Dear Blake,

One of my family members is a loner. I’m the closest relative to them. They invite my children and me over for holiday dinners, but the house is dirty with roaches galore. The bugs even crawl on you during the day on the couch. I don’t want to go there for this reason.

I’m also cautious about inviting them to visit here because I once asked them to housesit for me for four days, and I came home to roaches in my house. How do I break it to them gently that the sanitary conditions are troubling, and I don’t want to be in their home nor have them in mine?

Signed, Candace
From Maywood, Illinois

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Dear Candace,

It sounds to me like that the loner in your family is very comfortable living in filth. Som you must never let him or his family into your home, or for that matter, any other human lice breeders. Anyway, here are some of my suggestions. If you have to visit him, you and your kids should be wearing hazmat suits. If he asks why, tell him that you recently formed a singing group, and that the hazmat suit is a gimmick that your agent thought of, because he wants you to be ready, just in case the group gets a spontaneous gig. Or, you can try to shame him, and tell him that homeless people living in abandoned crack houses, kept their places cleaner. Or maybe this idea. Bring to his place a few cans of flowery smelling bug killer and spray them everywhere. When he noticed that the cans are Raid, tell them you thought it was Glade, and because the words rhyme you made an “honest” mistake. And lastly, this idea. Try to capture a few rats at the nearest dumpster. Bring those to his house, and they’ll eat all the roaches. After that, set up some traps for the rats, and they should be easy to catch as they slowly walk around with extremely full bellies. I hope this helps.