Once a guy stood all day shaking bugs from his hair.
February 1, 2013 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Hey Web Surfers! Is your family bugged by roaches? You're not alone. Although people may think roaches like dirty places, even the cleanest homes can have them. Roaches Are Everywhere!
posted by KokuRyu (38 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I dunno about that. The only place I've seen a roach is in a zoo.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:52 PM on February 1, 2013

This is the real reason my cat is an indoor cat. I don't love birds - I hate bugs. Pounce, kitty! Good kitty.
posted by maryr at 8:00 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

> Although people may think roaches like dirty places, even the cleanest homes can have them. Roaches Are Everywhere!

Why would you do this to me? Some things are not meant to be known.

> Roaches climb with ease. Roaches will follow your trail of crumbs wherever you go.

posted by Panjandrum at 8:10 PM on February 1, 2013 [9 favorites]

Roaches in Peru ate everything that was not the hard plastic form off of my sneakers over the course of five months. Jerks.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:12 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Although Harry the Hissing Cockroach was the best class pet a 2nd grade class ever had.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:13 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

noooooo :(

Roaches will climb on to your face at night and drink your tears. If there are enough of them to embolden them and they are thirsty enough. I don't know if this is a myth or not because I can no longer Google "roaches," because one time I had a roach infestation and Googled the hell out of it and then had to put up with bloodchilling animated scurrying Raid and Bengal targeted ads for weeks and weeks. *cries*
posted by stoneandstar at 8:17 PM on February 1, 2013 [8 favorites]

This is the one time I am 100% OK with commenting before RTFA. I just hope this isn't a hilarious web hoax or rap parody or play on words or something else that might be implied by the slightly flip tone. Is it? IS IT?!?!?!!!
posted by stoneandstar at 8:18 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

stoneandstar, block your eyes.
I'll just put this here.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:21 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh dang man, for me this is right up there with the dog-eating post in terms of NOPE NOPE NOPE NOT CLICKING NOPE NOPE.

I like to think I'm good about roaches, since I grew up in a place where they're expected as part of life, rather than hideous abominations, and the Terminix guy just has to come around and deal every so often. But when it comes to it, my muscles lock up at the very idea of squishing a creature that might explode into thousands of its young when I squish it. Oh and also they burrow inside human ears on occasion. Anyway, look how late it's gotten! Goodnight, everyone --
posted by Countess Elena at 8:22 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Aw, a roach coloring book.

Before I moved to Honolulu, local friends freaked me out with tales of the B52 bomber type American roach. I made the mistake of googling about cockroaches in Hawaii and learned that some will nest in the warmth of electronics. I periodically side-eye my printer. ARE YOU FULL OF ROACHES???????
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

Roaches climb with ease.

Eh ben ouais !
posted by maudlin at 8:30 PM on February 1, 2013

The average roach is about 1/2 inch to 2 inches long. But, the biggest ones can grow as long as six inches and have a wingspan of over a foot

Seen them twice. I've lived in, and visited, some shitty places. When I was a kid I once out down a glass for less than a minute, picked it back up and there was a roach taking a fucking dip in my Pepsi Free. The two times I saw 6 inchers are seared into my memory, I just wanted to board that room up and pretend it and everything in it had never existed.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:34 PM on February 1, 2013 [4 favorites]

I don't get all the hate for roaches, honestly. I always try to avoid killing them and put them outside instead if I can. I figure, as successful and plentiful as they've been, since stretching back well into prehistoric times, they must secretly have a pretty big hand in running the show. Probably best not to accidentally kill one of their kings. Who knows what kinds of germs their legions of devoted subjects will drool onto your lips as you lie sleeping if you do... Besides, they're actually kind of cute, when they turn their little heads and look up at you. (See? I like you! Please don't drool germs on my lips while I'm sleeping.)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:38 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also the first time I ever saw a cockroach was in NYC. We were staying at some run-down hotel somewhere near Greenwich Village I think and I saw those German roaches march right across the bathroom sink. For years I thought New York was some kind of dystopian hell-hole about to disintegrate into subway tunnel societies fed by ketchup packets because of those roaches. Yeah, I was raised in the suburbs, how did you know?

