Meet the Bug Lady

- National Pest Management Association
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When I was little, my responses to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" never had anything at all to do with bugs. But now, here I am. The Bug Lady. It's taken me a while to get used to that title but as the Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association, my professional world revolves around bugs, rodents, and other creepy crawlies. Let's be clear. I do not like bugs or any other pest for that matter. Quite the contrary. True to my gender, at the sight of a mouse I am up on the highest chair I can find, or better yet, out of the house, altogether. But I have learned since becoming The Bug Lady how unhelpful that response is. When it comes to bugs and other pests, given the option of fight or flight, we must fight! 

And that's what this blog will do - teach my sister pest-phobes (and brother pest-phobes, too!) how to fight against pests and protect your family and home from the diseases and damage they cause. Most of what you should do is so easy and makes so much sense, but unless someone tells you, how to do you know? I hope readers will use this blog as they would Hints from Heloise or Menus by Martha Stewart - use the ideas and advice offered to help the domestic diva in you shine! I will regularly cover EASY things you can do to keep pests out of your home, and when I say easy, I mean it.    

So now that you know what we will be tackling here, let me tell you a bit more about me so that we can develop as close a one-sided relationship as might be possible in this space. I am a working mom, raising two very active daughters, a teenager and a 'tween. Managing our family's crazy sports-filled life, running a Girl Scout Troop and participating in a few other small volunteer things are about all that I can fit in outside my work as The Bug Lady.  In my job, I help home and business owners learn about keeping pests out of their lives through a variety of educational outlets so I often talk about rodents, spiders, cockroaches, termites, ants, stinging insects, bed bugs, and more.

In providing public education about the concerning aspects of these pests, I must say, I feel like I have become a counselor to friends, family members and even complete strangers I meet at cocktail parties or as is more often the case, at sporting events. I am often pulled aside or asked for advice in whispered tones from someone who thinks they have bed bugs or has an ant or mouse problem.  I also have the glory of hearing everyone's most disgusting and heart-wrenching pest stories. 

Here are some of my favorites (or least favorites as the case may be):

1)     One of my relatives had a mouse drop from the ceiling tiles onto his desk earlier this winter. After a stare-off, the mouse quickly dashed away, begging the question of "who was more scared?"

2)     I have learned of several instances of mice or portions of them being dispensed in ATM machines. I would be hard pressed to think of something - anything - more disgusting. 

3)     My children's orthodontist has to vacuum his house SEVERAL TIMES a day in the fall because of stink bugs. Hundreds of these smelly pests make their way into his home EVERY DAY! Ugh.

What's your grossest pest story? What made you shriek or scream?  Please share it with me. 

Looking forward to helping you learn more about protection from pests, so be sure to check back often!


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