Death Wish: The Infestation

Is it sick to take pleasure in killing house pests?

These days, I live in a vermin-free apartment, thanks to a sweetheart landlord who calls in the exterminator on the merest of a rumor. It hasn’t always been this way.

In my lifetime in New York City, I’ve battled everything from the fruit fly to the Norway rat. And while it’s a fine luxury to leave your infestation to a trained professional, I find my dignity is sometimes best served by taking matters into my own hands.

Tough guy Charlie Bronson would approve of my approach to household pests.

Last night, a man stopped by to slip poison packs under the stove and behind the refrigerator. Today, I asked the guy across the hall if he would rather seek a more personal solution.

Josh looked puzzled. “I used to work in an office with a mouse problem,” he told me. “I’d have to put down glue traps at people’s desks. It was terrible. Sometimes I’d pick them up and the mouse would still be wriggling.”

Now I felt bad. I used to take a gruesome pleasure in watching mice struggle, then submit, to the glue trap.

Fortunately, I know of a classmate that likes to set houseflies on fire. “I do it to teach them a lesson,” he said when I called.

Now to that, I could relate. There was a time in my youth when I dropped ants into capfuls of rubbing alcohol, then released the critters so they could go tell their friends.

Help me feel normal, and tell me a story about a time you went Charles Bronson on a New York City pest. Leave a comment with your best tales of insect vigilantism, or a time where you got creative to solve an infestation. I want your pride, your shame, your sadism or frustration …

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One Response to Death Wish: The Infestation

  1. Chuck says:

    I hope you aren’t advocating unnecessary cruelty to animals here.

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