Invasion of Las Cucarachas

This is something I’ve gotta share, because it’s so gross and so ridiculous I can’t keep it in. (Wow – that’s a really tempting opening line, no? High five for gross and ridiculous!)

Right: Last Thursday Zsolt and I finished our dinner, and were putting away the dishes when outta the blue Zsolt starts raising his voice: “There’s something on the counter!”

Our counter is plastic, but pretends to be marble with a dark marble-like pattern. So at first I don’t see it – but then, hello! Movement on the counter.

Oh. My. God.

For some reason, I’m holding Zsolt’s favourite mug and I begin trying to both catch or smash this bug that’s booting it across the counter. Zsolt stops worrying about the bug and starts freaking out over the mug, saying over and over it’s his favourite mug and ‘not with my favourite mug’.

The bug shoots off to the corner of the kitchen counter, then – with no escape in sight, turns around and starts running back at me. “Give me another cup!”

We somehow switch mugs and now I’ve got my English Stamp mug in my hand, which is nice quality china and a gift from my library friends when I left the UK. But at that moment it became a smashing tool.

This bug is hoofing it! I’ve never seen an insect run like this. And in the back of my mind, all I can think is “Oh shit.”

But! The front of my mind is on the ball, and “BAM” I cup the sucker. No, I didn’t crush it. I cupped it. My thing with insects is that I’m continually pulled between cupping them or killing them. So I have a rule: if it isn’t a threat, I cup; if it is a threat, I KILL. At this point, the bug was unidentified.

After cupping this thing, we spend like 5 minutes figuring out how to flip the cup over and plastic wrap the top so we could examine the insect up close without losing it. Zsolt took care of the flipping and I handled the plastic wrapping. Then we headed to the computer and I google-searched the word, “Cockroach.”

Mother Tucker. I won the prize.

The cockroach was only about ¾ an inch to an inch large, but it had all the google-listed items: the antennas, the wings, the little things that stick out the back and the Olympic-race-winning legs that run really damn fast.

So that was Thursday. Over the weekend I was at the Ultimate Wake Up, but still managed to amass an arsenal of roach-killing goodies in between sessions. Now here is the plan:

  • Check with neighbours to see if they also have roaches. This is likely, whether or not they’ve spotted the f*kers.
  • Set out traps of jars filled with water, which I’ve done, with the inside greased with vasoline. DROWN ROACHES, DROWN! And make some baking soda balls with which to poison them.
  • Find a shop that sells cockroach traps and stock up, purchase extras to give to the neighbours & entice them to co-operate in the effort. (Plus, this is a good excuse to maybe actually knock on a door and say hello; so maybe there’s some good in this bad, eh? “Building community through cockroaches.”)
  • Seal up cracks. I need to buy some steel wool, will be duct taping closed the access to the water pipes (it’s really big), and will stuff cracks between wall & cupboard and by the door with steel wool.
  • May spray areas with bug-killing poison . . . but we are trying for non-toxic methods before heading down that road.
  • Email Landlord to have holes in walls patched (we’re kinda mid-renovation here)
  • Take out garbage every evening, as well as recycling.
  • Wash, dry and put away dishes whenever necessary. Sweep for crumbs. Wipe dry wet surfaces.

So I’m not totally worried. I adore this apartment, and some stupid disease carrying bugs aren’t going to stop that relationship. Screw them and their tiny antennas. Zsolt and I are becoming roach busters.

2 thoughts on “Invasion of Las Cucarachas

  1. I’m like you, I can’t kill insects unless they are a threat, with the exception being ants (I got bitten a lot by ants when I was a kid), Japanese beetles which can destroy my Asiatic lilies in 3 days if I don’t pluck them off, and mosquitoes which are pesky little things. Flies get shooed out an open window, spiders get picked up and released through the back door, and the beneficial insects like butterflies, lady bugs, dragon flies and earth worms are handled with love and placed in a secured spot.

    Your plan to get rid of the cockroaches is sound, especially talking to your neighbours. Chances are, the whole building is infested behind the walls and between the floors. This reminds me of how a 21-storey apartment building in which I lived had all the cockroaches killed. There was a fire in the building on a very cold day (-35 degrees C) and the hydro was shut off for one month – killed all those suckers! That was indeed an environmentally sensitive way to get rid of them, but not recommended. 😉

  2. Ahhhhhhhh!!!! I loved in a condo that was infested and we could’t get rid of them until the person hoarding them all above us got moved out. It was pretty icky. We managed to keep them fairly under control, but getting the neighbors to help out really helps!

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