Two days before we left for Belize I had an incredibly gross experience. The whole incident was so personally disgusting that I debated not even writing about it. However, after receiving animated reactions every time I retold this story, I decided it was worth sharing.
Let me first express that I detest all insects. All of them. Ok, I admit that butterflies are pretty, but I start to tremble when I remember that they start out as caterpillars. Ladybugs are the only other insect I can partially tolerate, only because they are not physically disgusting.
My most vehement hatred relates to a few unique species: spiders (too many legs), roaches (too resilient and they make noise when they run), mosquitoes (blood suckers), ants (militant) and worms (no explanation needed). Worms! These mini snakes are terrifying and grotesque. I still recall gagging when we read ‘How to Eat Fried Worms’ in elementary school. You can surely imagine my horror when I realized there were worms all over my kitchen.
The discovery was prompted by Bruno scratching at the tile floor. I know this usually means there’s some sort of bug that he is hunting. When I looked down and saw that it was a tiny white worm, I held back a gag while scooping it up and throwing it out (much to my puppy’s dismay). Then, the dreadfulness elevated when I spotted a second worm, and shortly thereafter saw that my entire kitchen floor was covered in them. Probably 100 worms, all inching about in different directions, unaware just how unwelcome they were.
After shrieking and leaping onto the safety of the carpet (yes, just like the hot lava game) I did the only logical thing I could think of; I called Jim. My hysterics must have been entertaining but Jim said that I should try to get rid of them and then call an exterminator. Ah, yes. An exterminator. Just the sound of it is music to my ears.
I conquered my fear and armed myself with a roll of paper towels, a trashcan and a bottle of OxyClean. My strategy was to spray a bunch of the worms and then rapidly scoop them up and throw them out. This took quite a while because there were a lot of worms, and every so often I panicked that they’d get out of the trash, so I had to make a trip out to the dumpster.
After about an hour, a second shower and a call to a pest control company, I felt a little better, but was still too nauseated to eat breakfast.
The exterminator initially thought the worms invaded via a dead log Bruno dragged into the house. However, upon further research and a conversation with a different exterminator, I learned that these worms have been appearing in houses all over the Phoenix area. He told me they’d probably had 100 calls of identical complaints in the past few weeks, and they still weren’t sure what caused it all.
Thank heavens there have been no recurrences since the initial event. I’m still mildly traumatized but thankful it appears to have been an isolated crisis.