so that happened · Uncategorized

New and Unexpected Housemate

Masswelcomemat

I have a housemate called Lenny.

I don’t know when he moved in. He lives in the bathroom. I noticed him for the first time the other day. I opened the door, turned on the light, and there he was.

“Oh.” I said. “Hi.”

He froze, then ran for cover. He hid in the corner while I brushed my teeth. We watched each other warily. Well, I watched him warily. I can only assume he was watching me too. In reality, his eyes are far too small for me to know exactly where he was looking.

You see, Lenny is a silverfish*.

Since discovering him in my bathroom, I’ve done some investigating. Lenny appears to be a bachelor, and he’s fully grown which confuses me because I have never seen him before. Either he has always lived in my bathroom and I never knew, or he recently moved in without consulting me on the matter.

That first night, I spent an abnormal amount of time in bed staring at the ceiling and thinking about silverfish viewing apartments. I imagined Lenny strolling onto the tiled floor with an attractive silverfish realtor, listening to her as she explained the pros and cons.

“So this bathroom is frequented by two adult humans. I know you were probably hoping for more in terms of dandruff or hair, but then we’d really want to be looking at an elderly human’s bathroom and that would really strain your budget. I think this is a good compromise. Now, the only thing is that as you can see, they’ve recently installed a more powerful fan in the ceiling, which is going to cut down on humidity significantly. On the plus side this will make the price more negotiable. Also there is quite a lot of plaster to feast on and they sometimes leave books there on the countertop, so that is quite the perk….”

I googled silverfish to find out more about Lenny. Apparently almost everyone has a silverfish housemate. One or two are expected in rooms with high humidity. One website recommends overlooking their presence before adding, “If you have an infestation however, you may want to call pest control.”

…I think if I have an infestation I may want to move out, but that’s just me.

They’re very small and they eat plaster and book bindings and glue and hair. They don’t bite or spread disease, or even do much damage.

Oh, and they can live up to eight years.

EIGHT. YEARS.

According to the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia, the predecessors of silverfish are considered the earliest, most primitive insects. I can well believe this, since Lenny looks like he recently scuttled off a seabed from the Cambrian period. They can’t climb vertical surfaces. They are nocturnal. Also, as long as they have access to water they can live without food for more than a year.

What the hell, Lenny? What kind of a mutant fossil are you?

I don’t want to hurt Lenny. I don’t even really want to evict him. I will, however, be keeping a close eye on him. If he starts inviting over other silverfish to netflix and chill, or having silverfish parties until 5am, we may have to re-examine things. For the moment though, I’m happy to cohabitate.

As long as Lenny stays in his corner, we’ll be fine.

 

*Don’t google him, he’s not pretty.

50 thoughts on “New and Unexpected Housemate

  1. Having formally worked in a garden center when people would routinely thrust bags of insects recently captured so that I might identify what the hell they were I do not ever need to see a photo of another insect again. And I never liked them much in the first place. I hope Lenny somehow meets his maker prematurely!

    1. I’m very soft on bugs, I can’t kill them. At most I’ll put them outside. I don’t want to put Lenny outside though because then how will he get down?

  2. Arghh you have brought back memories of a flat I lived in, one night I went into the bathroom, now baring in mind I did not usually switch on the light because it set off the extractor. There I was sat on the loo and I saw a silver fish. I almost flew across to the door, I was in such a panic. I thought of all the times I had not put the bathroom light on 😳 had I stood on any then took them into my bed OMG 😲

    The next morning found me at the hardware shop, head hung in shame after looking online and identifying it was a silverfish. The man just laughed at me and said everyone has them. He said he had seen one that morning in his bath but he did not tell his wife or she would have freaked like me.

    He sold me some powder stuff to get rid of it and any others. I don’t think there loners. I then told him I wanted something for bed bugs just in case. He found it funny , but trust me I didn’t. RIP Lenny and all your friends and relatives.

    1. Oh good Lord I am suddenly very, very glad I turn the light on every single time I go to the bathroom! It’s only a small bathroom and I’ve looked everywhere for more. For now it’s just Lenny but if I start seeing more than just Lenny they’re getting the boot!

  3. I hate silverfish. I hate all bugs, really. I’ve been dealing with some type of little bugs on my kitchen and bathroom windowsills and I am not happy because bugs are my #1 fear. So I understand your feelings, but I am always seeking death for anything with more than 4 legs.

