A Day in the Life of Pest Control
I sat there, going over the paperwork for my company. You wouldn’t think a pest control company would generate so much paperwork! The ringing of the phone from the other room jerked me out of my thoughts.
“Summers Pest Control, Jodie speaking, how can we assist with your pesky problem?” my secretary greeted as she picked up the phone. I could hear her asking questions and writing something down as she spoke. “Yes, sir, we are the best pest specialists in the area. Mhm, the best rate too.” A few minutes later, she hung up the phone.
“Yo, Val, you have a hot one.” She hollered into my office.
“Oh?” I responded as I came out into the lobby.
“This guy, Doyle, says that the pests have set up a nest in the supply closet of his building. The guests are getting fed up. He says he will pay double as long as you come over right now. I already messaged Lawrence to get his tail over there.”
“Any idea how many we are dealing with?” I asked as I checked over my bag, making sure I had everything that I would need to deal with a nest.
Nest can be dangerous if there are babies involved. Mama’s can get nasty if they think that you are threatening their offspring.
Jodie shrugged, “The customer says that they are too fast to count. He figures five or so.”
I chewed on my lip, five wasn’t bad. It could be worse. Last month there had been a nest at a local junkyard with fifty of the little buggers. That was a headache to clean up. I had needed to call in both Lawrence and Marci, my two best apprentices, for that one. Jodie handed me the directions to the building and bid me goodbye, and good luck.
It wasn’t very long before I was at the location, The Lakeside Breeze Hotel, was written in huge letters on the side of the building.
Lawrence was leaning on his car, brown hair ruffling in the breeze, watching me pull up. I sighed to myself. Of course, he was just waiting for me. It’s not like he could have saved me some time and checked out the situation.
“Hey, boss.” He greeted, “No Marci on this one?”
“Client says it’s only five or so of them. We shouldn’t need her.” I told him as I pulled my bag and one of the traps out of the back of my van.
An older man with graying black hair came charging out of the motel building, “Thank goodness you are here! I am Mr. Doyle. You must be the specialist, Ms. Summers. Please, you must kill all of these pests!”
He jumped back as I leveled a glare at him, “You misunderstand what Summers Pest Control does. We catch and relocate. None of the pests we take care of are ever killed.” I had to bite my tongue, I am getting so tired of that spiel. The creatures are not that dangerous, no matter how the media portrayed them. I have a few as pets and even gave my nephew one for his birthday.
“Oh, whatever.” He waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “I am told that you are the best, so I am sure you know what you are doing. Please, please, take care of them before my guests all leave or the pests’ burn down my building! All the guests are terrified, and this is just horrible for business!"
I brushed past him without another word, heading into the hotel. I would be more than happy to relocate these critters away from this annoying man. The man in question was trotting behind me, wringing his hands. I hated how they always trailed behind me, like little lost puppies. You called US remember? Just leave me to do my job!
“They are in the supply closet.” He told me, pointing down the hall.
I exchanged a glance with Lawrence, and we started toward the closet. I could see signs of the creatures here and there as we descended further toward the nest some scorch marks here, some claw scrapes there.
I heard a scream come from down the hall, and then a young lady in a maid outfit came running up the hallway. There was a creature flying around her head, blowing little puffs of smoke.
It was about the size of a cat, the standard size for one of the local dragons. This particular one had red scales and deep green eyes. That was the typical size and appearance for the Western red shortsnout. This should be a piece of cake, the western reds tended to be gentler than some of their brethren.
The maid made a beeline for us, grateful that her saviors had suddenly arrived.
“Save me!” She shrieked.
I took out a little Dragon Stone out of my pocket and held it out; as soon as the little Red caught a whiff of it, he let out a happy short tweet and landed on my hand taking the stone.
The maid stared at this in amazement. I gave her a grin.
“This is Dragon Stone. They go crazy for this stuff. It is like chocolate for dragons.” I wrapped a dragon leash around his back foot and scratched under his chin.
“He was playing with you, miss,” Lawrence told the scared young lady. “He meant no harm.”
