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Pest Control
by Jerry Guarino

The intruder cased out the upscale homes in the quiet harbor town. He wandered back and forth, circling front and backyards. Then he rang the doorbell, one of those with a camera. The wife answered hesitantly.


“Ma’am. My name is Donald Ames of Ames Pest Control. I do a comprehensive preventative care package for only $500. I was just completing a job up the street and thought you might have the same problem they did.”

“Sorry, we don’t need a comprehensive pest control package.”


The woman closed the door.

Actually, Donald hadn’t just finished a job up the street, but he did manage to annoy many of the neighbors that he pitched to. These houses were only a couple years old and were unlikely to have any pest infestations.

But Donald was an enterprising bug killer. After hours, he came back and sprayed a gooey red paste around the edges and even used a gun like device to shoot the paste in the eaves of the house, near the roof line. Within a week, there were minor infestations around the neighborhood, all spaced out to prevent neighbors from noticing who caused the problem.

The next month Donald returned, along with his superior attitude. He rang the doorbell.

“Sir. I don’t know if you’re aware, but you have some ants around your ground floor and a couple of hornet nests in your eaves. I can take care of that for you right away.”

“How much?”

“Well, prevention is always less expensive than treatment. This will run you about $2500, but I can start right away.”

“Give me your card. I’ll have to talk to my wife about this.”

Donald gave him his card. “Don’t wait too long. These problems only get worse. And more expensive.”

But his wife was a detective on the town police force.

“Dear, some pest control guy came and tried to get me to pay $2500 for treating ants and hornets.”

“I know that guy. He was here last month, trying to sell a preventative treatment. I bet he’s been all over our neighborhood.”

She canvassed others in the neighborhood and confirmed that this guy has been selling the same scam to several others. Fortunately, all the neighbors had those security systems and cameras around the house. The detective accessed the video feeds from the affected neighbors and saw this same guy spreading something along the houses, when the homeowners were away at work or late at night.

The security company was more than willing to link the detective’s cell phone into their system. One night around midnight, her phone beeped. It was a live feed from the security company. She headed out to the location showing on the feed.

The detective quickly but quietly snuck up behind Donald, and confronted him.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m putting down a prevention treatment for the homeowners. I’m in pest control.”

The detective put handcuffs on Donald.

“So am I.”

Donald was caught red handed and led off to jail.

Pest Control by Jerry Guarino
Copyright September, 2019 – All Rights Reserved