  4. I’m in agreement. If Lenny minds his business, he’d be OK at my house. However, once we’ve started to fight over the TV remote control, his days would be numbered.

  5. I googled him, eugh, why must I always break the rules!!! What a strange diet Lenny has?! I hope he stays in his corner and doesn’t cause too much bother. Make sure you keep your toothbrush upright!

  6. Hey! I have a Roger (spider) in the corner above my shower. We have the same agreement; as long as he keeps to himself and doesn’t use my shampoo, then we’re good. I keep him in his place by threatening to use the removable shower head on him.

    1. God I would never kill one but cockroaches are one of the few insects that I really don’t like. They’re so disgusting! I even feel bad saying that because they can’t help it but …. damn they’re ugly!

  7. I have a spider in my bathroom . It’s webbing in my shower cubicle at the moment . 😊 I do keep an eye out just in case.

  8. Oh f that. F that to hell. Burn it with fire. That’s the only appropriate response. I’m terrified, disgusted, and angered by all kinds of bugs. Nope. I don’t do that. There was a time I had this beast of a millipede running around my basement. My TEMPLE. I emptied two magazines of pellet gun fury all over the basement trying to kill it.

    1. When I lived in Germany I had three spider housemates called Bernie, Ethel and their child spider Rodney. They lived a quiet life of contemplation is three corners of the room and every so often they’d visit each other. I can’t kill anything really, even bugs I hate (cockroaches…. ugh. Or grubs). I mean, they can’t help it they were born ugly. I just try to avoid them..

      1. We have very different perspectives on the possibility of peaceful coexistence with insects, bugs, and the like. The outside world is their territory, but any that dare to cross into my domain are swiftly executed.

          1. If it makes you feel any better, I am fully prepared and accepting if they all decided to attack me while I was in their territory as well. I mean, that’s why we get bit and stung and poisoned and everything else while we’re outdoors, isn’t it? We’re all at war.

          2. I have raised a sceptical eyebrow in your direction. How many times in your life have you been bit, stung or poisoned?!

          3. Enough to know that the world doesn’t want us around, Q. Everything is designed to kill you. Nothing is safe. Even the backyard shed you’d neglected for three years and then suddenly started using as an archery target and the sudden loud buzzing and vibrating tells you you didn’t just hit the lawnmower.

  9. Funny and fascinating Quinn! I’m happy to have a huntsman spider as a flat mate, but don’t want a silverfish for one as I suspect they do a lot more damage to books than you said. Don’t they eat paper, too?

    1. The sources I found didn’t mention paper but I’ll have to have another look. I’ve checked thoroughly and for the moment it’s just Lenny so I’ll wait and see!

      1. No but I did write about a time when I noticed something in the trees whilst I was walking home from work, only to discover that it was a pair of squirrels going at it.

  10. That’s a nice story. My house sits about 12 inches above a permanent underground body of water, so silverfish and centipedes (there’s something to google) are a part of life. I’m sorry to say that you are *way* more humane in your dealings with these freeloaders than I am.

    1. Haha I’m on the third floor so although clearly not completely isolated I am in a much better situation to deal with intruders I think!

  11. I just popped by your blog from the community pool and I got to say I’m already obsessed with your blog.
    I wanted to comment here because oddly, I’ve named a silver fish in the bathroom as well. ‘D’artagnan’. He’s usually hiding beneath one particular flap of plaster just above my sink so I find him there while I’m brushing or washing my face more often than not.
    Lol just thought I had to say this because it so crazy to find another person to have named a silverfish. (I don’t even know why I’m hyping this coincidence so much. xD)

    1. Haha! D’Artagnan is a great name for a silverfish! We who live side-by-side with the little critters should stick together. It’s only right. Maybe there are DOZENS of us?

  12. So umm, before I read it all the way through. I googled it, because I had no idea what you were talking about from the initial introduction of who Lenny was, and then you told me not to, ha!

    I do not think I have ever seen a silverfish before, but I also don’t live in a humid place that they might frequent. I don’t know. I would NOT be happy if Lenny was living in my house, much less my bathroom.

    Just be glad you do not have to deal with Lenny’s nemesis Frank, the scorpion, his posse frequents our home every summer and they are not nice.

    1. Lenny’s pretty good about keeping his opinions to himself, luckily. Although I’m pretty sure he’s all for more humidity.

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