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15 Pest Control Horror Stories That Will Make Your Skin Crawl

Rats and roaches are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the most terrifying pest control stories ever reported. We dare you not to cringe!

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The house with 3,000 mice

Ready for your skin to practically crawl off of your body? Exterminator John Kane witnessed an extreme mouse infestation at a home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2009. He said the critters had bored holes in the walls, frayed wires in the ceiling, and left behind so much mouse feces that the white floor appeared black, according to Before the extermination, the owners had even dealt with mice in their bed each night! Want to try the DIY route? Here are 11 ways to battle house pests yourself.

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It’s raining roaches

It took a pest control crew in Sevierville, Tennessee, about six hours to tackle a German cockroach infestation that was so severe, the department of health was called in, too. “The cockroaches were raining from the ceiling,” exterminator Ray Johnson reported to Angie’s List. When traditional crack-and-crevice treatment wasn’t enough, the professionals resorted to fogging machines to kill the hearty creatures.

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ant sarawuth wannasathit/Shutterstock

Eaten alive

A blind woman in Gulfport, Florida, visited the doctor complaining of a rash all over her body, according to But this was no simple case of eczema. It wasn’t even bed bugs. Exterminator Jeff McChesney broke the news of what was really happening to this unsuspecting senior: She was being bitten each night by a colony of fire ants that had built a nest inside her bed! She hadn’t felt it, McChesney said, because she had already been prescribed pain medicine for another ailment. Don’t miss these things exterminators won’t tell you.

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batsRafael Martos Martins/Shutterstock

Buried in bat poop

Someone should have sent out the bat signal, because this family in Ontario, Canada, was in desperate need of help when their attic became a full-time residence for a colony of bats that deposited droppings up to two feet deep in some areas, according to bat specialist Stephane Boucher. According to CTV News, one of the homeowners had spotted a bat so big, he referred to it as a “mini pterodactyl.” But all’s well that ends well: The family’s insurance company eventually agreed to pay for the house to be knocked down and rebuilt.

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bedMargaret M Stewart/Shutterstock

Bed bugs climbing the walls

Exterminator Bill Swan thought the wall was covered in a polka dot pattern, perhaps wallpaper, when he was called to perform a routine treatment in a new client’s home. When he got closer, he realized those dots were actually bed bugs covering almost the entire surface of the wall—even the homeowner’s face was covered in bites, according to Gothamist. When alerted to the infestation, the homeowner initially refused treatment, as killing bugs was against his religion. Learn the secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know about how to keep them away.

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beeLeonid Eremeychuk/Shutterstock

If you see this trailer rocking…it’s probably a wasps’ nest!

A Reddit user reports calling an exterminator after finding wasps flying in from the vents of the trailer—but being turned away when the pest control pro got one look at the giant nest living behind the siding. So the owners decided to take matters into their own hands, emptying three cans of bug spray into the nest and sealing it up again. “The entire trailer was humming and shaking—it was like being inside a horror movie,” the user says. Though not advisable, the trick seems to have worked: “It was so nice not to wake up with wasps on my pillow.”

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When it’s roaches vs. bedbugs, no one wins

It was the food chain from hell at a senior living facility in San Diego when exterminator Jorge Sandoval discovered an infestation of both bed bugs and German cockroaches. The roaches were snacking on the bed bugs, he said, while the bed bugs were munching on the residents. It took two weeks of treatments to get the home fully pest-free, according to

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Cockroach blackout

Imagine looking up and seeing a translucent ceiling pattern suddenly go dark—only the sun is still shining. That’s what happened to a New York City resident when a pest control pro was paying a visit to his upstairs neighbor, says CityLab. It turns out the darkness was a mass exodus of roaches fleeing the exterminator. Be very afraid! Don’t miss more exterminator nightmares that will make you cringe.

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Residential house decorated for Halloween holiday.Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

The meter reader’s nightmare

Call it arachnophobia on steroids—or better yet, call animal control. A Reddit user in Australia told the horrifying tale of a giant tarantula-like spider that decided to nest right on the front of an electric meter. What appeared to be an elaborate Halloween decoration was actually the eight-legged beast and all of her babies inhabiting the device in broad daylight.

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nest WhenSilenceFindsMe/Shutterstock

The reluctant bee keepers

If you’re the type to squeal when a bee buzzes around your picnic blanket, behold the story of a Decatur, Georgia house that had a whopping 120,000 bees living in a beehive inside the living room ceiling. The homeowners were living in ignorant bliss, as they hadn’t heard or seen anything besides a few bees that were buzzing around outside and wouldn’t seem to leave. A bee removal pro eventually pulled a six-foot honeycomb from the ceiling, says CBS News.

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Snake Jukka Palm/Shutterstock

Sleeping in the snake pit

Though many people apparently knew, no one told a pregnant couple in Rexburg, Idaho, that their new five-bedroom home came with some very slithery roommates: Hundreds of garter snakes climbing through the walls, crawling beneath the house’s siding, and even slithering inside the house, according to CBS News. In fact, they had even killed 42 snakes in one day before professionals took over. They eventually filed bankruptcy, foreclosed on the house, and moved their newborn daughter to a reptile-free residence.

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Rat pee in aisle five!

You might not want to do your weekly shopping at England’s Poundland supermarket, where a dead rat was spotted on display with the rest of the groceries and items were found soaked through with rat urine. Of course, the rats had helped themselves to plenty of the store’s edible items, too. The store’s parent company was eventually fined more than $500,000, according to The Richest, but no word on whether the health department shut it down. These are the insane pest-control ideas that just might work.

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SquirrelLaura Fiorillo/Shutterstock

A 37-year squirrel infestation

The squirrels were all but paying rent at a house visited by exterminator Bill Earl. He found that the house had been the perfect environment for a squirrel infestation: It was built under an acorn tree in an area heavily populated by squirrels, and its tiles were terra-cotta, a material easy for the rodents to tear through, according to PestManagement Professional. And that they did—chewing through the walls, gnawing through wires, and making a home in the attic. The aggressive creatures refused to leave for almost four decades until Earl finally drove them out with a giant strobe light called the Squirrel Evictor. Find out more pests that could be hiding in your attic.

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insectChristine Bird/Shutterstock

Oh, what a tangled web they wove

Shortly after one family moved into their new home in St. Louis, it became a house of horrors. Wherever they turned, there were spiders—in the blinds, behind the wallpaper, in the air registers, in the fireplace…and even in the shower. They’d come to find out their home was being infiltrated by about 4,500 to 6,000 brown recluse spiders, whose venom can sometimes be deadly. The spiders were so resistant to pest-control treatment that the family eventually filed an insurance claim and a lawsuit against the previous owners.

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ratHeiko Kiera/Shutterstock

The rats were running wild

Exterminator Lloyd Gartin compared one Long Island, New York compactor room to National Geographic after discovering hundreds of rats feasting on garbage. “We stopped counting after we killed about 200,” he told The New York Cooperator, noting that the rats had colonized a storage space in the building that the owners didn’t even know existed, which might explain how things spiraled out of control. If you’d rather your house not end up like these horror stories, find out the things in your home that are attracting pests right now.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman