An essay by Cindy Tan Mei Quan, as provided by E. R. Zhang
Art by Ariel Alian Wilson
Dimensional Pests, the entities we all love to hate. Who hasn’t had an incident with these little big critters popping up through inter-dimensional portals from time to time? In fact, according to the Interplanetary Scientist Association, there has been a 1802% rise in Dimensional Pests related incidents ever since the ESA started their space-time program! One of the interns in our office was just grabbed the other day when they were trying to do some cloning. Fortunately for us, their cloning was a success, so we don’t need to look for a new intern. However, filling out the paperwork was a nightmare! We had to inform HR that Intern Hacy would replace Intern Hacy because Intern Hacy was taken to another dimension. I still wonder if Intern Hacy’s family noticed anything. We don’t think they will, because Intern Hacy’s really good at cloning themselves.
Anyway, if you’re tired of having beakers grabbed or your experiments ruined, or just exhausted from having your mind ripped apart and put together because you’re unable to comprehend the logistics of inter-dimensional travel, we have some solutions for you!
Aunty Ching’s Dimension Sealer
Jacinta Loqman at Venus’s Pest Control Headquarters swears by this sealant in a can. VPC has been using this sealant for almost two decades. The formula, jealously guarded by Ching Huai Meng of Ching Industry, is guaranteed to seal up any rifts that occur in your laboratory. We tried it out on the rift in the parking lot earlier, and there really is a reason why it’s one of the better commercial sealants on the market. At only 13.99 credits per 500 mL bottle, it really packs a punch! However, there is the problem of having a giant sealed floating fluorescent purple portal hanging around in the parking lot while it slowly closes. The purple is a bit of an eyesore, but the instructions recommend using a visible sealant for high-traffic areas so that people don’t accidentally hit the sealed portal. You should know that you need to seal the portal before the Pests come through, otherwise you’ll be stuck with Dimensional Pests on your hands anyway! Aunty Ching’s Dimension Sealer comes in six different colours, as well as “Refraction”, which is really just a fancy way of saying it refracts the surroundings so the sealed rift blends in to its environment. Nifty!
These little rift-preventers come in small commercial packs or custom installations. The small packs, sold at every Plutomart, cost only 8.95 credits for a pack of 24 nodes. The nodes are self-adhering, so you can just pop them onto the walls of your lab for some easy rift-prevention. Downsides? These things don’t last long. Prof. Atiqa Hamzah from the University of Applied Magic Malaysia says that she used to go through a pack a week when her current laboratory was under renovation and she had to use a secondary lab. They also only work for small spaces of about 100-200 square meters, which is one of the reasons Prof. Atiqa shelled out just over 30 thousand credits for a custom installation by Portal Security Inc. She says that her lab is rift- and pest-free now, and she couldn’t be happier. We’ve currently put up nodes around the main office and are pleased to report that we’ve gone 12 days without a Pest-Related Incident!
A pest repellant sold right next to the Dimension Insulators in Plutomarts everywhere, DP-B-Gone comes in a diffuser form. Simply stick it onto your lab walls and set the timer. The diffuser will release a puff of pungent fumes at different intervals, guaranteed to chase pests away. Each diffuser costs about 16.99 credits and can last about 20 Earth rotations. The refill packs are only 11.50 credits for a 3 pack. As with the commercial Dimension Insulators, DP-B-Gone can only cover a small area. The instructions recommend using one diffuser for every 150 square meters. This means that if you have a huge working area, you might want to order them in bulk. The official website, DPBG.com, does free interplanetary shipping for orders over 2000 credits, and even provides discounts for university laboratories!
The Venus Institute of Higher Learning came up with Frequency Emitters just earlier this Earth Year. Apparently Dimensional Pests are attracted to certain frequencies and repulsed by others. By placing a Frequency Emitter in your lab, you can discourage the entry of any pests that happen by a rift. Dr. Pavarenan of VIHL, the creator of this technology, warns that different frequencies only repel certain species of pests, so the emitter is not a catchall guarantee. Some of the frequencies also have a tendency to disrupt the inner workings of other species! Yikes! Each device is the size of a small bottle and lights up when activated. It comes with 63 preset frequencies for the most common Dimensional Pests. The cheapest model with no frills and no trills is only 250 credits, but the higher end models can reach over 1200 credits. We field tested the mid-range DPfrequency-140 on the pests that we caught in the cleaning closet. All the pests fled by ripping through time and space, creating lots of tiny rifts to get away! So yes, it works, we are pest free, but at the same time, we had to buy more sealant to close up all the tiny holes!
Baking Soda, Lime, and Vinegar
Didn’t expect that, did you? House-spouses use these to clean house all the time, but one of the lesser known uses of baking soda, lime, and vinegar is actually to prevent Dimensional Pests. All you need to do is rub the baking soda all over your workspace, then lightly spray it with a 1:1 solution of lime juice and vinegar. The smell prevents most pests from coming through. If you are planning to use this solution, please warn your interplanetary friends beforehand. There have been reports of Qrians being allergic to the fumes and the combination of these products. Some house-spouses have also mentioned that this only keeps out the smaller, less tentacled pests, not the bigger, grabbier, kind. Still, it is a cheap and easy method and worth a try!
Of all these methods, Dimension Insulators are probably the only method that prevent the opening of the rifts, thus nipping the problem in the bud. However, the high cost makes it a less feasible option for new researchers.
For the frugal scientist, fed up with Dimensional Pests, having a combination of having DP-B-Gone and Aunty Ching’s Dimension Sealer available in the lab is probably the best choice. Simply stick the DP-B-Gone around your workspace. When you notice a rift, seal it up with the sealant as soon as possible, while the DP-B-Gone keeps the pests out. It may not be the most efficient, but it is one of the more affordable methods.
How do you keep your lab pest-free? Let us know in the comments below.
Cindy Tan Mei Quan (M. Sc. Material Science, Terran University of Unconventional Science) is a senior researcher and reviewer at SciComm Intergalatic, the biggest intergalactic scientist network. If you have a product or service that you want reviewed, please don’t hesitate to contact her at email@example.com.
E. R. Zhang is a postgraduate student trying to understand and prevent the impending bananapocalypse. They love the smell of freshly autoclaved agar in the morning and hate when kits get stuck at customs. Talk science to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ariel Alian Wilson is a few things: artist, writer, gamer, and role-player. Having dabbled in a few different art mediums, Ariel has been drawing since she was small, having always held a passion for it. She’s always juggling numerous projects. She currently lives in Seattle with her cat, Persephone. You can find doodles, sketches, and more at her blog www.winndycakesart.tumblr.com.
“5 Ways to Prevent Dimensional Pests” is © 2017 E. R. Zhang
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Ariel Alian Wilson.