Have you ever been haunted? Ever seen ghosts, ghouls, or spirits that scare the daylights out of you? How about an otherworldly encounter? I certainly hope not. While true hauntings may not be common, this October at Greenhouse, I will be featuring one of the most dreadful monsters we’ve come to know, a monster a bit more real (and horrifying). I will be digging into a new horror story which reveals a close encounter with some of the most frightful home pests, some of the creepiest of crawlies.

It all began on a dark and stormy night in Tampa… What am I saying? Of course it did. This is Florida. It was late, and I had gone into the kitchen to sneak a bite to eat before bed when out of the corner of my eye, the shadows almost moved on their own. Having thought I was alone, now momentarily startled and left with a feeling of unease, I stood in the dull glare of the refrigerator. More quickly now, I began snagging my loot and turned to leave, but this time I saw them. Scattering from the refrigerator’s glow were four of the lightest, fastest, grubbiest monstrosities I’ve ever had the displeasure of coming across. Before I could arm myself with a trusty paper towel, they had already disappeared back into the darkness. I sulked to bed that night confused and scared, hoping it was a one time thing and that they’d go away. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The longer I waited, the more terribly the nightmare twisted. Four became twenty. Twenty became one hundred. One hundred quickly spiraled into THOUSANDS. No matter what I did in the kitchen, I’d spot countless. Grabbing a spoon, getting out a dish, opening a cabinet, I always saw them. It got so bad that I didn’t feel comfortable using a dish without rewashing it first. The bugs took over the oven and could even be seen crawling inside on the LED display. Dozens would just sit on the counter acting like they pay rent. Worst yet, they began appearing in my bedroom. I was losing my mind and my home. The worst part was that no matter how much I cleaned, they never stopped coming. My situation was so gross and embarrassing that I felt helpless.

Right around the time I thought my skin couldn’t possibly crawl any more, I discovered my exorcists. I found myself working for Greenhouse, and at the time, I had little experience with home pests. I knew I was dealing with cockroaches, but as to what type, I couldn’t be any more clueless. With the help and sheer expertise of my lovely new coworkers, I was finally able to identify and counter the horde that had been terrorizing me: German cockroaches.

Notoriously the most frustrating home pest of the cockroach world, German cockroaches are a tan, lightweight menace to the peaceful enjoyment of your home. They can be found in buildings across not only Florida, but the entire globe. German cockroaches are a widespread super-nuisance. With their deviously refined sensing capabilities and human-centered adaptations, they are able to sniff out sources of food, heat, and water, otherwise known as appliances, sinks, pantries, and dirty dishes. Food sources can run the full range from loose scraps, to pet food bowls, to just about anything. German roach hunger tears through soap, glue, toothpaste, hair, their droppings, and each other. A hitchhiking roach makes entry, usually hidden in groceries/deliveries or on visitors at the onset of infestation. Once the fiends have decided your home is now theirs, these mischievous pests begin learning your habits. It’s not long before they’ve figured out when/where you eat, where the garbage is, even when you go to bed and turn the lights out, all in an effort to avoid you and eat your things. When you do spot them though, good luck catching one. German roaches are faster than a Floridian running from snow and will skedaddle the second light shines anywhere close. These beasts and their feces (tiny dark specks) spread gastroenteritis-causing pathogens (including Salmonella and E. coli) collected from the rotting material they roam as well as allergenic particles particularly dangerous to those with asthma. Considering the fact that a single roach can mother as many as 30,000 babies in under a year, German cockroach infestations are a nightmare scenario.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately for me, Greenhouse set up an appointment with Austin, one of our technicians. He came to my home armed with knowledge, training, and a plan to eliminate my problem. Not only did he work with my firsthand experience to target specific areas, he also politely gave useful advice to help keep up the fight after he’s gone. Nearly six months later, I enjoy a roach-free life, and most importantly, I can sneak a late night snack without fear of running into monsters. Now, the only thing that goes bump in the night is me. Thank you Greenhouse!

Evan at Greenhouse