Die, Invertebrate Scum!

Not funny.

I’ve no idea what I ever did to them to deserve such treatment, but apparently my house is now officially under siege by a massive wave of tiny millipedes. The creepy crawly monsters attacks are twofold. They:

  1. Skitter across the floors and walls in a highly disturbing fashion.
  2. Curl up into tiny curlicues and die, leaving their dried-out husks behind for me to step upon with a disturbing series of crunches.

Not terribly terrifying, I must admit, but definitely annoying.
I have disposed of, and I am not making this up, somewhere between 150 and 200 of the little blighters over the last 24 hours. Every time I turn around, I notice a few more in desperate need of an old-fashioned extermination.
This brings us to a discussion of one of the only Manly Activities still sanctioned by our politically correct culture: pest extermination and disposal. While women have fought mightily for the right to vote, salary parity with men and other forms of sexual equality, they seem to be, by and large, pretty much okay with us taking on our God-given role of Chief Protector of the Domain, Multi-Legged/Winged Division. As Meryl Yourish pointed out, it’s not chauvanistic to seek out the professional services of a passing male when it comes to disposing of nasty critters; in fact, it’s downright mandatory for red-blooded American women to do so.
Now that we’ve been given official permission to deal with the Nasties, the next question arises: how, exactly, to dispose of multi-legged freakazoids worthy of a slot in an MST3k episode? There are several tactics that spring readily to mind.
1. The Whack and Smash
This creature destruction method is at once the most violent and the most prone to property damage. When executing a Whack and Smash, you should be certain to select a Whacking and Smashing implement of correct proportions, i.e., sized just big enough to inflict a deadly blow to the critter(s) while small enough to avoid destroying a goodly portion of your property. For your garden variety insects, spiders, moths, etc., a rolled-up newspaper or magazine will suffice, while smaller beasties can be dispatched with a fly swatter. Please avoid using Mag Lites or similarly heavy and menacing objects, as you may end up doing considerable auxiliary damage to your person on the follow-through.
The Whack and Smash must be executed quickly and from a sufficient distance from your target so as to give them little opportunity to react to your attack. You may add any additional “flair” you wish to your performance if you are being observed by a third party, as long as it won’t result in derisive laughter. A hearty kung fu-esque “Hiiiii-ya!” can be effectivem although Bruce Lee “Whaa-chaaa!”s should be avoided at all cost. Waving your implement in a threatening fashion and adopting a fencing position are also acceptable.
Upsides: The “ordeal” is over quickly; A successful operation with minimal damage to property will generally win accolades from lookers-on; You finally get to use those neurons you dedicated to absorbing countless Jackie Chan films late at night in college for a purpose other than, well, remembering watching countless Jackie Chan films late at night in college .
Downsides: Cleanup of the pests’ corpses is often a messy affair, particularly if you were dealing with a cockroach or especially large moth; Repeated missed strikes will draw derisive chuckles from any spectators and will go a long way towards sapping your machismo; Follow-through from a vigorous strike may bring you into close proximity with the fresh corpse or may result in you making a rather ungainly fall, both of which are to be avoided if at all possible.

Also not funny.

2. The “Have-A-Heart” Trap It Ploy
Some may seek a more “humane” solution, wishing to spare their fellow creatures pain and suffering wherever possible. These people are idiots.
Trap and release tactics never work and generally adhere to an inverse relationship with the size of the insect caught and released – the larger the critter caught, the more likely it is to come skittering back through a door in a highly enraged and alarming fashion. I merely present this option as a warning to prospective pest hunters out there. Avoid it at all costs – they’re just insects and thus not worth the incurring of Manhood Demerits that follows the extended periods of screeching and running around like a little girl that generally result from an enraged insect charging its recent tormentor.
Upsides: None. Be a man and kill the thing right off.
Downsides: Girly screeches can ruin a reputation faster than one would believe.
3. The Smother and Squish

No longer amusing.

This method is best employed against smaller pests and can be executed using a variety of materials, from toilet paper to paper towels to plastic bags to dust rags. Your choice of materials will largely depend upon the resources at hand and the relative size of the target. Smallish spiders, mosquitoes, beetles, etc. can be dispatched via tissues or toilet paper, while pests of larger dimensions should probably be dealt with using sturdier materials.
The actual act of Smothering and Squishing should be executed in a fashion similar to that of the Whack and Smash: hover slightly outside of the target’s field of view and then swoop in, covering your target and then scooping them up in your weapon of choice. You may then either crush the pest or pursue an alternate means of destruction, although I suggest that you accomplish the termination in the fastest manner possible, as a wriggling insect working its way loose can result in involuntary Girly Screeching behavior as mentioned above.
Those with a theatrical flair may want to add a bit of a performance aspect to the Smother and Squish. I recommend one of the following:

  1. The Ash Heap of History – The simplest of disposal methods, this requires that you merely throw the pest into a convenient trash receptacle. Be advised, you should be certain of the creature’s total destruction/incapacitation before attempting this one, as they may decide to emerge at a later date in a startling and unsettling fashion.
  2. The Salem Witch Trials – This method depends upon a handy source of water, preferably of the toilet variety. Simply place the pest, in the case of a non-disposable weapon such as a t-shirt or yet-unread sports page, or the pest-and-weapon combo, in the case of toilet paper, tissues or paper towels, into the bowl of a toilet. You may then ad lib a short trial and/or ceremony in order to send the bugger to his final destination. While those with a more scatological bent can easily dream up variations on this method, I shall refrain from enumerating these options in this space and instead leave it up to the reader to imagine. In any event, after the brief ceremonies are concluded, the toilet should be flushed and the invaders swept away. If the fiend manages to stay afloat, you may be dealing with an actual witch, in which case you should employ
  3. The Funeral Pyre – If you were canny enough to employ a disposable and flamable disposal device in your capture of the creature, you may execute this most satisfying variant on pest destruction. Fetch a kitchen match or butane lighter and take your prisoner to a well-ventillated area free of other flamable materials. Back porches and seldom-used charcoal grills are ideal for this purpose. Place your catch on the designated burn surface, set fire to their confines and then step back and enjoy a malevolent chuckle or two. Note: remember to chuckle softly to yourself and to constrain yourself to a few chuckles at most. Loud volume cackles or extended periods of evil laughter will often draw worried stares from neighbors Those with a large enough amount of combustible material and a convenient source of still water may employ a variant of this technique known as “The Viking Funeral”.

See… Hitler on Ice!
See.. a Viking Funeral!

Remember that, regardless of which ending you choose for the Smother and Squish, you should take great care in transporting your charge. It should be held away from your body with your thumb facing up and palm facing in. Your elbow should be bent at a little more than a slight angle to indicate both your lack of fear and contempt for your foe. Do not hold the package too far from your torso – an unbent arm or upturned wrist will make you look girly and should be avoided at all costs. At the same time, you should not hold it too close to your body in case the prisoner makes an attempt to escape. If held too closely, you will not have time to retreat to a safe distance and regroup for a follow-up attack and may well result in Girly Screeching.
If you follow these simple steps, you too will soon find yourself enjoying the status of Domestic Exterminator Extraordinaire. So remember: be careful out there, guys, and always keep your lighters near. You’ll thank me.


You seem to have your methods of destruction nailed down. Now you need to figure out how to keep them from your house to begin with. I don’t know what that is, but I suggest you learn.

I previously enjoyed leaving the carcasses around as a warning sign to all those other ones who were thinking of coming into my home. If I had toothpicks I would mount their skulls on them around the house, if I could. The wife, however, does not agree with this practice and makes me pick up the remains. Just another smothering of my bachelor ways.