24 Pest Horror Stories That Will Make You Say, "Oh Hell No"
Roaches and earwigs and centipedes, oh — no no no no no.
2. This friendly bedmate:
"I was asleep in my bed at my mom's house in Maui. In tropical climates, 'bugs' take on a whole new meaning — they're like something from the prehistoric era, huge and prevalent. Anyways, I was very peacefully asleep when I awoke to feel something crawling on my face. Still half asleep and thinking it was just my hair, I brushed it off. I felt it again, and by that time I had woken up fully. I brushed the 'hair' again and felt something hit the pillow. It was a 6-inch-long centipede."
3. The clogged-drain mystery:
"I once noticed my shower drain was clogged and went to clean out what I assumed would be standard gunk/hair buildup. Instead, dozens and dozens of live cockroaches came pouring out. It was like a scene from The Mummy. I ran out of the room, blocked up the door, and immediately called for backup. I now re-create that scene with fake cockroaches every year for Halloween and it’s so awful most of my guests scream when they walk in the bathroom."
4. This surprise in a straw:
"There was one day I had left my drink from McDonald’s on the counter in the kitchen for a minute while I went upstairs. I came back down stairs and took a drink but felt something solid in my mouth. An earwig (with the disgusting pinchers on their butts!) had crawled into the straw of my drink and I almost drank him!"
5. This nearly invisible nightmare:
"I lived in a city apartment building on the top floor and developed very itchy rashes on my arms at some point. If I looked closely, I could see a small insect or two crawling on my skin every once in a while that I’d just flick off. I thought nothing of it. One day, in the shower, I grabbed my washcloth as usual, and while applying more soap I looked and realized that it was SWARMING with tiny mites. The mites are opaque, and you can barely notice them from afar. After screaming my lungs out, I did research and found out that these mites come from birds like pigeons that nest near households. And they like moist areas. Anyways, it was a freakin’ disgusting mess. Keep your towels/washcloths dry and watch out for pigeons living near your windows!"
6. The early-morning bathroom guest:
"While living in an older apartment in a history-filled city, I went to the bathroom in the early hours of the morning, before the sun was up. I didn't turn on the lights, and well after doing my business, I hear a rustling noise behind me. I jump up, turn on the light, and there was an opossum, sitting on the back of the toilet, chewing on my hairbrush! He hissed at me, I screamed, and I ran the 100 feet to my front door in two seconds flat."
7. The pie thief:
"We had a mouse problem one fall; our cat would catch one or two a week. The day before Thanksgiving, I decided to make pumpkin pie from scratch for dessert. I spent hours prepping the pumpkin mash, making the crust, baking it. It came out gorgeous. The cat loved people food, so for some reason I decided leaving the pie in the cooled oven would keep her out of it. I woke up the next morning, took the pie out of the oven, and discovered teeny-tiny footprints across it, with a wee nibble in the middle. *Sigh.* I managed to keep the cat out of the pie, but not the mice."
8. This extended family of intruders:
"We had lived in the new home we had purchased for about four months. I went to let the dog out the back door, and in the dark I noticed what looked to be like mud spots on the inside door frame and baseboards. So I turned the lights on to wipe it down. I. WAS. WRONG. It was HUNDREDS of ANTS pouring out of a small gap between the baseboard and the doorframe and into my bedroom! It was like a sick scene from a bad horror movie. I started sucking them up into the vacuum and they were coming out faster than I could suck them up!
An exterminator came and said the entire back wall of our home was infested with ants — and that when they come out like that, it's because the colony has outgrown the space they're in, and they send about 10% of the colony out to find a new home. EWWWW! He estimated there were probably 100,000+ ants living in the wall! We had to have the house treated for months to finally get rid of them all, and now every time I see an ant in the house at all, even one, I panic."
9. The garden corpse:
"When I was young, my family had a garden in our backyard that rats would often get into. One day over the summer, I was in the garden barefoot helping water the plants. I stepped on a dead rat that had died eating my plants, and when I stepped on it with my bare foot, its intestines came spilling out of its mouth. I still get nauseated thinking about it."
10. The moth room:
"I lived in an apartment with three other girls in college in southern Louisiana. I studied abroad one summer, and, with my dumb ass’s permission, they closed the AC vent in my room to save money. When I came back, my room was INFESTED with moths. Hundreds upon hundreds of moths. It was a moth vortex the first time I opened the door. The pest-control guy called us all idiots, and even though he bombed the apartment, I was killing them for months. The AC is for more than just keeping you cool in the South, FYI."
11. The itsy-bitsy spiders:
"I started waking up with welts on my legs, and after a few days some became huge, red, and angry. I went to the doctor and found out I had severe cellulitis from spider bites. I had to take heavy-duty antibiotics for weeks. I called my landlord, who sent an exterminator, and found out that my entire bedroom was infested with tiny spiders. They were in my bed linens, biting me every night. They bit my boyfriend, too, but he didn’t react to them, so you could only see little pinprick bites on his legs. Took three treatments to get rid of them completely, and I threw out all my bedding. Horrifying. I slept at my boyfriend’s for weeks."
12. The nose-tickler:
"I woke up right before my alarm because I felt a tickle on my nose. I lay there with my eyes closed trying to itch it, but I felt something weird and heard a high-pitched noise. I sat up to see a bat flying around my room. It had been sitting on my face!!!"
13. The moldy garlic:
"I thought I found a moldy piece of garlic in my kitchen, but when I held it up to my face I realized it was a small dead mouse. I got the chills every five minutes for the rest of the day."
14. The tent of terror:
"When I was a kid (around 13), my family had a period of time when we had nowhere to live so we ended up staying in a tent in a campground for some time. We managed to get absolutely inundated with silverfish. They were crawling up the walls of the tent, sneaking in through any crevice they could find, and getting in our sleeping bags. The tent was an old piece of crap without a fully functioning zipper, so that didn't help the situation.
We managed to (we thought) get the situation under control and went to bed that night. I awoke to a crawling sensation on my body and quickly realized that we'd been invaded by the silverfish and that they were crawling all over me in my sleeping bag. When somebody turned a flashlight on, I could see that they were all over the tent. It was so bad that we quickly packed up the essentials and my parents shelled out the cash for a room at a Motel 6. I hadn't slept anywhere with four walls and a roof in so long that it felt like luxury. I'm still terrified by silverfish to this day."
15. The awkward video chat:
"I was video-coaching a member of my team and watched a humongous roach crawl up his body, onto his shoulder, up his neck, onto his headset, and toward his mouth. I tried gracefully interrupting him while he was talking and using nonverbal gestures, but he did not notice until it actually touched his mouth. I asked him if he wanted to break for a moment, but he didn't skip a beat, even though he had to keep fighting the thing away from him after he'd flung it on the floor."
16. The wig of death:
"I grew up in a cabin in the country, and when I was about 7, I had this long blonde princess wig I would play dress-up with. One summer day, I went to pull out my dress-up box and discovered that a field mouse had crawled into my wig, gotten itself tangled in the strands, and died."
17. The home from hell:
"I was a newlywed and we had just got our very first apartment together. The very first night we were there, we woke up to about a dozen waterbug cockroaches in the kitchen. (For those who don't know, those are the big fat black ones.) Of course panic immediately ensued. That second night we were there, we decided to go to our yard directly outside of the kitchen, and we saw what looked like HUNDREDS of cockroaches walking all over the yard. We left that month."
18. The long-overdue eviction:
"I had carpenter ants that had apparently been colonizing — yes, colonizing — for at least 10 years, according to the pest-control guy. When he sprayed, I started hearing a tapping sound that turned out to be literally thousands of carpenter ants falling out of tiny cracks around the top of the fireplace area. Thousands! I was told to leave the house for a few hours, and when I came back the dining table and floor were COVERED in large dead ants. Still makes my skin crawl."
19. The horsefly fiasco:
"Growing up, I lived by the American River in California, and we always had wildlife in our backyard. Part of our house was built about 3 feet off the ground, and one year, little did we know that an animal crawled underneath and died there. Flash-forward to summer when it’s blazing hot and we have our air conditioner blowing. We start noticing horseflies, and very quickly our house became infested with them. We would kill a few at first but stopped because they would explode in a bloody mess when killed (since they were feasting on the dead animal under the house and breeding there before coming up the air vents). The inside of my home was covered in horseflies. There were literally hundreds on each window and at least 5,000 total. To kill them, we had to seal off our air conditioner. Keep in mind that it reaches 105°F or higher in Sacramento. They eventually died off, but the experience left me with a horsefly phobia."
20. These hellish houseguests:
21. The vermin who met their fate:
"When I lived in Texas, I woke up and went to take a drink from my glass of water, only to find a giant cockroach had drowned itself in it overnight. I found out when the back feet hit my lip.
Still living in Texas, I was using the toilet one morning, and a cockroach fell on my head and got tangled in my hair. We both panicked. I finally flapped my hands at it enough that it fell to the floor, where I smashed it with a magazine."
22. The Pop-Tart surprise:
"We get ant infestations every spring — the tiny little ones that form colonies by the thousands. While pregnant, I had a strong blueberry Pop-Tart phase and tried to eat one before work. I opened one up, took a bite, put it down for a minute to get a drink, and happened to glance down as I put it on the counter to find it covered in the little fuckers. I freaked out and spit out what I had in my mouth, and to my horror, I had some IN MY DAMN MOUTH. That was the day I died."
23. The chip that wasn't:
"I lived in Tucson, Arizona, which has a lot of bugs and gross things. Our apartment complex was being renovated, and ours was the only building that hadn't been remodeled yet, so naturally every roach in the vicinity came to us. I would see them crawling inside the number display of my microwave. They got into the pantry, the dishes, everything. I spent about three months living off fast food because I didn't want to go into my kitchen. One day, I was sitting in the living room eating chips, and one crawled right out of the bag I had just been munching out of. I had no idea how long it had been there (and yes, I vomited)."
24. And the cricket catastrophe:
"I had a pet leopard gecko when I was 17. I used to feed it live crickets. My mom got me a nice container to hold the crickets. Well, in the middle of the night, I felt a tickling feeling on my face. I swiped it away, thinking maybe it was a hair or something. I kept feeling it. I finally woke up and realized crickets were all over my room — I was covered! The nice container had slots on the top they'd climbed out of. So gross!"
Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.