Saturday, 17 September 2011

What’s This Crap You Send Me?!?!?!

I work in pest control. I know, it’s full of multi legged excitement. Every day is a new adventure!!!! One of my fun jobs is to respond to the emails that people send. This may seem easy, and in most cases, I’m sure it is. Unfortunately for me, a majority of the emails are requests to ID bugs.

The level of paranoia people have for the potential life threatening bugs that may or may not exist is fucking insane. INSANE. As I am a firm believer in group suffering, I have decided to share with you all a taste of wtf goes on in my wonderous world of bug identification.

The standard request for bug emails is “please provide a CLEAR photo with a coin in it for size reference. Awesome examples of this would be:

For anyone curious the answer is yes, those are in fact, BED BUGS. Not invisible after all! Quite large, and disgusting… the dark splotches inside their tummies would be blood they’re digesting… DELICIOUS

This is a fabric beetle larvae (commonly mistaken for bed bugs). If all photos were this awesome, I wouldn’t have something to write about!

Now to explain what I usually deal with, I’ve saved a few examples. Most of these have very very VERY limited descriptions (if any) along with the request “please identify”. I bring you…
Example 1:

Yes, we can all assume this is a spider. OR CAN WE??? I can only count 3 legs. 3. WTF has 3 legs? And weird knobs shooting out of (the top of?) it. I think at this point, you need to contact the government to report some weird assed species has come into existence in your house… Or take another picture that may actually show what it is. You know, whichever is easier.

Example 2:

That is definitely a penny, and a finger. And… a dark spot? Lint? Food?

**please note after a request for a clearer photo, this ended up being a sow bug**

Example 3:

The penny is clear. 1985 was a good year! (probably). Ohhh that could look like a bug, right? On closer inspection:

No, it’s a blob. A blob that may look like it has legs. Or may not. I never got clarification on this. It may even have been a piece of mouse poop.

Example 4:

A rock? A house infested with rocks? Tiny pebbles of doom? DOOM PEBBLES ARE INFILTRATING THIS LADY’S HOUSE! HOLY HELL VACATE NOWWWWW!!!!

No really, it was actually a drugstore beetle.

Example 5:

This came with no description other than “please identify droppings on left”. This looks like rocks of some kind. Kidney stones? I know of no bug (or rodent) that craps out yellow crystals. This too may be something that needs to be reported to some kind of scientific official.

Examples 6, 7, and 8:

I don’t even have any words for these, which is why they’ve been grouped together in one example disguised as 3 (I’m sneaky like that). I think the one in the middle *may* have been someone’s attempt at showing bed bugs, or it’s an old sandwich.  I’m not going to even try with the ones on the top and bottom.

Either way it’s crap. Unidentifiable crap. I love you, random people that call/email me at work, but please please PLEASE give me something to work with here! Otherwise you’ll end up in my next rant. I may not legally (or morally) be able to name you, but I will have negative feelings towards you and will give stern scowls when reading your email, which could (if karma exists) cause you to rue the day that you emailed me your blur!


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