Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Exterminator

There are—a few? Yes, that’s probably accurate—a few things I’d change about living in Florida. I’m not a big fan of heat and humidity. I’d love to be closer to my family. That kind of thing. But needing an exterminator would be pretty high up there on the list.

Yes, you do need an exterminator here. At least, you do if you’re us. For those of you who live elsewhere, let me say that carving tidy human space out of the wild here means fighting against an enemy on his own ground. Everything in this particular chunk of swampland favors insect kind. Including the heat and humidity.

We love our backyard blending into wild woods, we intentionally use minimal chemicals in our yard (that would be closer to “none”—have you seen our dollar weed?), and we strive to discourage critters by neatness rather than sprays. So, no, the exterminating chemicals aren’t a big hit with me. That’s definitely part of it. But I can live with that. Putting a drop of gel on the back of our light switch plates? C’mon, not even our kids unscrew the plates and lick the back. Weigh that against finding a roach that can be measured in inches, plural, running around the kitchen…. Decision made.

An annual going-over by a professional doesn’t seem unreasonable.

And we have such a fantastic professional—he’s a veteran, a gentleman, and a sweet, gentle man, just an all-around great guy. If he weren’t so amazing, I would not be able to handle the thing that bugs me (get it???) most about the whole process.

He touches our stuff.

No, not really. But he could. He does go into every room in the house and treat all the accessible light and plug plates, plus cabinet hinges and drawer backs. In truth, he does a very professional job. It’s just that…

I’m insanely private and particular. I have weird preferences—like I prefer no one else fold my laundry (talk about self-defeating!) and I prefer that street clothes not touch the sheets and…well, you get the idea. Being in the house while anyone, even the sweetest exterminator ever, invades our electric outlets and cabinetry is an annual act of willpower.

Plus he unplugs all the clocks. Do you have any idea what resetting clocks is like for someone as uptight as me? Oy.

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