TRASH PICKING & DUMPSTER DIVING – DEALING WITH BUGS & CRITTERS (6/7/10)

I enjoy the great outdoors and rarely get freaked out by critters or bugs.  The only bugs I can kill are pretty much ticks, fleas & mosquitoes – or any insect that’s going to suck blood.  I’m happy to co-exist with whatever else I encounter & if the cats don’t get to them first, will gingerly carry the intruder outside if it’s in the house.  However, cockroaches freak me out.  More so in relation to bringing found items into the house.  I won’t trash pick something that can’t be cleaned or washed well – like upholstered items.  Some furniture items I’ll keep outside (protected, in a ventilated area) until I’m confident there isn’t a critter factor (these are usually items that need some minor repair & I can imagine a bug finding a home in the cracks, or under the veneer).  I haven’t had any critter/bug issues yet in my lifetime of trash picking, and am very thankful for that.  BUT, yesterday,…..I had a scare.

We found a great 40s/50s dresser that needs some minor work & after keeping it outside for a day, we decided to bring it in until my boyfriend can get it to his place to work on.  I looked the dresser over well & it checked out under my scrutiny.   The minute we sat it down inside the house, a bug that looked way too close to a cockroach for my comfort came out from under the veneer.  I semi-freaked.  While I could kill a cockroach, I’m not crazy about the crunching, so my boyfriend took care of that.  Realistically, it was probably just an outside bug hitch-hiker, but I’m not taking any chances.  So, of course, we moved the dresser back outside (on a 95° Sunday, this is now becoming inconvenient).  My boyfriend dug up some unopened Raid fumigator box in the basement – that accumulated along with other chemical-type stuff I’ve never used nor needed (had to have been when other family members lived with me).  So, after we read & reread the instructions a few times (I so rarely work with chemicals), we put one of the fumigator cans under the dresser that is now covered with a heavy plastic on the front porch, & through the door watched the chemicals waft through the air like smoke.

While I wouldn’t call it a waste of an hour, it was definitely a bit of a drag.  I was willing to put it at the end of the driveway, but my boyfriend opted not to.  We did however, put two plastic ‘I-don’t-know-why-I picked-them-up’ chair seats that, judging by the industrial grade metal, were probably mounted in a public establishment of some kind.  The dresser now stands where they were.  We have a few days until trash day & I’m figuring a scrap-picker will pick the seats up.
We’ve found many items that get nicknames tied in with the circumstances when found them, and if we keep this dresser, it will forever be known as the cockroach dresser.

My boyfriend pointed out how, I’d be willing to eat food from a dumpster, but get freaked by one bug.  I re-addressed that it’s not the bug as much as to how, if said cockroach, they reproduce, very rapidly, and are resistant to eradication.

How about you?  Have you had any bad or unpleasant trash picking or dumpster diving experiences involving bugs or critters?

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