Centipedes and Scorpions, oh my!

Long ago I drew the line in the sand with all members of the insect kingdom. If you stay outside, where you belong, we are cool. The minute you cross into my home, my territory, I will destroy you by whatever means are necessary.

The biggest threat to my bug free zone came one Saturday morning as I was headed to the kitchen for some breakfast. My bare foot almost came down on something long and skinny scurrying across the floor. I quickly flipped on the lights to see this grotesque creature hurrying to get out of sight. Not on my watch. Reacting from instinct, I grabbed the Mason jar on my kitchen counter, and trapped my prey within it’s circular opening, leaving the 2 inch thing struggling against the glass walls. Utilizing some cardboard and a brave act of complete courage on my part, I was able to flip this monster into the body of the Mason jar, trapping him with no escape.

Not sure what to do, I started by identifying my prisoner. After some Google and Facebook help, I learned I was dealing with a centipede. Next step, I needed a plan to destroy. I couldn’t just let him go, he already knew the way into my house. He would be back, bringing all his friends, telling them I was an easy target. Smashing him seemed like a bad plan, with all the guts and poison that would come out. And, I couldn’t flush him down the toilet, as everyone knows if you flush a bug it will crawl back up the sewer system and bite you on the bum as you are going to the bathroom. I couldn’t live with that constant threat hanging over my head.

The only solution that made sense was to kill this centipede in the mason jar, and then dump the body into the garbage to be taken far away. Only problem, I didn’t have any bug spray or other known killers. Undeterred, I started combing through my household cleaners for something that might work. First up, Windex. I sprayed some into the jar, closed the lid, and waited. No response. This was a tough bug, staring at me with those horrible eyes, laughing at my first attempt. Three other household cleaners had the same effect. Nothing. I had to do better, I had to up my game. I soaked a cotton ball with nail polish remover, dropped it into the jar, and closed the lid. Immediately the centipede began twitching. Within 10 seconds, the centipede was writhing, and I swear I could hear it screaming. Within 30 seconds, the centipede stopped moving completely. I waited for a full minute to ensure he was completely dead.

Deciding not to focus on the fact that a substance I put on my fingertips had the ability to kill a poisonous insect within 30 seconds, I set my sights on how to dispose of the body. I poked my head outside and noticed my neighbors garbage can was out on the street, about 5 houses down. Unwilling to have the corpse near my own house, I slowly walked down the street, made sure no one was watching, and dumped the body into the trash. Victory was mine.

About a month later, I came home to find a small scorpion on the stairs. I quickly sprang into action. I grabbed the mason jar, now labeled “the bug killing jar”, trapped him, and dropped in a cotton ball soaked with nail polish remover. Same result. Not wanting to take advantage of the same neighbor, I dumped this body into the trash can of the neighbor across the street.

Word must have travelled fast within the insect community, because I haven’t had any large scale intruders since the scorpion. But, someday another hot shot will think he can mess with me. And I’ll be waiting.


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