Monday, September 06, 2004

Crawlies Vs. Crips

I never used to be wary of moths... until I became disabled. Months at a time of being stuck in bed meant not being able to leap around and swot the little buggers, or, ahem, escort them outside. Crane flies are just as bad, if not worse, as they are unlovely and look like flying spiders. Don't make this comparison to anyone who hates spiders, unless you want to give them a phobia about crane flies too. (Now, don't say I never give you nuffink...)

Lying in bed at night, listening to them creep, flutter and buzz. Under the bed. Across the ceiling. Urrgh.

Aparently it's not uncommon for disabled people to hate flying insects. I know this because I have questioned many of my friends on the subject. The general concensus is that if you can't move around enough, or for other reasons unique to your particular situation, can't do anything to reach, splat or expel them, you become more sensitised to their presence. It's something you can't control - not that I'm saying disabled people are control freaks, of course... we just like things to be right, and our right is often different than somebody's elses - but I digress.

Gadgets are my salvation, although I will briefly mention other techniques I don't advocate you try at home, unless you are suicidal or have no feeling in your hands - in which case try at your own risk.

Bug Katchas.
These are great. They're little plastic pyramid things on the end of a long stick. Various doorstep botherer cataloques carry them. The idea is the bottom of the pyramid thingy is a trapdoor that slides open and shut (still with me here)? You place the pyramid, trapdoor open, over the nasty, then twist the katcha closed, then hold out of a window and drop the nasty outside (from a great height if you're not sure if it flies and want to find out). Of course, if a breeze catches it or it has wings, it lives to terrorise you another day - so may pay another visit in future.

Drain guards. I wouldn't pay for these as flying nasties are my main fear. But they sit over the end of the pipe your bath water drains out of, being opened by the force of the water and closed the rest of the time. They work on the principle spiders won't be able to crawl up the plughole. But when did those long legged terrorists ever play by the rules?

Sticky papers. Not bad. They work, but put you off your dinner. A good method if you're trying to lose weight. The "AF Visit The Flypaper Before Dinner Diet". You heard it here first.

Sprays that discourage nasties. Again from doorstep botherer cataloques. As if. Any nasty worth it's visible leg hair and biiig buggy eyes would spit on this method!

At Your Own Risk

Lighter fluid. Neat, it appears to shrivel them up alive. Only for the most sadistic. I learned this technique when working in a graphics studio, where they use it to dissolve glue after paste up blunders. Except now they probably use computers for paste up... that is, if the company survived into the electronic age - and didn't go up in flames after their staff habitually chucked around what is basically a flammable excelerant to kill stuff in which was probably the grossest manner I have ever, ever seen.

Lighter and flammable aerosol. This could backfire and blow up. But not always, which is why I'm able to bring you this blog today. Weigh up your own odds. If you're feeling lucky, aim the aerosol spray at the nasty, then light the spray (keep a couple of inches away from the can), and frizzle it into oblivion. There's very little in the way of remains, and is the number one choice for things that hang from the ceiling, thus preventing you from killing them by a sharp whack against a hard surface. Once I was sleeping when Mr Fang discovered a nasty hanging from the light... a gentle whoosh was all I heard before returning to my slumbers. If you're unsure, rent Dog Soldiers on video and watch how Sean Pertwee does it before going ahead. He's a master, that man.

If I have helped some disabled person somewhere to fight the menace of nasties by writing this, then I have, in these early days, already proved the value of this humble blog.


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