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Ridding Your Home of Two-Legged Pests

Warm summer months are here. When we moved to the Midwest, we learned to deal with mosquitos, chiggers, ticks, and a variety of pests during this season.

One of the most bothersome was the two-legged variety. We found they swarm around front doors of those living near tourist hotspots, hoping to take advantage of your home for free meals, sleeping accommodations and maid service while they visit the local attractions.

When we lived in a tourist town in the sunny south, these pests flew to our door in winter, escaping snow and cold weather.

Otherwise known as tourists, this species consisted of casual friends and relatives who hadn’t made a habit of keeping in touch with us. What a coincidence that we lived within ten minutes of the beach! Suddenly these pests—er, people, were itching to visit.

The climax occurred when a van load arrived at our door unannounced and uninvited, and stayed three weeks. Behaving like resort guests, they cleaned out our pantry and left our bank account almost penniless. We had several small children at the time and needed every cent to feed our own brood.

These pesky visitors left behind not only our empty bank account, but also a wake of messes and clutter.

With that in mind, I came up with this guide for unwilling hostesses. Please understand that I enjoy entertaining and have done much of it. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed with pests of the two-legged variety as we have, this tongue-in-cheek list may help.


The guests have arrived, surprise! First, discreetly discover how long they plan to stay. If they say, “Oh, Charlie has two weeks’ vacation,” then implement Survival Plan A to keep their visit to a minimum.

Survival Plan A

  • If you have advance notice of their coming, locate the lumpiest mattress in the house and place it in your guest room.

  • Make sure the guest room is close to the kitchen, even if you must move your children out of their rooms temporarily.

  • Get up at 6 a.m. each day, turn on loud music and sing along while you bang around preparing breakfast.

  • Knock loudly on the guest room door and sing cheerily, “Breakfast in ten minutes!”

  • You will be fortunate if your laundry room is near the guest room. Start a load of rugs and blankets in the washer. The off-balance banging and thumping will add to the busy morning sounds.

  • If your children take piano lessons, have them practice the piano while you prepare breakfast. (Someone did this to us once, and we were invited.)

Having implemented the above, if your guests still insist on invading your living space long past their welcome, it’s time to implement Survival Plan B.

Survival Plan B

  • Though you may detest having animals in the house, bring your pets inside and get them used to sleeping on the furniture. If desperate, stop using flea protection on them during this time.

  • Make sure guests see you petting little Foo-Foo often while you cook. This may seem cruel, but remember, you are fighting for the survival of your family life. You could even slip some dog or cat hair on the table.

  • It’s a fact that guests despise the same boring menu day after day. Try serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on stale bread and soup made from last week’s leftovers.

  • Leave sticky substances on the countertop or table.

  • Smile and say, “Hope you don’t mind leftovers. We cleaned out the freezer and you can’t believe all the meals you can make with old stuff.”

If the above fails to deter the two-legged pests swarming about your home, you can always go on vacation yourself and be absent when they arrive. That will give you opportunity to observe what your hostess does to shorten your visit.

How about you? Any experiences with two-legged pests? Use the comment box below to tell us about it.


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