Eliminating Household Pests

Submitted by Ralph E. Shaffer

Monday, 5 February 2018

A grad student in one of the sciences ran a lengthy experiment trying to determine if certain sounds could deter unwanted pests. Wouldn't it be great if playing classical music caused termites to leave a house? Or bad fiction - "It was a dark and stormy night" drove skunks from under your floor? Puns might make them leave even quicker.

He tried music, fiction, high frequency signals and a variety of other potentially disturbing sounds. The termites just chewed away, although faster if the music was lively, and the skunks and other pests continued to harass the neighborhood. But there was one interesting outcome.

A family of lice did react in the way he had hoped but only under very limited conditions. It wasn't music that did it. It was literature, but only a very narrow field of lit at that. The lice went away when a certain type of poetry was read to them. They couldn't stand Ogden Nash, disappearing after only a few lines had been read.

Elated, the budding scientist wondered how he should refer to these lice in the future. Then it came to him: They would be known as
Poetic Lice hence.

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