Pets or Pests - Keeping the Ones You Don’t Want OUT

Maybe you’re a little more easy going, but I for one don’t feel like waking up one day to find out Stuart Little and friends decided to come on my vacation. This is not a Disney movie and these little buggers don’t have a song and dance number prepared to entertain you. 

So it’s time to learn a few rules for keeping your home on wheels from becoming a roach motel. Sadly, every single thing on this list has a sense of self-preservation so it’s time to remind them why humans are at the top of the food chain and use those opposable thumbs! Thankfully, a lot of these guys are deterred by similar means. Kill two birds with one stone, or whatever. But you’ll definitely be killing something. 



Let’s start with mice, the rat’s smaller cousin, but unlike the rat able to avoid the Mounties on the Alberta border. These little free loaders will squeeze and squirm their way through any small gap they find available to keep themselves warm and toasty. Great. 

To deter the little *bleep* keep your space clean and crumb free. Secure food in tightly closed containers, and watch out for any signs of a coming infestation. Those will look like droppings and chewed up food or fabric and furniture. Always do a check inside and out of your unit for holes or cracks the little pests could get into. Fun fact, like cats mice don’t have collar bones so they are truly persistent and able to get through claustrophobic spaces. If you do end up with some tiny fiends it’s recommended you use food baited traps and not poison, particularly if you have real pets or small children. If the mice die somewhere else now you’re playing the world’s worst game of hide-and-seek to find the carcass, and in the meantime it could attract something else or become a health hazard to your true friends and family members of the four legged variety.



Also known as the “oh my god kill it, KILL IT NOW” in my house, this always-keep-a-shoe-handy many legged beast makes your wonder if there is a God, and if so, what sins have been brought upon the world by man to demand the creation of The Centipede. The unholy offspring of snakes and cockroaches with a dash of an extra-marital affair with Satan, this creepy-crawly is the reason I have a fear of being barefoot in an unfinished basement.  

These things sadly cannot survive sub-zero temps, which means they’ll start wanting to join you when you’re curled up all cozy in bed. Waiting…unaware…helpless against the many legged terror.

(I think you get it, I don’t like these things.)

These demons will seek out the warm and dark, so beware basements and under sinks. The best way to keep these guys out is to be prepared. If you start noticing them in the winter you’re probably hooped. When it’s warm, make sure your weatherstripping is tight and there are no holes in any screens. They’ll hide in the narrowest of cracks, crevices, and unfortunately drains. Put a plug over your drains if you won’t be using them for a while to deter anything from coming up the pipes to make your home theirs.

And when in doubt: shoe beats centipede. 



You are not Peter Parker, so stop trying to get bit by a spider so you can start flying through the city. Everyone knows even if you do miraculously become a superhero, Spiderman’s powers are truly useless in the prairies. Try and solve crime when your superpower is sticking to walls and there are no walls! Be Batman, kill the spiders where they stand. 

Spiders come in all shapes and sizes, and hey another fun fact: arachnophobia is the most common fear! If these Eight Legged Freaks (starring David Arquette) don’t freak you out already, maybe I can instill a healthy fear in you with some spider facts: While black widow spiders are known for eating their mates, the red widow male will force his female counterpart to eat him. Nice. There are over 50,000 species worldwide, one of them being the giant house spider in Europe that can move 1.73 feet per second, or 1.9 km/h. Yeah…no. And to top it off, some spider bites can lead to a bit more than itching if you’re in an area where the more dangerous varieties, like hobo spiders or black widows lurk; yes, we have these in Alberta, something that if I had to learn, you do too. 

(Is your skin crawling? Mine is. Don’t Google any of this, you’ll start feeling itchy)

So, avoid the Scarlett Johansson wannabes! Check boxes, screens, and window moldings as well as the weatherstripping of your doors and windows regularly. 



Simply put, these are the bane of my existence. Forget demon bugs, these guys are just annoying persistent. If you’ve never had a silverfish infestation you have known God. Count yourself lucky because these guys are so. Freaking. HARD to get rid of! You can use enough Raid to down an elephant, but as long as there’s a source of food and they can get in they’ll keep coming back for more. They also like moisture, so check that weatherstripping and any and all screens. Wipe up crumbs and don’t let Uncle Stan who’s never heard of a napkin come inside. Pray to your personal gods you never have to deal with these things.



The Joker. Darth Vader. Thanos. All run screaming from the COCKROACH. Men weep, children cry, women wish for strength. Not even Pixar could make this thing cute. These things CRUNCH when you kill them. Truly, I’d just set the whole place on fire rather than deal with them. So avoid the pyromania, keep clean, avoid crumbs and again, “Go away Stan with your three month unwashed hoodie that smells like old Cheetos!” 

Let me guess, you skipped to the end. As soon as I went off on a tangent about demon centipedes your eyes glazed over. Fine. That’s fine, my feelings aren’t hurt at all. 

So here are the facts: these princess sidekick wannabes are attracted to the loving warmth of your home, whether its on wheels or not, and all that food you’ve tucked away for personal enjoyment. So don’t feel guilty denying them access like you’re Scrooge and they’re helpless orphans out in the cold. Let them die. If they were meant to live, they would develop the ability to build central heating (oh dear god, do not think about what a cockroach could achieve with higher thought and opposable thumbs…). Secure that food in tightly sealed containers, keep a dust buster or the old faithful broom and dustpan at the ready, and take the time to make sure your unit, whether it be a camp trailer or motorhome, is sealed tight against intruders. Consistency is key. 

In conclusion: Humans rule because we were smart enough to stand upright and develop shoes and indoor plumbing. Bugs and lil’ critters are dumb but persistent in their continued existence. Pests are many, but you are big, so use those thumbs that evolution has given humanity to keep us as the top dogs…at least for a few more millennia. Then we will all bow to our cockroach overlords. 

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