• Chelle Hartzer

Tails from the field (AKA: Scary stories)

Gather around the campfire and let me tell you a scary story. It’s the story of a terrifying pest problem and the chilling outcome.


Let me set the scene: it’s an open area, really no walls. The site has a roof to keep the rain and the direct sunlight off and some support beams, but otherwise, it’s not enclosed. There was no way to close off this space (insert scary music here). To add to this alarming situation, there was lots of food for a few hours for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There was no way to eliminate the food because the people had to eat (more scary sounds here).

The pests were lurking just outside and there was nothing that could stop them!

How do you keep something out when there are no walls?
Using the tools available

Well, there were a few things. The first thing was Cliff. Cliff stood there and looked scary, at least to the pests. To us, he looked great! Cliff (and his friends, Cliff didn’t have to stand there all day!) were visual deterrents to the pests. The reason they were visual deterrents: because in the past, they had harassed the pests with slingshots! There were a couple of times in our four-day stay that I did see them use the slingshots and scared the pests away. Because of this, the mere presence of Cliff was enough to deter most of the pests. They had learned that if they got too close, Cliff would unleash his arsenal on them (ie – he would peg them with a little pebble).


Despite all the good food this place served three times a day and all the guests that were eating it, the site did an amazing job of sanitation. Tables were quickly cleared as soon as guests left them and the entire area was thoroughly cleaned, including scrubbing the floors, after each meal session. So while there was food available, it was only available for a short window.

The hero of the story: Cliff

Our villains will not be deterred! Their diabolical plan continues! But the heroes of this story fight back against these dastardly devils. Trash bins around the site have closed lids are and emptied regularly. Cliff (and his band of plucky comrades) patrol the bars and guest rooms on occasion. People at the site are warned to stay away from the pests and to not feed them.


The real horror of this story is that it will have multiple sequels. Like all pest issues, this one is an ongoing battle and when the defenses are lowered, the problem can rear its ugly head again. However, even with no exclusion, food being available, the site was still able to implement control methods and keep the malevolent monsters away.

Until the next time…. (Coming soon to a theater near you: Tails from the Field: 2, Revenge of the Pest!)


Do you have a tricky pest issue that is complicated by conditions out of your control? We can help!


Lagniappe: Want to know what pest this was? Click here!

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