where I live--at least not the insect kind.

      Lee

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  34. I'm allergic to cockroaches, an allergy I suspect developed when my family lived in Arbor Hill, Albany's ghetto neighborhood. I've heard it's not so much about being allergic to the bugs, but the dust mites which frequently accompany them. I probably won't be able to have a pet tarantula since I'm allergic to one of their primary food sources.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, would you want a pet tarantula?

      Lee

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  35. The perils of living in an apartment: you can be as clean as you can, spray bug barriers, and make sure there's no access to any food and you'll still get bugs crawling in from the other not so conscientious apartments. :(
    We're dealing with this right now. And unfortunately it's not the giant cockroaches, which are easier to find/kill, but those pesky tiny ones. I stomp them when I can. Hate em :(

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    1. Madilyn, exactly! We might be able to do what is right for pest control in our own living space, but if we are connected to others such as in apartment dwelling then we can't always control the cleanliness of others.

      Lee

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  36. Your story made me shudder. We have wolf spiders that make their way indoors at our house. It seems like every morning, before I put my contacts in, I squint at the bathtub and check for blurry black dots. After dawning my glasses or contact, it usually confirms the black dot as a spider. It's like they're so pervasive that I'm more annoyed than freaked out by them anymore. :)

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    1. Loni, at least spiders serve as some form of pest control where other bugs are concerned.

      Lee

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  37. Eww. Just, eew! The only extermination problem we ever had to deal with was bedbugs, though I'm not sure which is worse. :)

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    1. David, I always fear bringing bed bugs home after we've stayed in hotels. We try to stay in the more upscale places, but I've heard that this is not always a guarantee against picking up bedbugs.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee