Bugs and other things you don’t want as visitors

Hello everyone:

A cautionary word is in order for my friends who are Suddenly Single: do not scream when you see a bug. Either no one will come (if you live alone in a house) or many people will come (if you live in a condo or apartment). They are called “the police.” The first case will do absolutely no good whatsoever; the second case will require a lot of explanation. The desired end result is to get rid of the bug or bugs, so please focus on that.

Grab a can of bug spray that is appropriate for the kind of bug you see or just grab a tissue and squish the blasted insect and flush its decimated body down the toilet. Either approach is generally acceptable, depending on the proximity of the can or the tissue and the speed of the varmint. [Note: Hair spray does not work in this type of situation.   However, the bug’s hair will stay in place after you douse it. Just kidding here!]

Some folks actually like bugs (just not in their house) and will transport the creature outside to release it. My opinion is that, if you liberate it outdoors, it will return to you sooner or later. It may also bring friends. My preferred method, therefore, is total annihilation, resulting from the tried and true squash and flush approach.

Try to find the source of the bugs. You may have to follow a bug to the source before destroying it (this works the best with ants; they seem only too happy to take you back home). Make sure your house is clean. Bugs like dirtiness; this should be a motivation for cleanliness.

Put all foodstuffs into Tupperware-type containers; this will not only keep your food fresher but it will discourage insects from eating the food before you do.  Food that should be taken out of the original container and put into plastic ware include cereal, powdered food (put your pancake mix in the plastic box but tear off the cooking instructions and place them on or in the box so you know how to make the food when the time comes), crackers, and pretzels.

Also note that bugs like cardboard boxes, so anything you have stored in them could become a repository for insects. Get rid of the boxes and (if you can’t bear to be without the contents) replace them with plastic storage bins. (I recommend getting the see-through bins, because you can tell what is inside without opening them up.

I hope this helps with those un-wanted visitors. Do you have any special tips to share on how you get rid of these pests?

Best,

Dr. Sheri

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