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Switchman's Blog 98.5% Train Related

Creepy Crawly Visitors

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At 5:00 am this morning, I was awakened by my wife's cats making strange sounds and knocking stuff around and off the layout. It's under construction so all they could hurt was some WS risers and sectional tracks.

I went in to see what was happening.
I turned on the light and instead of stopping they continued chasing whatever it was. Meowing and scratching at some unknown thing. It was getting a little spooky. I called out to them. As usual they ignored me. After all they are my wife's animals. And I'm only tolerated as a man thing who sometimes steps on their tail and does not feed them.

When they began to claw at my 3D backgrounds and mountains I had to do something. The thought of opening a window and doing something drastic flashed across my mind. But the thought vanished as quickly as my smile. I had to live here and I wanted to stay living here. For some reason, after 45 years I've grown accustomed to home cooked meals and clean clothes. Lets not discuss a clean house like my mom's used to be. Ops... I never said that and you did not hear that.

Anyway I slapped the bench-work with a ruler two or three times. This got their attention and I finally succeeded in chasing them out of the train-room.

But my curiosity was peeked. What could they have been after? The layout is in the house, so I did not expect any snakes or such.
Although we did have a Mole visit us for a week or two. I used a big rat trap to catch it. By the way there was no complaints about doing in that animal. I did once dream, just before dozing off in my king size recliner, just what it would might do to to the big C's. But as I said the cats were still a big No No.

After turning on all the lights and looking over the layout, I thought I saw something brown. Where there should not have been anything brown. Another quick thought flashed across my mind. It could not have been that. Besides the kids are grown up, out of dippers and like Elvis, left the building.

I poked at it and it flew up and I flew back. I banged my shin bone on the door getting out. After I regained my (Do not think courage. Because I wasn't afraid, just surprised.) composure I went back in and found it and poked it again. This time it just crawled away.
It turned out to be what we call, in my neck of the woods, a Tree Roach. A big brown cockroach. I smashed it to smithereens with a short piece of 2x4, scraped it off on the floor in the hall and invited the cats to have a good meal.

They both turned up their tails straight up, like a big finger, and strutted away. If they were not dumb cats, I might think they were trying to tell me something. Dang! That's the last time I'll try to feed them.

Well this got me to thinking. I wondered if any of you other modelers out there have had any creepy crawly visitors. Not cats and of course not our best friends, Dogs.

Especially if your layouts are in your garage or easily accessible to critters. Ya know, the 6.8,10, or more legged variety, maybe one of the flying or slithering kind.

My only regret is that I did not whip out my camera and immortalized the critter in print. Hey, he was big.

Do you feel something slipping up your paints leg or down your shirt? It that really a cigarette you just picked up?

Come on fess up.

You know I'm not the 'Lone Ranger" you've had these visitors too.

Give us all the gory details?

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  1. HowardBiby's Avatar
    I live in Alabama and we call them oak roaches. The are refered to as palmetto bugs in Florida. They are very common here and next time I see one (anytime today) I will take a pic and post it to see if we are blogging about the same bug
  2. maxairedale's Avatar
    My railroad is not in the garage but in a building next to it. Last spring I went out to the railroad after a few weeks away. I turned on the power to the layout and picked up a throttle that as laying on the bench work. All of a sudden I had ants walking up my arm and down my fingers. Ants were coming out of the throttle. I took my air compressor and blew out ants and ant eggs from inside the throttle. I the put the throttle in plastic bag and sprayed some ant killer into it and sealed the bag for about 2 weeks (I had other throttles to use). About 50 more ants, came out of the throttle after the gassing. I have a stain on the layout where the throttle was laying before I picked it up. To take care of the rest of the ants, out came the ant traps and more spray. The throttle seems to work ok. I thought about sending it back to the manufacture for them to make sure it was ok and that the ants did not do any damage, but how would I explain the ant droppings inside? BTW my :cat2: was not any help either.
  3. HemiAdda2d's Avatar
    Most cats are no help in the first place, except to make a bigger mess. My wife's cats (I affectionately call them Rodents) are no exception.
    Out here in Montana, I think the worst creepy-crawly thing that might visit my layout are spiders. The wife will FREAK if she sees one.


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