16 November 2017

Pest control in space

Extraterrestrial environments feature| PPC89 November 2017

Pest control in space BPCA on the moonPest controllers are no strangers to alien invasive species. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi due to hit our screens in December, we’ve received some amusing requests for practical guidance for pest technicians interested in taking their trade intergalactic.

We sent our technical team to a Tatooinian cantina to pick up some pest management tips from experts around the cosmos...

Tribble, Polygeminus grex

Origin: Iota Geminorum IV
Diet: organic matter (any)
Environment: anywhere with food

 Star Trek S02E13 The Trouble with Tribbles

Tribbles are small, non-intelligent lifeforms known for their incredible rate of reproduction. While they are slow and toothless - they aren’t harmless to public health.

We spoke to a Lieutenant Commander from the Federation who has dealt with an infestation before. He said: “if you feed that thing more than the smallest morsel, in a few hours you’ll have ten tribbles, then a hundred – then a thousand!”

The trouble with tribbles is that, given a food source, one tribble can multiply into over a million in just four days. That puts even Earth’s house mice to shame.


For the public to live long and prosper, it’s essential you deal with tribble outbreaks quickly.

Tribblicides* can be effective for small infestations. Genetically engineered creatures called Glommers can be released to help control infestations. Yet they’re ineffective when dealing with more significant outbreaks.

Gene therapies and neoethylene could prove effective options for pest controllers. These treatments sterilise tribbles, stopping their uncontrollable breeding. “Safe tribbles” make surprisingly popular pets.

*Can only be purchased by those who have passed a Campaign for Responsible Tribblicide Usage (CRTU) approved qualification.

Giant space slug, Exogorths

Origin: Unknown
Diet: minerals
Environment: asteroids

 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Exogorths are usually harmless creatures. The space slug grows to around 10 metres and then reproduces asexually by splitting its body into two parts.

“That’s no Blackwall Tunnel!” Dashcam footage from a pest technician’s van who accidentally ended up inside a Space Slug.

The species only becomes a public health pest when a space slug fails to reproduce. These feral, giant space slugs can grow more than 900 metres long. Absorbing minerals alone no longer sustains them.

Instead, they’ll eat just about anything that crosses their path - meaning professional pest controllers are occasionally called out to deal with giant slugs disrupting trade routes.


A document we found on Wookieleaks suggests many amateur Sith pest controllers are using proton torpedoes to dispatch space slugs. This practice leads to the dark side, as the treatment can often harm the environment or affect non-target species such as mynocks.

New research suggests problem space slugs can be relocated to spots without passing starcrafts. We recommend hiring a Corellian towing ship and a Bith industrial power winch. With a big enough tank of slug sedative, it’s possible to transport a space slug. Ask your distributor for more details about giant space slug transportation today.

Vespiform, Silfraxian Vespiform

Origin: Silfrax Galaxy
Diet: organic matter
Environment: potentially any

 Doctor Who S04E07 The Unicorn And The Wasp

Don’t let the BBC’s production budget fool you - the Vespiform is more than a giant wasp.

Measuring up to 3 metres, these shape-shifting insectoids can change form and breed with any known species in the galaxy. They’re sturdy creatures, with large stingers that regrow within hours of use.

They can travel freely throughout space, so you might find Vespiform nests on many developed planets.


You’ll need more than a knockdown spray to deal with a Vesiform.

If you think you’ve identified a Vesiform disguised as another creature, you can make it reveal itself by angering it. Try insulting its mother or suggesting the writing quality of Doctor Who peaked back in 2007.

Suitably qualified Time Biologists might use wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff to control an infestation. However, this should be done with caution, as breaking the space-time continuum is in direct violation of the BPCA Code of Conduct.

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

Origin: Traal
Diet: you
Environment: caves

 Artist’s impression of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast. Red pigmentation tests as the artist’s own blood. Sadly the artist didn’t survive the encounter but the subsequent value of his work has quadrupled.

Described in the Pest-controllers Guide to the Galaxy as “the stupidest pest in the entire universe”, the Bugblatter Beast is one of the more ferocious creatures you’ll find on your travels.

The Beast is described affectionately as having “Lazero-Zap eyes, Swivel Shear teeth, several dozen tungsten-carbide Vast-Pain claws, skin like a motorway, and breath like a 747.”

Each Beast keeps a record of its eatings on the wall of its cave – so you might be asked for a business card or your PROMPT ID number before being disembowelled.


If you encounter a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast, take your towel (a towel is just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar pest technician can carry), and wrap it around your head. If you can’t see it, it assumes it can’t see you.

You might also try scratching your name into the Beast’s wall – thereby making it assume that it’s already eaten you.

Now that you have the upper hand, you can attempt to dispatch. None of the BPCA technical team has proven this works first hand, so take this advice at your own risk.

Alien, Linguafoeda acheronsis, Xenomorph XX121

Origin: Proteus / Xenomorph Prime
Diet: none
Environment: potentially any

 Alien: Covenant

The Xenomorph is an endoparasitoid that requires a host organism to reproduce. The exact appearance of the Alien is dependent on the host. The humanoid phenotype is generally around 8 foot with a long razor sharp tail and a second inner jaw for close quarters combat and getting to the end of a Pringles tube.

Xenomorphs have a caste system like ants. An individual Xenomorph takes on a role such as a drone, warrior or queen. An Alien bite is a bit like an ant bite, except instead of being mildly annoying, it’ll lay eggs in your face.

BPCA is researching the Xenomorph species, and we currently have one locked in our server room, awaiting Technical Manager, Dee’s return from annual leave.


Traditionally controlled by military personnel rather than a pest controller, you’ll need some pretty impressive kit to take down a Xenomorph.

Flamethrowers will help drive the Alien away, and high calibre weaponry can stagger the pest. You might also want to invest in a full body mech suit, waterproof underpants and a good life insurance policy.

Complete eradication is recommended, preferably via thermonuclear device launched from orbit. Just to be sure.

Planning on trading in your van for your very own Millennium Falcon and joining The Resistance (against public health pests)?

Let us know how you get on:

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Scott-Johnstone-Staff-bubbleScott Johnstone
Content and Communications Officer
16 November 2017  |  PPC89

Disclaimer: this article is just for fun. Don’t try to manage the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast or a Xenomorph. They’re really mean.

Source: PPC89