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Bugs are so inconsiderate. You're sitting on the throne, doing your business, and low and behold across the floor crawls the biggest spider you've seen - in at least a few days anyway. You don't want to break your comfort, so getting up is out of the question. But the insect is imminent and heading towards your feet - it must be stopped! You begin scanning the landscape for a weapon of choice. "Hmm, Lysol - kills viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew. I'll bet it'll work on spiders too." Quickly, you reach for the can of Lysol, and blast the hideous arachne with a solution of Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Saccharinate, Ethanol and 20.9% inert ingredients. It works! The spider has been defeated! Upon closer examination of the can, you read the notice "It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling." If anybody asks: You were disinfecting the spider.

I've also found hairspray works quite well as insecticide in a pinch.
I had to use lynx deodorant spray once.
The story goes as follows:

It was late a night. I planned to go to bed. So I shutdown the computer, closed the window, the usual stuff. Then, to my horror. I discovered a huge, ugly weta. The God of Ugly Things....Near my bed! NOTE: This was not a Giant Weta, the smaller variety, they can jump, and scratch you with their little spiky legs.
There was no way in hell I was going to sleep with that thing near my bed. What if I woke-up, and found it on my face! It might eat me alive!

...Well, not really, they can't even bite, but those were kind of thoughts that were running though my head.
So began the plan to eradicate the beast. Unfortunately, I knew that a relocation of the weta was not possible. Too hard, didn't have anything to keep it in, too scared to get that close.
I spent the first 10 minuets trying to bat it with a long, steel ruler. But this was unsuccessful, and it went further down the gap between my bed and the wall.
Then came the lynx deodorant. I'm not sure if it did anything or not. But it did seem to subdue the beast.
But this was not enough. It would most likely recover while I'm sleeping at 2:30am, and eat me alive. So how was I to get it? There was nothing except my hand that could reach it, and that was out of the question.
Then it struck me... The vacuum cleaner!
So, I plugged it in, turned it on, placed close to the weta, and SLLLUUUP! Away he went.

This whole incident could have been avoided if there was real bug spray around the house. But the old folks don't like bug sprays....Unhealthy chemicals, or something.


Uberfetus has informed me that the Tree Weta can bite.
But it still probably wouldn't be able to eat me alive.
Some advice books and columns suggest using hairspray as a superior alternative to bug spray, at least for winged insects. Bug spray, they say, although it is a poison, is rarely a quick-acting one, and may very well annoy the insect that you were trying to kill (or at least avoid).

But why hairspray? Hairspray is a fixative, basically an aerosol glue of sorts, that works really fast. And since copious amounts of hairspray can hold beehive hairdos in place, one can easily see that a judicious amount will hold your chitinous enemy's wings firmly in place, ridding you of this particular nuisance.

This method is apparently favored for use on bees, since they seem to particularly hate bug spray.

While serving in the US Army my wife and I lived in a cockroach infested trailer in southern Georgia -- near Savannah. Every time we'd turn the kitchen lights on there would be a mad scrabble across the kitchen linoleum as a half-dozen roaches scurried for the exits. Now, insects don't bother me that much, but my wife really is disgusted by them, so I'd have to make an attempt to kill them.

I would dutifully open the cupboard under the sink and grab the nearest aerosol can, then I'd start spraying the little bastards. My range of choices usually amounted to various aerosol furniture polishers, disinfectants, and the usual under-the-kitchen-sink products. None of them did a particularly effective job. Sometimes the roaches would appear dead. I'd scoop them into the garbage -- only to see them crawling back out a few minutes later.

But one night I went through this routine and saw the roaches suddenly start running fast in tight little circles -- then stop. Dead as a doornail. I didn't even read the can, just made note of its size and color. When it worked on repeated applications I finally decided to check and see what wonder product I was using --- clear acrylic lacquer. I was painting them to death.

Apparently they breathe through their bodies and I was coating them sufficiently to suffocate them. I'm just glad it was clear lacquer -- the little "highly waxed" spots on the linoleum tile weren't very noticeable. But the landlord probably wouldn't have been very happy if we'd left a polka-dotted floor behind.

A few years ago, my friends and I were playing football in the street when the ball made its way towards a drainage ditch (one of the ones that looks like a large slit in the concrete on the side of the street).

Well, per the rules of street baseball carrying over to street football, "you hit it, you get it" (granted, the ball wasn't "hit" but you get the idea). My task was to retrieve the ball. Upon looking into the drain, we witnessed a good 100+ spider webs and a huge variety of insects.

The new task became the cleansing of the drain, even the Orkin Man would have run in fear from this ordeal. I ran down the street to my house and grabbed a 40oz can of hair spray (one of the foot tall ones) and a match book. A small pile of leaves was created near the entrance of the drain and a fire lit. Using the hairspray as a makeshift blow torch, we fried the ugly little SOBs.

The football was retrieved undamaged and the game finished. The downside - I spend the next three months with the nickname "Ladybug Killer".

When I was little, my nextdoor neighbor used to have a pool. It was one of those cheap rubber water balloon pools, but they had it buried underground, as if it was a conventional concrete pool.

Well, after they took the pool out, there was a nice, gaping hole in the yard in which we could wrestle and wail on each other with sticks. The hole remained a part of my neighbor's yard for at least a year, until they decided to build a wooden deck over it.

Now, this hole had been a central part of our childhood routine for quite some time, and we weren't about to abandon it because it was covered with some wood. So what did we do? We burrowed under it, that's what we did.

We began our excavation in late winter. By the time spring rolled around, we had a nice system of trenches and secret passageways, with a cozy 1'4" of headroom to spare.

Enter mid-Spring. Onward, came the bugs. Anyone who has lived in Florida in the spring knows that it's home to the most diverse and terrifying population of bugs known to civilized man. It wasn't long before we were at war with the black widows.

We fought them in the trenches! We fought them with roman candles and bottle rockets! We fought them with spraypaint, smoke bombs, firecrackers and homemade flame-throwers!

Our weapon of choice was a Bic lighter and some expired Lysol. The roaring blue flame licked away any spider webs, and the smell of cooking arachnid seemed to permeate the air following any expidition into what we called "the mines".

Naturally, we lost the war. Our supply of pyrotechnics had begun to dry up, no small thanks to the partial fireworks ban imposed on Pinellas County, Florida. That, and my friend's dad yelled at us after he thought the deck was on fire. I guess that when your porch appears to be billowing smoke, it's cause for alarm.

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