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It’s been a great summer, but we could do without the fish

As I’ve mentioned on numerous occasions, Niceland definitely had a windfall when God was doling out insects because in this country we have no mosquitoes, no dust mites, and no cockroaches [they were rumoured to exist on the US military base but I don’t think anyone has ever seen one anywhere else. Correct me if I’m wrong].

What we do have, however, is silverfish. At least most people in the older parts of the city have them. And while they’re not in any way a threat to anybody’s health, and even tend to shy away from humans, they’re not the most pleasant of pets. In fact they’re pretty gross.

The place I lived in previous to this one had silverfish in copious amounts [which meant I saw one maybe once a week – sometimes more]. After we moved house I remained alert to any silverfish-like movement for quite some time, and was unspeakably relieved not to see any. That lasted for about a year. And then, one night, I flicked on the light in the bathroom and – ugh! – there was one.

For a good long time my silverfish encounters were limited to seeing just the occasional one – until this summer. At first there was two or three, but suddenly – more specifically when we came back from our hike in July – they were all over the small pantry off our kitchen. We were taking out about three a night – which for silverfish is a lot, particularly as they don’t travel in groups and they like to stay in the dark. In other words, we could surmise there were a lot more where they came from.

So, long story short, yesterday we had pest control people – PCP – in to fumigate our building. They informed us that there had been an explosion in the Reykjavík silverfish population in this past summer – all thanks to our fabulous weather and the humidity we’ve had. Not exactly the by-product we anticipated. Anyway, extensive preparation was required – floors had to be thoroughly cleaned, all food put into closed containers, stuff pulled out from the walls, we had to evacuate for half a day, Polly for the entire night and day, etc. Just a colossal hassle.

The PCP turned up at 9.30 am in very jovial spirits with masks and fumigating equipment and proceeded to run from apartment to apartment drilling holes into the walls in order to spray poison beneath the bathtub, cupboards, et al. Meanwhile, we all cleared out – YT went for a walk, then returned in order to lock up the apartment. The PCP had just left and the building was vaguely reminiscent of something I’d seen in a movie about the apocalypse when all the people are dead, bar one [YT in this case]. With some trepidation I stuck my key in the front door, expecting a cloud of Raid to waft out to greet me, thinking I’d have to take a deep breath and rush in, quickly lock the door, then rush back out before asphyxiating.

But there was no Raid smell. In fact, everything seemed perfectly normal – apart from the fact that the inside of the building was like a Charlton Heston movie. Very weird. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more suspicious it seemed. Insecticide without the smell? No way. It didn’t compute.

I spent the rest of the day convinced that the jovial PCP had simply sprayed a little water onto our floors and beneath our tub and were now laughing all the way to the bank, while we the Gullible Ones had spent the entire previous evening busting our asses getting the place up to speed for the Big Operation. The evidence on which this conviction rested was that the lady who was looking after Polly had had her place fumigated this July by the same guy and has since found two LIVE silverfish crawling around her apartment. Not very reassuring.

Be that as it may, I’m relieved to report that this morning I found two silverfish in the pantry – one dead, the other semi-dead. And while I don’t like the idea of killing living creatures just because I don’t care to have them around me, I do like it more than the alternative and wish them all a speedy, non-odorous death by insecticide.

WEATHER
It’s been extremely wet these last few days and probably highly conducive to silverfish proliferation. The sun threatened to shine on about two occasions today, but was chased away by the menacing clouds. We have 11°C at the moment [52F] and sunrise was at
6:03 this morning, sunset at 8.52 this evening.

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