5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests


As the motion picture Mousehunt has taught us, pest control can be taken to some extreme and personally catastrophic levels. Sure, Spectracide will kill that nest of hornets, but it just doesn't pack the same punch as a hand grenade.

Blowing Up Your Apartment

Tone Pina was tired of his children waking up in their beds with roaches crawling all over them (although we're curious as to why the groggy midnight discovery of a brace of cockroaches doing the Super Bowl Shuffle on your half-open mouth would ever need to happen more than once).

Understandably, Pina decided to use a bug bomb to clear out his apartment. Somewhat less easy to understand is that he set off 18 of them, which as you may notice is about 17 more than he needed, and enough to turn Skywalker Ranch into a concentration camp. A spark from his refrigerator ignited the resulting gas cloud, causing a massive explosion that left him and three other families homeless.

BBC News

He did not get his deposit back.

The roaches, of course, survived, presumably diving away from the fireball in slow motion.

Electrocuting Yourself

A construction foreman in Germany was frustrated with moles digging up his lawn, so he decided to bury a live 380-volt electrical cable to try to Green Mile the little pests into adorable smoking corpses, because apparently he saw this work in one of his mescaline-laced night terrors.

5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests
Michael David Hill

"Let's see how that adorable nose holds up to the power of Zeus!"

After driving two metal spikes into the ground to complete a circuit and cap off a series of events that cannot begin to be justified by anyone not clutching a bottle, he fatally electrocuted himself instead.

Setting Your House on Fire

Eiliya Maida's backyard was overrun by spiders, presumably as the result of a property dispute with a curse-peddling Gypsy.

To combat the infestation, Maida went out with a blowtorch and started burning every web he saw, because the only way to kill spiders is with the cleansing power of flame (look it up, it's in the encyclopedia and the Bible). The blaze in his yard quickly spread to his house, because spiders can control the wind, and Maida was forced to evacuate his entire family and call the fire department, who presumably informed him that Raid is a thing that can be purchased for around $5.

5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests
Jason Halley / Chicoe Enterprise Record

"Then you burn the spiders' bodies. Pssh. Freaking citizens."

Burning Your Furniture (and Possibly Your Children)

Considering what bedbugs actually do to people, the adorable rhyme that parents sing to their children should maybe be changed from "Don't let the bedbugs bite" to "Try and fucking stop them":

5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests
Rove Pest Control and NYC Health

5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests
First Choice Pest Control

"Just break a window and run for help as fast as you can. Don't come back for us -- we're already dead."

People routinely set fire to couches, chairs and mattresses infested with the demon parasites, and have even soaked their children in mixtures of gasoline and kerosene to kill any lingering pests they may be carrying, because the risk of immolating yourself like a Tibetan Johnny Storm is preferable to hosting a swarm of terrible insects. Entire homes and apartment complexes have been burned to the ground by amateur bedbug exterminations, and to be honest, we're surprised that there hasn't been an increase in accidental gunshot fatalities related to people discovering infestations and declaring all bets to be off.

Shampooing With Gasoline

Against the advice of her fiance, Jessica Brooks decided to cure her head lice problem by soaking her hair in gasoline -- presumably she figured that if it didn't kill them outright, they would decide as a group that she was simply too crazy to live on and find a different scalp to eat. Her plan seemed to be working until the pilot light from the water heater ignited the fumes, turning her into the trivia section of Richard Pryor's IMDb page. Although she was taken to the hospital in horrifying condition, she was resoundingly lice-free.

5 Extremely Stupid Things People Did to Get Rid of Pests

"I love it when a plan comes together."

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