Lil’ Red was purring and leaning into my hand. He was rather tame for a wild dragon. Maybe it was growing up in a place that smelled of humans. But I had a strong suspicion that might not be the case.
I handed off Lil’ Red to Lawrence, and he clipped the leash to his pack. Lil’ Red could fly but couldn’t get far. He was letting out annoyed squeaks as he discovered that fact, but Lawrence quieted him with some pieces of Dragon Stone.
I left Lawrence there, calming the young lady and continued on to the supply closet. I opened the door gently, not wanting to startle any dragons that may be inside. They can get testy if you scare them, and I would rather not be burned again if I can avoid it.
There inside was a small green dragon. Peruvian Green Vipertooth, I think. This is not good. She was perched on top of a new nest and hissed at me as I came in.
Oh, no. This could get nasty. I could hear the calls of her babies from inside the nest. Dragon babies were about the size of hamsters, and dragon mamas were very protective. And Vipertooths are among the most protective of the dragon species. I had seen pissed off mama dragons chase off or kill large dogs before. And those weren’t even Vipertooths.
I stood there for a minute, debating my next move when I heard Lawrence yell from outside. I couldn’t tell what he was saying, but a flash of red next to my head told me that Lil’ Red had escaped. He landed next to Greenie, and they rubbed heads. Lil’ Red was at least a head smaller than her like most males are.
Ah, here was daddy. He chittered at her for a long time then retook flight. He landed on my shoulder, nudging the pouch where I kept my Dragon Stone. I gave him a few pieces, and he took them back to his lady. She ducked into the nest, and I could hear excited squeals from the babies.
I think I could figure out what happened here. Some visitors to our fair country had bought some dragons off some black market dealers. They were probably gifts for their kids while they stayed at the hotel. When the guests went home, they realized that they could never get through border security, so they just left them here. Those scum had just left the dragons here. No food, no nothing.
The dragons must have made their way to this supply closet, I could see some food in the corner and they had lived here for who knows how long before biology took over and they had some whelps. Now the food had run out, and they were getting hungry.
Unlike many animal species, dragons will never eat their babies, they are very maternal. They try to keep their babies safe above their own safety. I could see how Greenie and Lil’ Red were looking skinny. No wonder they had started to go out into the motel. They are starving.
Now to hope I could get them out of here without any further issues.
Greenie had come back out of the nest, and she and Lil’ Red were chittering back and forth. Lawrence appeared in the crack of the supply closet door “What the situation?” He asked quietly.
“Parents and an unknown amount of offspring,” I told him, not taking my eyes off the nest. As I spoke Lil’ Red took off again, and this time landed on my empty Dragon catcher. He stared at me with those deep green eyes and chittered at me.
He couldn’t be that smart...could he? Only one way to find out. I slowly opened the catcher and approached the nest.
“What the hell are you doing?” Lawrence whispered in surprise. “The mama is going to fry you!”
I didn’t respond, just knelt next to the nest with my open pack.
Lil’ Red hopped off and chittered at his mate. I swear she nodded, and then they both went into the nest. A few seconds later, they came out, each with a baby in their mouths, and gently deposited the babies into my bag. They did that again and again until I had twenty small babies tucked securely in my bag. I slowly zipped up the bag and stood up with it. The parents took each took a perch on my shoulders and chirped at me.
Lawrence was standing in the doorway, gaping at me. I slowly came out of the closet, both dragons were still calmly perched on me. This was a very odd trapping. Forget trapping, they had wanted to go with me.
As I got into the lobby of the Motel, I saw Doyle standing behind the front counter, just staring at me.
“Why aren’t those things in cages?!” He shrilled, “They are going to burn down my building.”
Greenie was letting out a low growl. She did not like him. Can’t say I was very fond of him either really. Dragons are excellent judges of character. I just walked past him, ignoring his shrill voice. I wanted to get out of there before Greenie really did fry him. She was already letting out some threatening dark smoke.
I gestured for Lawrence to take care of the unpleasant man’s bill and headed out to my van. I had a few hungry mouths to feed.