Special How-To: Ridding Your Dorm of Pests
eliminating the lingering annoyances of dorm life
Every year the windowsills in the university dorms get infested with these suckers. And not the pretty red ones that are merely attracted to the light coming from your TV, but the light orange beetle variety that bite and burn. Jerks.
Homeowners can afford the myriad of sprays, strips, tabs, and zappers that are available, but not you college kids. No way. But there’s no need to worry, there are a few cheap, natural remedies that are said to keep the pests at bay:
• Supposedly (I’ve never known anyone to try it) burning candles with lemon or vanilla scent is helpful.
• The recommended remedy that has always worked for me is bay leaves. Head to a grocery store and pick them up in the spice aisle. Then place some in your window sills. There’s a bit of a scent, but hey, it sure beats beetles.
According to experts at Bat Conservation of Wisconsin, Eau Claire has a high population of little brown bats and big brown bats. This is especially true in late summer and early fall, as the humidity increases the bug population and bats migrate to our parts and eventually hibernate.
Since bats can fit into holes as small as a nickel, and college rental homes are riddled with such gaps, students often encounter the creatures. If you have contact with bats and there’s a possibility of being bitten (most times people don’t even feel it), catch that bat (but use gloves or a tool) or call the city/county health department to do it! If you do, it can be tested for rabies (though less than 1 percent have it). If you don’t, you may need a series of rabies injections (between four and seven of them). Do not kill them. For one, it’s illegal. For two, they are extremely important in balancing the insect population (they eat between 600 and 1,000 insects per hour).
If you want to be proactive about your bat situation, or you’re sick of seeing them, here’s a few suggestions:
• Using caulk and small pieces of screen, go all over your house and plug the exterior openings. Then just worry about the ones you trapped inside.
• Have your landlord buy a bat house, as bats apparently prefer it to squeezing into your house. Plus that means you’ll have fewer bugs around your house, theoretically.
During the course of six months or even a year, it’s likely that you’ll have a falling out with a roommate at some point. And probably about something you won’t remember a few days later.
But during that difficult time of trying to avoid them, all you need to do is a combination of these things:
• Keep the sink filled with dishes and fridge filled with rotten food, and they’ll steer clear of the kitchen.
• Keep all alcohol and snack foods someplace where they won’t find them. They’ll find someone that has those things and spend their nights there.