They're lurking in mailboxes, on top of fridges and in the stacks of unpaid bills -and they're 21 per cent bigger than last year.
No, it's not another infestation of moths or other pests, it's your utility bill.
Owners of single-family homes received the first of two biannual bills for $417.28 to $459.28, depending on the size of garbage can they have.
That up from an average of $370.32 per bill last year.
The Citizen has been deluged with letters from angry residents expressing outrage that their household budgets have been flushed down the toilet by this large and unexpected increase.
"How could city hall do this to us?" they bemoan. "Didn't the mayor and council campaign on fiscal responsibility?"
They did, that's exactly what this increase is about and it is hardly unexpected.
Since at least 2011 city staff have been warning city council, and the public, that the city's utilities are underfunded.
City staff and the city councils of the day were well aware of the problems, but an October 2011 report put hard numbers on the size of the city's infrastructure deficit.
Then city financial planning manager Kris Dalio and superintendent of operations Bill Gaal reported an additional $4.99 million per year is needed to maintain the city's water system and an additional $2.37 million per year for the sewer system.
In 2010 and 2011 combined the city spent approximately $1.35 million on water and sewer projects -about nine per cent of what was actually needed.
In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 the city spent a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents on water and sewer infrastructure projects.
After years of neglect, it's not surprising the city's infrastructure is falling apart. In 2009 and 2010, the city had to do 447 emergency repairs on water mains, sewers and storm drains which failed, Dalio and Gaal reported in 2011.
That's one emergency repair approximately every 38 hours. Each emergency repair is an expense the city has no method to recover.
In addition to the direct cost to the city, there is the disruption to traffic, disruption to home owners and businesses , and the potential damage to private and public property caused by sinkholes and flooding.
The Core Service Review eliminated the hope that some mythical efficiencies could be found to cover even part of that deficit. Both the provincial and federal governments are tightening their belts, so new infrastructure grants are unlikely.
It's become clear that the people who use the system are going to have to pay the full price for it.
But even at the new, higher rate, the city's utility fees are quite reasonable compared to other B.C. communities.
In Richmond the average single-family home pays $1,271.86 per year in utilities, according to the City of Richmond website. In Surrey it's $1,160 per year, in North Vancouver they pay $1,023.40 per year and in Vernon (for a house without a water meter) it is $950.72 per year according to those city's web sites.
Of course, having to swallow a 20 per cent increase in one year -and 58 per cent increase since 2010 - is unpleasant.
If previous city councils had dealt with this issue the increases could have been phased in over a longer period of time and the need today would be less urgent. But they didn't.
Ironically it is the same people who today are whining and moaning about the utility increase who are responsible for it happening. The extreme opposition of Prince George taxpayers to any kind of tax or fee increase, no matter how necessary, is precisely why previous councils didn't do what needed to be done.
Because of that lack of foresight, the city has been left with crumbling, broken roads, water mains and sewers. Prince George taxpayers broke it, now Prince George taxpayers are going to have to fix it.
-- Associate news editor Arthur Williams