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Kayak8's avatar

What is the worst type of vermin where you live?

Asked by Kayak8 (16407 points ) May 24th, 2012

This question was inspired by @Adagio’s comment on the question about the smell coming from under the house and she mentioned a dead rat. I got to wondering if rats in New Zealand were anything like the rats in the midwestern US.

We have Jellies on here from around the world—what is the worst type of vermin where you live and what are they like? Are they despised or tolerated or exterminated or what?

While clearly vermin in many cases, I don’t mean political party representatives however tempting they may be to list.

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45 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

I live in Los Angeles, and for some people here the worst vermin are the paparazzi. ;-)

marinelife's avatar

There are rats and mice here. But the worst type of vermin is bedbugs. Very hard to eradicate.
And they basically suck your blood.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m not aware of any serious vermin problems here in Memphis, Tennessee. There was a pair of field mice that moved in once, but that got resolved fairly quickly. Maybe mosquitoes. There is a vehicle that comes around during the summer that sprays the area in an attempt to kill them.

The house in England is another matter. The neighbors behind us bought chickens and built a coop directly on the edge of our back garden. Rats were drawn to it, and occasionally one would show up in our garden. Rats must be a fairly big issue there as the local council requests reports on rats and acts upon them.

filmfann's avatar

The ones that disgust me the most are roof rats and cockroaches.
My other house has a lot of wildlife, from bears to mountain lions, but I am more repulsed by the roof rats.

Kayak8's avatar

@filmfann How are roof rats different from other rats?

JLeslie's avatar

Mice, moles, snakes, and racoons. There are also squirrels, rabbits, foxes, and other wildlife, but I don’t hear complaints about them from neighbors, even though they are around. We love the deer we see, and turtles. Oh, and this year there seems to be more frogs.

I’m outside of Memphis, TN, USA

wundayatta's avatar

Frogs sightings are good. Frogs have been disappearing for reasons that are not well understood.

We have rats. It has cost us thousands of dollars to deal with the rats. The city used to have a rat program, but no more. Just one of the many cutbacks and limited concern for the public good. After rats, come disease. Of course, the public health department is also at death’s door, so I guess we’re on our own these days.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta I didn’t know frogs were in jeopardy. We like the frogs.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@JLeslie Critters are one thing; vermin takes on a whole new meaning.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I agree. That’s why I tried to separate the mice and snakes from the frogs and foxes in my answer.

ragingloli's avatar

huma Flies. They are everywhere.

gailcalled's avatar

The food chain works pretty well here; the mosquitoes are annoying but the scariest critters are the various kinds of ticks. There is now more than just Lyme disease; the others…ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mt, spotted fever, and babesiosis…are even nastier.

Apparently, this spring and summer promises to be even grimmer for us vs. ticks. Ticks are everywhere.

GladysMensch's avatar

Tea party members.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Homo domesticus.

Coloma's avatar

No bedbugs here, thank god, just lots of little woodland critters of which I love them all. Deer mice, Voles, Gophers, Squirrels. I am forever saving little baby rodents from the cats as right now the woods are exploding with baby Voles and Gophers and Deer Mice. I had a pair of rescued Deer Mice for several years that were injured and survived. One lost an eye and half his tail, the other had a wounded foot.

Their names were “One eyed Jack and Lilly.” Happy little mice they were.
I am also over run with lizards and tree frogs and have 2 wayward lizards running around the house somewhere right now, each cat brought in one each yesterday to amuse themselves at night. lol
For me, the “vermin” of my mountain are the &*^%$# wild turkeys that fly into my corral and pilfer my goose feed. They are out of control this time of year with the females gorging on my feed before nesting.

I am constantly running outside shouting at them….” TURKS OUT!” waving my arms around like a mad woman. lolol
I love all creatures and believe everything has a right to pursue it’s own liberty and happiness as long as I don’t have 3000 mice in my garage.

Of course that’s what the rattlesnakes are for. haha

elbanditoroso's avatar

Fire Ants.

Coloma's avatar

@Kayak8 “Roof rats” are just a slang term for the Black rat. The one that carried the plague, but….the roof rats @filmfann are speaking of are common is this area and they are mostly fruit, seed and insect eaters that cruise around the tree tops and phone lines and do not harbor any major disease threat. They will, however also eat eggs and songbird nestlings so they can be a hazard to nesting birds.
Rats only spread disease when they are overcrowded and feeding in filthy conditions.

Living in suburban areas and woodlands instead of landfills and sewers and trash cans they pose virtually no health threats.
The black plague came from fleas that the rats hosted, but they themselves were actually victims of the diseased fleas as their hosts, but not responsible for the plague virus itself.
Personally I love rats, they are as intelligent as dogs and pigs, crafty opportunists and some pretty amazing little animals.
They get a bad rap much of which is undeserved.

gondwanalon's avatar

Little “Douglas Squirrels” (they are about the size of a big rat) keep coming out of the cold woods and take up residence in our attic. They chew right through the house siding and also have damaged our wiring. They are so obnoxious with their non-stop scratching and when they are agitated they screech high pitched scolding for long periods of time. They also track dirt onto the sides of our house and they stink very badly like a skunk. It is a near constant problem and they are very hard to evict. I have a live trap that I use to capture them and release them 5 miles away in the woods.

wundayatta's avatar

I doubt if five miles away is far enough. They are probably back the next day.

