Winning the War on Cockroaches
Surviving an orchestrated jihad-style campaign by the Melbourne cockroach community to destroy my domestic home life.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve had a problem with cockroaches lately.
I’m not speaking of finding the odd “roach” in the kitchen, but an orchestrated jihad-style campaign by the Melbourne cockroach community to destroy my domestic home life.
You see, these cockroaches are not the usual shy and nocturnal sort. Nor the refined sort that Danny Katz writes about. These are militant roaches who’d willingly sacrifice their own lives for The Cause. No quest is too arduous if it means they succeed in ruining a nice evening at home.
They remind me of the scene involving Goldie Hawn and the “Cockroach from Hell” in Bird on a Wire . Read on and find out why…
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pbSyqZ8LCA0" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
I keep a tidy residence. I am a tidy person. There is no justification for cockroaches to be present at all! In fact I never saw one until a few weeks ago, yet now they’ve decided that my residence will be centre stage for their evil campaign.
One night recently I was making tea . Lain upon my chopping board was a prime chicken breast fillet, ready to prepare. For a mere second, I turned away and when I brought my attention back to the fillet there was a salivating roach sitting on the edge of my cutting board, with misplaced culinary intentions.
Concerned not to see a good piece of meat go to waste , I tried to frighten the roach into running away from my dinner but alas, it wasn’t going to give up so easily. Tapping the space between the roach and the fillet with my kitchen knife momentarily caused it to back off before turning around and preparing another lunge at my meal. I couldn’t spray the roach (lest I contaminate my dinner) nor crush it for fear of getting roach debris on my dinner. In the end I had to use the knife to sweep the roach off the benchtop, whereupon it became a martyr for The Cause.
Adam 1: Cockroaches: 0
Clearly the roaches didn’t take well to this defeat, and so another was dispatched to claim victory for The Cause. Where the first failed, the second succeeded.
Two days later I’d prepared some lightly crumbed fish fillets that I was about to place into my oven. As I opened the door and lowered the baking tray onto the shelf, a giant cockroach leapt from the upper rim of the oven straight onto my fillet! And whilst the brief exposure at 180°C ultimately proved lethal, the mission had been accomplished. My meal was ruined and the roaches had made their revenge.
Adam 1: Cockroaches: 1
Furious that my cooking had gone to waste and disgusted at what had just happened, I decided that something had to be done. So off to Coles I went and purchased some Mortein Lure’n’Kill bates. But terrorist cockroaches don’t fall for such old tricks, and so more came to cause mischief. It seemed that the “tempting honey and soy baits” weren’t so tempting after all.
Because less than a week after the leaping cockroach had robbed me of my fish fillet, three roaches come to visit me, including the Mother of All Cockroaches.
The Mother of All Cockroaches. Body length 6.5 cm, total length 10.5 cm.
I was sitting at my computer one night when I heard a loud rustling sound and turned to see a giant cockroach fighting for balance on the cord to my telephone. Of course as soon as I moved near it, it dropped to the ground and hid under a table.
This posed quite a dilemma. I had to ask myself whether I should try and crush it, or try and capture it? Crushing it would have made an almighty mess, and given the size of the beast, outright slaughter could have raised the ire of the RSPCA on grounds of “animal cruelty”. So I tried to capture it.
With a glass and postcard in hand, I tried to trap it but obviously fearing for its life, it kept running back and fourth to evade me. Eventually, using some advanced psychological techniques, I trapped it in my glass and was simply stunned at what lay before me.
For the Mother of All Cockroaches was 10.5 centimetres long, of which 6.5 cm was body length! Gross! Being the keen photographer that I am, this was a photo opportunity not to be missed.
Of course the Mother of All Cockroaches didn’t like being caught and confined in a cramped drinking glass. So she stood up on her hind two legs and tried to push the glass over. I kid you not. Can you believe it?
It was at this time that I decided that serious action had to be taken – I decided to bomb the roaches. And whilst cockroaches may be able to survive a nuclear holocaust, they sure can’t survive a Mortein Control Bomb.
I can proudly declare that my roach problem is finally over (for now). I have won the contest. Game Over. Let’s hope there’s no Round Two, ugh!