We have a trap n' release program for the big ones in our house because ugh crunchy carapace, but those little ones better run fast before my hand comes smashing down.
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:43 PM on February 1, 2013

You know when you wake up with the feeling like you've got a hair in your throat? Let me reassure you that it is not because a roach just scurried down your throat while you were sleeping.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:20 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I read a protip on mefi recently about roaches. A squirt bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol neatly kills them leaving no residue. And they squirm mightily as they die, which is satisfying.
posted by marble at 9:47 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

some will nest in the warmth of electronics

yup, once I took apart a friend's vcr in order to fix it, and the problem was that it was clogged with hundreds of roaches. it worked fine once I cleaned it out. for a while.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 9:47 PM on February 1, 2013

Once, when living in Florida, I kept hearing scratches at my door. Finally I screwed up enough courage to open the door. It was a lizard with one of those "Palmetto bugs" halfway down its throat. The roach was about the size of the lizard.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:49 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Item, I have a friend with a bee sting story along similar lines, but yours wins.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:02 PM on February 1, 2013

It's the damndest thing where a beetle roughly the same size as a roach can be the cutest little fella, and those things trigger revulsion.

We get the big tree roaches in the house once in a while, and I'm the anointed roach killer. It's usually just me and a shoe up against my scurrying adversary while my family all remains a safe distance away from the horrible thing. I act all cool & "I GOT THIS" about it, but inside, I'm just about as squicked out as any one else -- I just have a grim job to do. Mano a Roacho.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:16 PM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Roaches will climb on to your face at night and drink your tears.

This is a psychedelic sentence.
posted by carping demon at 10:36 PM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I was a young'un, the roaches around here could fly. I didn't really feel much about them until one night I heard my aunt screaming in the living room. Rushing out, I saw her standing on the sofa as a huge flying roach buzzed away from her straight towards my open mouth. I don't quite remember what happened after that.

Nowadays, whenever I see a roach I either leap several feet away, or grab something heavy and violently bang the damn thing as flat as I can.
posted by Alnedra at 1:06 AM on February 2, 2013

Stoneandstar, here is a Snopes thread where the main Snopes research lady is somewhat reassuring about cockroaches probably not eating the sleep crud stuff out of the corner of your eyes.
I mean to help. I am not sure I have managed that.
Also in Adelaide, every night the giant red cockroaches came out of the sewers (like in that video except less screaming because nightly) and the only good things about that was they mostly stayed outside and also made the occasional ant incursions we experience we get in Melbourne seem very minor in the scheme of things.
posted by gingerest at 1:49 AM on February 2, 2013

Ever looked closely at your platelunch and thought "I didn't order anything with legs?" It happens, and it's probably happened to you more times than you know.
posted by estuardo at 4:01 AM on February 2, 2013

Please tell me this whole thread isn't actually a bunch of intelligent roach colonies dressed up in human meat suits posting nightmare fuel so they can drink our tears of terror. Wait, do I just think I'm human? Have I been mentally conditioned as part of a deep cover op?
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:20 AM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Not even Brainiac 5 can figure out roaches. How can we?
posted by wittgenstein at 5:05 AM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Breakfast? No thanks. Maybe no lunch either. Diet? Yeah, I'm on a fracking diet alright.
posted by Splunge at 5:25 AM on February 2, 2013

Speaking of roach masturbation stories, wasn't there a novel a while back that had a roach that crawled into a sleeping woman's ladygarden and pleasured her to orgasm?

I'm hoping there was, since otherwise it means I invented that.
posted by colie at 5:36 AM on February 2, 2013 [4 favorites]

The thing that convinced me that Florida was Different was the experience of camping out in a tree house that was infested with flying roaches the size of saucers that liked to crawl into my sleeping bag.
posted by angrycat at 6:03 AM on February 2, 2013

formerly famous fictional cockroach
posted by bukvich at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2013

Stoneandstar, here is a Snopes thread where the main Snopes research lady is somewhat reassuring about cockroaches probably not eating the sleep crud stuff out of the corner of your eyes.

