Authored by Dan Huie

The cobbler’s children have no shoes, and my house has no pest control. And now, my house has rats. Well, I am hoping and believing we have turned the corner to being rat free… but we’ll see. It’s really quite comical that as a company we tout the value and virtues of recurring pest control, and yet at my house, the constant requests from my wife go unheeded. Spiders, ants, you name it, we’ve seen it. But only arrogance is my reply. Really, my reply is, “I will get to it,” but my heart is saying, “Don’t worry about it… It’s all under control.” Oh, the arrogance!

While reviewing some math homework with my son one evening at the kitchen table there was a sudden rustle. Denial – the first stage of grief – immediately swept over me. My pride, my sacred property, my little kingdom was at stake. Like an ostrich my head wanted to do anything but embrace the battle that lay ahead. My pride suffering an initial, yet not debilitating blow, I went to my truck and grabbed a trap. “Maybe the bag was just settling,” I thought as I trundled off to bed. I’m sure it will be empty in the morning. More denial…

Morning came and so did victory – one rat in the trap! “Problem solved,” I dared to hope; denial still my best friend. But three rats later, I was feeling ever more the fool. In the end, my ‘settling garbage bag’ turned out to be four Norway Rats living under the house in the crawl space and accessing the cupboard through the pipe access in the wall below.

Denial can be one of our best friends. It gives us the illusion of living in our happy space. For me the happy space I enjoyed was the feeling of a king in his castle (invincible) even though I walked past a possible rat burrow near my back door every day for months. Funnier yet was the vain hope that it would only be one and the problem solved. I laughed at myself, I have spent my career convincing and showing clients their denial and now I am right there among them; afraid to address the grim reality.

So, what did I do? I called United Pest Solutions! Really! I pretended to be a client and asked to be put on their All Seasons quarterly service. Giving up the foolish notion that I was any better than the cobbler, we are all together the same, I realize that even though I know what needs to be done, I like many, hope and hope the pests away.

The absence of Norway Rats, the visible sign of exclusion work tastefully done, and the simple knowledge that the next time my wife asks about the spiders I can say with confidence, “they’re being taken care of, Honey!” is worth the risk of pulling my head out of the sand and having a look around. So, if you find you have been a bit like me, take a risk, lift up your head, die to your invincibility and call a responsible and reputable pest control company today.

Dan Huie is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of United Pest Solutions, Inc. Located in the Bellevue area of Washington state, Mr. Huie has sixteen years of experience with professional pest control involving Human Resource and Pest Management Professional Training. He is extensively involved with the Washington State Pest Management Association (WSPMA) and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).