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The Worst Pest May 18, 2010

Posted by eric22222 in General.

Living in an apartment has brought its share of difficulties. About once each year, we get a new pest. Ants, roaches, yellow jackets, whatever. We buy the appropriate spray and never see the things again. Despite all of my training in dealing with such visitors, nothing could have prepared me for last week.

It was Monday night when I caught wind of a new pest. While lying in bed after a hard day of work, I heard a distinct scratching noise. Now, the raccoons in the attic had been here longer than me, so I’d grown accustomed to their identifiable scampering. This sound was lighter and definitely not coming from the ceiling.

Against my better judgement, I reached for my desk lamp. The light was like staring at the sun to my sleepy eyes, and I actually had to turn away for several seconds to adjust my vision. After my brief blindness, I scanned the room, looking for any sign of movement. Nothing. Whatever it was, it probably got scared off.

What a fool I was to think that…

Wednesday morning was my next encounter. Wednesday was my early day of the semester, requiring me to be at school by 11:15. Man. Who’s even awake at that hour? I was preparing my routine bowl of cereal when I noticed a small hole in the bag. Something had chewed through.

Crap. I really didn’t want to deal with mice, but it looked like that was the problem. Looking back, I really wish it had been mice. I headed down to the store, bought two traps, and set them up. The only cheese in the refrigerator had molded (who knows how long ago…), so I scoured the pantry for anything mice might like. I remembered that peanut butter is a common choice, but I’m not really a fan; no peanut butter to be found. I eventually decided on honey, thinking that would be the next-best thing.

I came back to the apartment that evening to find the traps sprung. No mice, though. The wire meant to kill, or at least hold, was actually bent. Something had been caught, but it had just squeezed out. Whatever was living in my apartment, it had sufficient strength to bend wire meant to kill it. This was no mouse.

I finally came face to face with the beast on Saturday. The thought of this thing running around my apartment really got me in the mood to clean the place up, so I spent the morning vacuuming anything I could. I finally got to the front door. We have a large, orange mat right at the door which is usually nasty from shoes being wiped on it, but something else caught my eye here. Right at the center of the mat was a lump. It’s under the mat. Crap.

It’s under the freakin’ mat.

I actually pace back and forth a bit at this point, deciding how to approach this. I figure stomping it is going to leave a huge mess that I don’t want to deal with, so that’s out. I consider just taping the mat to the floor and letting the thing starve. In hind sight, it probably would’ve torn right through the tape. Suddenly, I get of stroke of brilliance.

I grab the vacuum.

Here’s the plan: attach the hose, stuff it under mat, then run a safe distance and watch. Perfect. Foolproof. Let’s do it. I grab the hose and switch on the vacuum. I scout out a safe spot and take a deep breath. One, two, three! In one swift motion, the tube is under the mat and I’m on a chair. The tone of the vacuum changes to a very familiar one. I, like many, have placed my hand against a vacuum hose to block the suction. It creates a very distinct noise. This creature is stuck at the end of the hose. It’s too big.

Enough is enough, I think. I’ve just got to get over there and face this thing. Muster my courage and man up. So I tape a length of fishing line to the mat and retreat to my chair. I give it a swift tug. The corner of the mat flips over. A small tuft of brown fur becomes visible. I start to think this won’t be so bad. I give it another tug, and I’m horrified by what I see stuck to my vacuum. It was a freakin’ grizzly bear.

The bear starts growling at me and swiping at the hose. It crushed the vacuum with one strike and clawed deep into my sofa. I ran out the kitchen door and didn’t look back. I didn’t grab my keys on the way out, so I headed across the street (I’ve got some friends living nearby). I called my roommate to let him know and spent the afternoon as far from the door as I could.

The exterminator showed up later that day to take care of the thing, which they told me was probably the largest bear they’d seen during the spring. The landlord called to apologize and actually waived our rent for the month, which was cool. Still, that’s not something I’d go through again, even if it meant free room and board.

The honey on the mouse trap was probably a bad idea.



1. Granny - May 18, 2010

ARE you telling the truth?


P.S. If not, then I really think you show become a writer!!

2. Tammy - May 19, 2010

A Grizzly bear? For real? It wasn’t a bear, right? I mean, you have got to be something crazy to have been living with a bear in your house and not know it.

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