We have a quarterly pest control service. We don’t get anything out of the ordinary, but as you know, I do not do spiders. It works well…despite getting the occasional spider inside the house, we haven’t had any other problems with bugs, ants, etc.

The pest control service is a fairly large company, but the same guy always comes to inspect and spray our house (let’s call him Ben). I find Ben fascinating because he, and I cannot stress this enough, loves his job. He makes his way around my house with his poison bug juice machine spraying all over the place and I swear he’s skipping and whistling.

The first time Ben sprayed my yard, he knocked on my front door to give me a report. “So ma’am, I’m all done and I wanted to let you know that I got rid of lots of little buggers, but I also found a pretty large brown widow nest.”

Me, screaming internally, “I’m going to need you to tell me you killed it with fire.”

Ben, “Hahaha! Believe me, if that was allowed, I would! I used to light bugs on fire when I was a kid. I just killed it with the regular poison. They won’t bother you now!”

Me, “Oh good! …wait, what?”


Ever since then, Ben has delighted in telling me all about what he’s found and killed in our yard. Even when I say, “You know what, that’s okay, I’d rather think there was nothing in the yard except birds and butterflies,” he still knocks on the door to tell me. And I still listen, because I can see that he is literally ecstatic to tell me about his job.

Yesterday morning I found a dead rat in our backyard (luckily beyond the reach of Rigby and the kids), so I called the pest control service. It looked like the rat had fallen out of a fruit tree to its death, but I wanted to make sure everything was cool since rats/rat droppings + dog and kid who puts everything in his mouth = Hantavirus City.

Of course, good old Ben showed up to deal with the rat. “I hear you have a dead rat! I’m going to look around and see if I can find any evidence of others!” He used a tone of voice that I reserve for things of great excitement and importance, like Gwen Stefani albums or custard pie.

About ten minutes later, Ben knocked on my door. “WOOOO that was a big one! See!” And then he held up a nice clear bag for me to see a nice dead rat.

“Oh yeah…that thing is almost big enough to take a picture with at Disneyland.”

“I didn’t see anything else you should be worried about, but keep an eye out. This one was probably the leader, it’s so big and obviously a boy. Do you want me to tell you how you can determine its sex?”

I was standing in my doorway, holding my dog in one arm (who was, by the way, going crazy because stranger!) and James in the other (also going crazy because he wanted to “Go outside! Go outsiiiiiiiide!”), with Annabel standing behind me saying, “I wanna see, I wanna see!” Obviously a super time to talk about rat genitals!

Instead I said, “Oh, you know, it would probably be better if I Googled it.”

(Don’t Google it.)

As much as I enjoy the opportunities to learn about insecticide and rat testicles, I think next time I’m going to let Ben pass on his wisdom to Mike.