1. Let any instinctual fear out.
Scream. Yell. Shout. Hopefully someone will hear you and come help, but it never seems to workout that way. Depending on the speed and movement of the bug, you have anywhere from .5 seconds to 5 minutes to react, but don’t be too cavalier and lose track of its location. Seriously, whatever you do, DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE BUG.
BONUS: My natural way of expressing to anyone within a two mile radius that I’ve seen a cockroach:
There is a bug here. You are scared of bugs. You are in this situation and while it sucks, you’ve got to accept the circumstances. Say to yourself, “Wow, that’s a bug ,and a scary one at that. This isn’t good at all. I don’t like that insect being here, and (unfortunately) I’m going to have to do something about it… Other than scream.”
3. Get equipped.
Are you going to capture and free the bug outdoors, or spray/smash it into insect afterlife? A lot of people don’t believe in killing a bug that isn’t necessarily capable of harming them, but I’ll always find it hard to refrain from obliterating certain bugs. I’m looking at you, mosquitos. Depending on your intentions, grab the nearest bug spray, tissue, sheet of paper, jar/cup, shoe, or any other solid object that you don’t mind being stained by a goop of bug guts. No – stop, put down your TV. You’re overreacting in panic mode and you will regret it if you crush a beetle, but ruin your flatscreen in the process.
4. Stop thinking irrationally.
I know you’re sitting there hyperventilating, but stop freaking out and imagining crazy scenarios. The bug will not overpower you. This will NOT happen:
5. Remain calm when you inevitably lose track of the bug.
That was your main objective — to keep this pest in your vision, but somehow that didn’t happen. It’s inevitable, we all lose bugs. At some point in the panic, the crawler camouflaged in with the carpet or quickly left the place you initially saw it, and your heart skips a beat upon realizing that it could be ANYWHERE. If we’re lucky, we locate that miniature monster within a few moments, but the majority of the time it stays missing for anywhere from 1-hour to, dun dun DUNNN!, forever.
6. In the event that you legitimately can’t locate the bug for good.
Congratulations, you are now a prisoner in your own home. You can try to watch TV or browse the web to distract yourself, but you can’t pretend like you’re not living in fear. The bug’s more than likely still in there, and now you’re all itchy and every speck on the floor draws a double take, as you worry about multiple threats. If you never find it, you may stress for days or weeks. I once attempted to kill a massive roach, but it escaped and I spent the next three months on edge, afraid to start my car and anticipating it recruiting a gang of friends to crawl into my ear while I was sleeping, and lay eggs along my Eustachian tube before munching on my brain.
7. If you do find the bug.
Be brave. Seize the opportunity to capture that sucker in a jar or slay it, just make sure to do so hastily. I encourage folks to muster up enough courage to spare the insect’s life and help escort it out of the front door, but I’m not going to pretend like an unidentifiable bug, the size of a toddler’s hand is something I’d be willing to get close to without extermination in mind. I have a rule – if a bug has wings then it’s a flight risk and you can’t allow it to soar throughout your home as you die of a heart attack.