I hate to say it, but there have been several times where I've found roaches (and poisonous centipedes) hiding under my futon.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2013

I love roaches now. I mean, I don't want an infestation, because it would be annoying, and because roach feces can exacerbate asthma. That's bad. But I had a really lovely experience with Madagascar Hissing Roaches, which we took to an elementary school for a big science show-and-tell day. (Nice part about doing entomology is you can actually take live animals without having to fill out reams of paperwork.) We got nine and ten year old kids who were really freaked out at first to hold these awesome little guys, while we told them about their maternal care, their social behavior, etc. At one point I had a ring of five little girls around me, and I was holding a big bug and we were talking about it... and it was nice. I felt like I was passing on GirlSciencePower.

So I feel friendly about them now, just because they were involved in that. And when I find little nymphs outside, I like catching them and letting them run over my hands (which I wash afterwards! I am not a moron!). They're really really pretty, when you have them on their own and you're not afraid of them and you can appreciate them. Shiny little carapaces, long delicate antennae that they pat-pat-pat you with. I'm always finding nests under logs out in the woods near my house, and they're fun.

And, like all insects, there's some really beautiful members of the family in the tropics. Check out this sky-blue with yellow fellow. Here are some pretty Pacific cockroaches. This South American cockroach glows under blacklight. Here in the US, you can sometimes find the (invasive?) Green Banana or Cuban cockroach, and the lovely Pale bordered field roach.

Nothings fun to have a whole bunch of in your house. Imagine how horrible a Monarch infestation would be! But on their own, even roaches are awesome.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

I live in a blessedly roach-free environment. The downside is, the reason it's roach-free is because winter temps are quite a few degrees below zero most of the time.

The first time I saw cockroaches was in Australia. My extremely inexperienced travelling partner had never stayed in a backpacker's hostel before, was wigged out upon seeing ours (probably the cleanest, nicest one I'd ever stayed in), and immediately after check-in was insisting we find another place to stay. After hours of fruitless attempts to soothe unfounded fears, I gave up and agreed that the next day we'd look for new, non-hostel accommodations for the rest of our stay.

We found a pretty nice (much more expensive!), fully furnished holiday flat that met with my companion's approval and moved our stuff over immediately from the hostel. My companion was happy and smug: "Isn't this SO much better?" That evening when I went to the kitchen, I saw...something...scuttle behind the fridge. I took a look back there and lo and behold, all the cockroaches that had NOT been present at the backpacker's hostel were swarming behind the fridge in our posh little flat. There were literally hundreds of them. I was pissed to say the least. My travelling companion cowered outside the kitchen, wailing, and promised to get us moved the next morning, as I swore a blue streak and poured the powdered roach poison I found under the sink (bad sign) in an inch-thick line around the fridge in an attempt to corral them for the night. I may have ungraciously implied that if we had just STAYED in the hostel this would not have happened.

Of course the next morning many of those little fuckers had struggled their way through my Maginot line and were marching (slowly, drunkenly) back into the rest of the kitchen. Ugh. We did get moved to a different flat, probably because of my murderous expression after the accommodations manager tried to tell us that hundreds of roaches weren't really that big a deal.

That was the experience that taught me there isn't necessarily a connection between how clean a place looks and the presence or absence of cockroaches.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:38 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fear and loathing -- of cockroaches?? How nostalgic, takes me back to the 1970s and early 80s -- but now? Please. Argentine ants are the worst insect problem today. If you still have a roach problem, let me introduce you to Boric Acid, your new best friend.
posted by Rash at 9:01 AM on February 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A few roaches != infestation. An infestation of German roaches literally stinks. That video with them coming out of the sewer made me want a bottle of butane and a lighter. Bwahaha. I was young when I lived with the roaches in Brooklyn.
posted by Goofyy at 10:18 AM on February 3, 2013

Thanks marble, for picking up on my spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol tip! In the 70s, I lived in an old 4-plex in Austin that was ALIVE with roaches of all sizes and descriptions. I kept a squirt bottle of alcohol to spray a cooling mist on myself during the hot summers. One day a line of 4 inch roaches started scurrying towards me and having the squirt bottle in hand, I gave 'em a blast to try to turn them away from my direction. To my amazement, they flipped over on their backs, waved their legs, and died. From that day until this day, I always have a loaded sprayer of alcohol nearby. These days, I only use it on the solitary water bugs that wander in from the outside.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:46 PM on February 3, 2013

Sea slugs: 1
Roaches: 0
posted by maudlin at 6:25 PM on February 3, 2013

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