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Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

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  • Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

    OK this thread parallels the home owners pet stories but a bit creepier.

    You guys out west have to have some crazy stories but here is the worst insect encounter I've had.

    I was called to a Kentucky Fried Chicken to repair a leak inside of a wall. Bad neighborhood too. It was in a wall in a mechanical room that was only accessible from the outside of the building. I open the door and there is a leak hitting the drywall and running into the kitchen on the other side of the wall making for slippery conditions. I tried to use my jab saw but it was all mush from leaking so long.

    I proceeded to just push my bare hand through the wall and feel around for the source of the leak. As I was feeling around in there I felt something on the back of my hand but didn't think much of it. Then I felt a bunch of some thing and i ripped my arm out of there so fast it opened a big hole in the drywall. A flood of cockroaches proceeded to pour out of the hole and started running everywhere including up my legs and into my tool box which I should have just left in there rather than trying to get it out of there.

    I ran into the parking lot freaking out. This was a Saturday right at lunch time and everyone there thought I was on fire or something. A few people left when they saw what had taken place and all the bugs on the sidewalk.

    To finish the job I put on my coveralls and a sweatshirt and duct taped the sleeves and pant legs with the hood up.

    When I was done, the manager asked if I wanted some chicken for the ride home. I said thanks but will have to pass.

    I now offically have the heeby jeebys

  • #2
    Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

    I once had an issue with maggots in a crawl space. don't really care to remember more than that it happened.


    • #3
      Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

      I pulled up some base cabinets in a kitchen and found an ant colony. Then I pulled up the next one and found the ants were attacking a subterranean termite colony. The soldier termites were fighting back. It was awesome, but the customer didn't think so quite as much. I think I have video of it somewhere on an old cell phone, I'll see if I can find it and post it.

      A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.


      • #4
        Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

        I was redoing our bathroom shower and was stripping insulation out of the wall studs when I pulled an entire carpenter ant colony out with the insulation....there must have been thousands of them! Fortunately I had long sleeves and gloves on and had a garbage can handy.


        • #5
          Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

          I once worked as maintenance plumber at a large university.

          One of my workmates was a HUGE old Polish guy, totally insect phobic.

          We had to clear a blockage in one of the metallurgy labs. As soon as we popped the manhole cover hundreds if not thousands of multi coloured roaches came out like a swarm of bees.

          Ever seen a hugely fat guy swearing loudly (in Polish) and screaming like a little girl as he tried to remove his too tight overalls and run away from the roaches ?


          • #6
            Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

            Same thing with a pizza shop. Had to cut a wall to access a stack and, BAM, it was the most horiffic thing i ever saw.

            Cockroaches and sewer flies make me sick just looking at them
            The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

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            • #7
              Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

              i've had centipedes come out of cleanouts, from under rocks while looking for the cleanout, andliving under a toilet i pulled. but the one that scares me the worst was when i pulled back a piece of plywood from the open top of a septic tank and a gazillion mosquitoes came swarming out. not only a cloud but you could hear the buzzing in mass. no off around or in the van. i thought to myself, "great i'm gonna get bit by a septic mosquito that is also carrying dengue." actually i said something like %$@###*"*^$#.

              lucky for me i didn't get bit but my heart was definately racing along.

              on a different track i had 2 iguanas rooting around my K-75 the other day. both about 18 inches long and looking for a place to sun themselves. they ran off as i walked up.
              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!


              • #8
                Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                Oh Noes The ROACHES !

                This reminds me of when I was pulling this ejector pump at NYU and soon as we did there were thousands of HUGE roaches flooding us, Even after we brought the pump back to the shop they were still coming from the pump....

                One word: Nasty


                • #9
                  Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                  2 large nests with angry hornets in attic. Thankfully CRC makes nest blasters that can be used late at night when they are sleeping. Just blast the nests and then run slamming the attic door behind you. The next morning they were all over and very dead.

                  (wasp & hornet)

                  (bees and more)


                  • #10
                    Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                    Originally posted by BAPlumber View Post
                    I once had an issue with maggots in a crawl space. don't really care to remember more than that it happened.
                    this is the same thing i ran into at a place that processes corn and i had to go down into a pipe tunnel that is 50ft long and it is all wet and full of maggots , i call it the moving floor

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                    • #11
                      Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                      Back when I was durable I used to get involved with plumbing repairs in crawl spaces. One in particular was a small narrow cutout in a deck floor that accessed to the front opening under a house that led to the plumbing for a full bath.

                      The fellow kept heat tapes going constant to keep the big bad plumber from infesting his wallet!

                      Anyway, the time of the year was spring and I get down in the hole....laying on the ground and got bit by a spider like 100 times. It never stopped biting until I got out of the crawl space......not realizing how bad I was getting nailed as I was laying down against the ground where it happened.

                      Took my shirt off and sure enough.....about 100 little bumps that were painful and itching like crazy.

                      Needless to say, that was an unpleasant experience.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                        I had to camera a bunch of laterals in Laughlin and found scorpions in almost every one.

                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


                        • #13
                          Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                          I was under a house in Hollywood.Built in 1905.It had been remodled so many times someone had forgotten to provide access through the stem walls to one of the baths.I cut a hole in the floor and in I went.

                          I was down there for almost a minute.Then all the sudden they decided to hit me with a combined joint attack.One...then three...then five...all over me.


                          I came out of that hole so fast,stripped down to my boxers and had my helper hosing me down with the wide open garden hose.

                          Can you imagine what the housewife was thinking about what she saw on the plumber's first day?


                          • #14
                            Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                            I went under a house with no ventilation, none at all, it was very damp, full of spiders and frogs the frogs were very happy!! I had to cut in a crawl space entrance, no one had ever been down there.

                            My helper wouldn't go so I went. All for an Ice Maker line



                            • #15
                              Re: Worst Insect Encounters On The Job

                              When I was an apprentice I went under a house and the crawlspace was maybe two ft high. I don't even remember what I went under there to fix. There was no door on the access and the previous tenants had let their dog sleep under the house. While laying on the ground I felt something on my leg - a tick- I hate ticks. I brushed it off. Then I felt more crawly things. There were HUNDREDS of ticks. A bunch were already on my clothes and the rest were ALL crawling my direction.
                              To quote Jrsaltz above - I officially had the heeby jeebies.
                              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain