The Chancleta Chronicles: How I Handle Pests

When the frog princess started noticing bugs, I would have to remind her that bugs are our friends and she should not be afraid. I didn't want her to run scared from every critter she saw. To reinforce this notion, I enlisted Miss Spider and her friends and family at the Sunny Patch. As I type this, the frog princess sits next to me singing the theme song which ends in "be good to bugs". I try to live by this motto. Unless you're a roach. Or a spider. Or a fire ant. Or a fly.

Yeah okay so, maybe I don't live by that motto. My motto is more"if you're in my territory you must die". I am the killer. I am not afraid. I'm the one that can swat, spray and generally demolish any creature that crawls (except snakes but that's a different blog for a different day). My preferred method: la chancleta (aka the flip flop)!

Except that I have one problem. I can't seem to kill in front of the frog princess. I will usually identify the target and then I will distract the frog princess while I handle the issue. In Florida, this means that I am trying to capture and destroy palmetto bugs (aka big roaches). I hate them. I think they are yucky and disgusting and must be destroyed if I find them in the house. I have nightmares that they will start flying (did you know some of them fly?) and attack me while I sleep.

I've also become increasingly concerned with spiders. While I can appreciate Ms. Spider's caring nature and the fact that she has adopted all those other bugs, two words always come to mind now that I have a child: brown recluse.

Have you seen the yucky open wounds that this spider can cause? Don't look it up because you can't unsee that! So, while in the past I would simply state to the spider "go about your business and I will allow you safe passage in my home" (this is what happens when one grows up reading Charlotte's Web) I now will seek and destroy all 8 legged creatures near and far.

Also, I have a thing about killing flies. I blame The Karate Kid. Mr. Miyagi looked all cool and zen doing it. Now when a fly enters my house, I grab my bandana, my chopsticks, my chancleta and get to becoming one with the lack of buzzing. Seriously, the flies would be okay if they just learned to stop buzzing while inside. I don't know about you but it drives me nuts!

But, I am tired of trying to hide my kills. Especially after the rains in Florida and me scouring the house trying to figure out entry points. It's a never ending battle. I have to distract the kid while I plan on destroying and let's not forget cleaning up. The other day I pounced on a palmetto bug that oozed white intestines or something and it was just yucky. And who has time for that when I have cookie dough to sell for the kid (can I interest you in a tub)? So I'm biting the bullet and getting a pro to come in and handle all this killing.

The next issue is who? And where do I start? Enter Pest World (thank you Geezus)! is your go-to resource for everything you need to know about bugs, rodents and other household pests. You can identify your infestation, find helpful prevention tips, pest photography and videos, educational articles on a variety of pest topics, and more. Not only can I find out way more information about pests than I care to (but really, you can't help yourself. I'm currently studying the stink bug!) but you can find some pest control folks in your area.

In the fall, pests often enter our homes seeking shelter from colder weather, so it's important to take steps to pest-proof your home. Pest issues are better handled by licensed pest professionals. They have the knowledge, training and tools to properly identify a pest species and recommend ways to safely remedy an infestation before it becomes a serious problem.

You can find a pest professional in your area by entering your zip code in the Find a Pro database on

I'm looking forward to giving my chancleta a rest and letting the professionals handle this while I enjoy baking cookies thanks to all this cookie dough that's about to grace my fridge.

Are you scared of creepy crawlies? How do you deal with them?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pest Management Association. The opinions and text are all mine.