Fang Talks


We had a bit of a situation here just now.

The Netherlands really aren’t that bad when it comes to freaky wildlife. The “worst” thing that’s somewhat common here are large grasshoppers, and it’s not like those are gigantic. No, this is a walk in the park compared to places like Australia. Still, it’s quite the experience when you have the worst your country has to offer in your living room. (Okay, okay, it isn’t necessarily the biggest or scariest thing we have over here, but things sound more dramatic when I say it is.)

Had a very similar situation previous summer. Same kind of critter, different company. Back then I had a good friend on my side, this time it was my sister. Luckily the extra hands weren’t needed as I now knew how to get the thing out of my house. See, you can’t exactly just grab it and throw it out, even if you wanted to. Either you’ll grip too strong and crush the poor thing, or it’ll squirm, get out, and fly around even more frantically than before. Not fun for any of the parties involved.

So here’s the game plan, which I guess can easily be applied to other kinds of intruders you may run into. Get yourself a container with an open side, like a glass or bowl, large enough to easily place over the target and contain it. (Pro-tip: use something transparent!) Contain, not constrain. Give it some space, it’s probably already stressed enough as is. Then wait for it to sit on an easily accessible, flat surface like a wall, a table or the floor. Approach it from a direction you feel comfortable with (the back will usually be your go-to direction, but if it’s in a nasty spot the front will work equally well) and swiftly put your container over it.

If all has gone well, you now have the intruder trapped! (If not, repeat the previous two steps.) So, now what? Get yourself a big piece of cardboard or a plastic bag. (Pro-tip: if your container isn’t transparent, try using something see-through for this!) Slide it between the surface and the container, closing its opening so that you can remove the container from the surface without the target escaping. Done? Great. Carry it all out the door, open it up and free the lost soul!

But what’s with all the “use something transparent” stuff? It’ll allow you to inspect your catch! Though I ain’t the bravest man when it comes to large insects, they’re still super interesting! If possible, I like to take a closer look at the creature before letting it go. Come on, it isn’t every day that you can see a live specimen from up close! See it as your reward for manning up and dealing with the thing.

Of course for smaller insects it may be more convenient to just squash them, but seriously, if you have the chance to throw them out alive, do so. Unless it’s mosquitos.
~ Fang

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