Nullo's avatar

Cave crickets. Millions of them.

Coloma's avatar

@Nullo What are cave Crickets? Do you live in a cave? lol

SpatzieLover's avatar

Right now through autumn: Mosquitoes.
I have severe reactions to the bites which just makes matters worse

All year: field mice.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Upon further thought, I am going to broaden the definition of vermin to include plants.

My major outdoor plant scourge is Poison Ivy (or related, Sumac, etc.). Most unpleasant.

Coloma's avatar

Oh yes, POISON OAK! That’s the scourge over here too!

JLeslie's avatar

We have poison oak and poison ivy here too. My neighbor gets poison ivy really bad a couple times a year. A friend of mine got some sort of secondary infection when she had poison oak and wound up hospitalized and in critical condition. It was really bad. She came through it ok though. I’ve never had either, I don’t think I react to it.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have a pretty effective pest control service, but one year I had a rat family ruin the hoses inside my car engine, and that was expensive.

The neighbors have outdoor cats, and they only come to their house once a day to feed them, the house is basically abandoned. Skunks come out and eat the cat food as well. The cats are badly infested with fleas, and they come into our yard. My grandsons can’t play on that side of the house without getting bitten by fleas.

I’ve lived here for over 20 years, and I’ve seen various houses on this street abandoned. When that happens, the mice move in, and the mosquitoes infest the swimming pool. I’ve had to call the local mosquito patrol twice.

downtide's avatar

I would imagine the city sewers are full of rats but I’ve never seen them on the surface. Magpies are also a problem here; there are thousands of them, they attack just about anything from small birds to cats and dogs.

YARNLADY's avatar

@downtide I wonder if you got all our magpies? They seem to have disappeared from our area.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Im living essentially in the jungle in Belize right now so I have pretty much everything mentioned here and a lot more. Rats, giant rats, roaches, fire ants, a million biting insects, tons of snakes that will kill you minutes after they bite and poison wood, which is far wosre than oak or ivy. Poison wood is so potent that some have reactions just walking by the tree, if you get the sap on you it will actually eat away your flesh. Luckily ive never experienced it myself.

gailcalled's avatar

@uberbatman: What is the difference between a rat and a giant rat? Or don’t I want to know?

(Are you having a wonderful experience?)

Kayak8's avatar

@gailcalled After reading @uberbatman‘s post about giant rats, I had to google to see. This one is not from Belize, but rather Papua, New Guinea . . . Arggh

gailcalled's avatar

OMG. That picture is not for the faint-hearted.

Kayak8's avatar

This (a paca) may be more like what is seen in Belize. Where is @uberbatman when you need him . . .

Coloma's avatar

I think the giant rats are cute, I bet they’d really like a peanut butter sandwich. lol

gailcalled's avatar

@Kayak8: Eaten by something or someone?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Scott Walker
Please rescind my answer above. I’ve had more time to ponder this.

bewailknot's avatar

I grew up in Santa Barbara, California and rats were a big problem in some areas there. Big rats. Palm trees with old fronds still attached will often have rats living in them, and Santa Barbara has a lot of palm trees. Saw a cat-sized rat one night when I was walking home – about 3 a.m. down the middle of State St. (I was in the middle, the rat was in the gutter). Scary.

Kayak8's avatar

@SpatzieLover and @Brian1946 Did you not READ my last sentence in the question description about political representatives? LOL (Scott Walker is too great a vermin NOT to mention!)

Nullo's avatar

@Coloma Cave crickets are more at home in caves, but are pefectly content to live in your basement. They are big and ugly, and are really good at avoiding the Shoe of Doom. And unless I am mistaken, they like to chirp through the night.

Oh, and chiggers. We can never forget those little things.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Nullo I didn’t realize that Cave Crickets are the same thing as what Mom calls Camelback Crickets. They moved into her basement years ago, and it is a never-ending battle to get rid of them. They give me the willies, as they can get fairly large and jump huge lengths. I’ve never heard them make any noise.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Kayak8 and @gailcalled we have paca and agouti down here. People eat paca down here, its known as the royal rat because they fed it to Queen Elizibeth when she came her. Its supposed to be really good, Ill let you guys know how it is if I try some.
(Ive been having an amazing time down here)

Nullo's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Maybe those were standard crickets, then. Good to know.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve inner-tubed in caves in Belize City and hiked through jungles. It is really beautiful. I saw many bats and a few black howler monkeys. No rats. Thank God.

PetLoverHi's avatar

I would have to say 3 vermin bother me in Hawaii. Cockroaches, the b-52s (flying one) that wait in the shower and dive at you when you step inside, and the palm roaches that are like 3 inches long. The second vermin would have to be the centipedes that sting you in your bed or while camping or in your shoes, I really think they are in first place with the roaches. the last vermin would be the scorpion. They don’t bother you too much you just have to be careful poking around things. We have rats and mice but they do not bother me so much as they are more of a nuisance then anything else.

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