It’s official: we have roaches.
Up until this year, I had never seen a house roach in my life. I mean, I’d seen those giant hissing South American things in zoos and in biology class, sure, but those were kinda cool in a detached exotic pet sort of way. They were fat, sedate, and sat on leaves in neat little plastic terrariums waiting for their owner to feed them every day from a box of manufactured bug food. But no, not these bastards.
About a month ago, we found one on the kitchen wall — more than an inch long. We caught it and flushed it, then went to talk to the apartment manager about fumigation. We stalled on it, though, since it would involve not being in the apartment for while and I had concerns about residue left on our stuff that might poison the cat. We didn’t see anything else for weeks.
Then this morning happened. The boy steps in the bathroom for his morning shower and comes streaking back out with a really alarmed look on his face. Huge bug in the bathtub. So we go in the kitchen to get a jar to catch it with and find another one of the buggers drowned in the cat’s water bowl. The cat looks at it with the most confused expression, then starts mewling for her breakfast. We hastily flush both intruders before she equates bugs with breakfast. Then I pull out a new trash bag from the kitchen storage area and another one of them comes tumbling out with the bag. I shriek and then chase after it, but it scuttles away beneath the stove before I can trap it.
Now, I’m not really somebody that freaks out over most bugs. I’m a biologist, a gardener, and an all-around nature-lover. I catch and release spiders, crickets and beetles on a regular basis. I’ve been known to go out after a rain and rescue worms from the sidewalk. But roaches. Grrr. If I wanted freeloaders in my house, I would have invited my brothers over for dinner.
As I’ve said before, though, I’ve never lived in a place where this has been a problem before. We were more worried about mice and gophers in our old house, and the various run-down apartments I lived in during university were just too dry to support them, I suppose. Or they just didn’t appreciate our diet of ramen and soda, perhaps. I suspect that, apart from our attracting them with the leftovers of our improved post-graduate grocery selection, living in an older apartment complex surrounded by burbling brooks and lush foliage has provided them with a very sustainable environment.
Don’t matter, they’re going DOWN, dammit. They can skulk in the crevices until tonight, fat and glossy with smug looks on their little buggy faces. Very soon, they’ll be stone cold dead. I’m putting out coffee grounds jars smeared in vaseline tonight, and any survivors left after a week of that are going to get a parting gift of Borax-laced bait to take home to the wife and kids. And I shall laugh maniacally as I flush each little buggy carcass down the toilet. The fumigation will be a last resort, but I’m not afraid to fill out the forms if it comes to that either. I want pure genocide, plain and simple.
Be afraid, be very afraid.