these nasty things
March 14, 2009 9:45 PM   Subscribe

Cockroaches, these nasty things, are susceptible to an environmentally friendly solution, perhaps, much like these ingenious things.
posted by nervousfritz (25 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The quickest way to tell the difference between the two species in that the Asian cockroach is a strong flyer (almost like a moth) and is attracted to light, unlike the German cockroach the

Oh, the horror. What is that rustling sound in the bathroom my wife heard? She asked me, begged me to go take a look. So I creep towards the bathroom, rolled newspaper in hand. I can hear the sound too - a rustling, scratchy sound, like dry leaves. I get read to kill the fucking thing.

I reach the bathroom. I turn on the light. The scratchy, rustling sound turns into a ragged whir. It's big, it's shiny, oily black, and it's flying right towards my face.

I let out a scream and back frantically away , fanning the air in front of me with my newspaper.

I stumble, trip, and crawl frantically to the next room, and close the sliding door. It will be twenty minutes before I kill the fucking thing.

Later, my mother-in-law will say: if you just washed the dishes more often, and maybe plugged up the bathtub drain, you'll never have a problem with those things. My father-in-law remarks: pick up your clothes. Cockroaches love hiding under piles of dirty socks.


On a return trip to Canada I bask in the dry, cool air of my apartment. There are no cockroaches here. After nearly 30 hours of travel, I can finally snuggle into my comforter and get some sleep. Just as I'm dozing off, I have a terrible thought: what if I brought back cockroaches with me? What if those big ochre monsters develop a beachhead in my bedroom?What if there are some egg cases deposited in my shoes?

So I drag myself out of bed, and search through my suitcase... Later I will finally settle into a nervous, freaked out sleep.

I hate cockroaches.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:03 PM on March 14, 2009 [3 favorites]

My apologies. I was on the lookout for some pix of bushmen grilling up huge bugs on skewers, but I came up short of that. Have a look back a few months for the guys traveling up the African coastline on motorcycle. Maybe it was in there.
posted by nervousfritz at 10:07 PM on March 14, 2009

That is a very handsome kitteh.
posted by longsleeves at 10:09 PM on March 14, 2009

4 links to Wikipedia, 2 links to science journals, one link to a Chinese-only page, and a YouTube music video. Huh?

Flag it and move on.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 PM on March 14, 2009

i just use windex to kill them.
works like a a charm
posted by liza at 10:26 PM on March 14, 2009

Cockroaches watched the dinosaurs evolve, and they're still here. I don't think we're going to exterminate them.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:27 PM on March 14, 2009

Fritz, you are not nervous enough.
posted by LarryC at 10:30 PM on March 14, 2009

I know, I know.

This is the one I was thinking of. NSFW
posted by nervousfritz at 10:34 PM on March 14, 2009

Sorry, one more random cockroach link, it's been that kind of day. I have never read that book but it looks intriguing.
posted by nervousfritz at 10:48 PM on March 14, 2009

The cockroach in Wall-E was so cute!

The cockroaches in Florida are the size of Chihuahuas AND THEY FLY WHAT THE FUCK???
posted by dirigibleman at 11:36 PM on March 14, 2009

I'd never really had to live with them much until I lived in Barcelona. They were 1-1.5 inch red motherfuckers who just knew that you didn't want them there. I swear they'd stop, turn, look at you and then proceed to run directly away from you and into your fucking shoe or cereal box or somewhere else that would eventually make you scream like a 6-year-old girl when you next encounter them.

Boiling water was the only thing that would kill them. Raid didn't even slow 'em down.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:17 AM on March 15, 2009

Sorry, the Vegas roach trap is a joke -- it does not work. And the Wikipedia article is really on shaky ground as far as references go and is probably worthy of a VFD.
posted by crapmatic at 12:22 AM on March 15, 2009

Joke as in "haha! we tricked you into putting jars of coffee grounds in your garden!" or joke as in "I tried it and still have cockroaches... in fact, yes, here's one crawling up my leg right now..."?

also, VFD?

I'll give it a shot. We have big ones outside in the summer that sometimes make their way inside, and that makes me sad.
posted by taz at 12:42 AM on March 15, 2009

In New Orleans, with the huge flying fuckers, I lived in this tiny little apartment right next to Waldos, this ghastly bar filled with the worst of Tulanians who yet thought they were too good for the Boot.

Once a year, during the summer, they'd spray for cockroaches. Do the cockroaches die? Of course not. They'd just swarm over to my place.

So goddamned glad I live in England now.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:54 AM on March 15, 2009

I lived in New Orleans, too, Katemonkey, and as bad, bad, bad as they are there, they still aren't as bad as in Florida (I think?). I remain scarred by the huge-fucking-flying-cockroach-tangled-in-my-long-hair incident in Ocala when I was 15.
posted by taz at 4:02 AM on March 15, 2009

Run down to your hardware store. Buy a $5 can of boric acid (it comes in a powder form). It might be sitting next to a smaller bottle of "Roach-Pruf" which is priced at $20. It's the same stuff.

Sprinkle the boric acid powder along the base of walls (like behind your couch) or in cabinets.

Ta-da! Roaches dead.

The roaches get the boric acid powder on them, and then they clean themselves off like cats do, eating the boric acid. Kills them. If I recall correctly, it works as a dessicant, though I am not sure. Other roaches will also eat the boric acid off of the carrier.

It's inorganic. It does not break down like organic pesticides, so it doesn't need to be re-applied.

It's safe for pets and kids. You can use boric acid solution as eyewash, and it won't hurt you if you ingest some - though of course I wouldn't eat more than say, a teaspoon.

I used to live in East Texas, where roaches abound. The stuff worked miracles in our little house.
posted by Xoebe at 7:00 AM on March 15, 2009

posted by madamjujujive at 8:49 AM on March 15, 2009

When we first moved to Texas I saw this bird flying around the backdoor light and asked my sister-in-law what kind of bird that was? I flys kind of like a slow hummingbird? She laughed and told me it was a Texas hummingbird, also known as a cockroach. Those things must have been three inches long. They were huge. And not afraid of the light. We killed them with Chlordane, back when it was still legal. Xoebe's boric acid works too, but slower.
posted by RussHy at 8:55 AM on March 15, 2009

Eh, PETA will rename them "trash kittens" and then we'll forget we ever hated the little bastards.
posted by Quietgal at 9:37 AM on March 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Yea! Boric acid! This stuff kept my NYC kitchen roach free as long as I lived there. I had been told that the roaches knew to avoid it and would stay away from surfaces or roaches that showed signs of it. Poison would have just sent them away until someone else tried to kill them. Boric acid kept them away.
posted by pointilist at 9:43 AM on March 15, 2009

Alternatively, for the ones that OH JESUS come up your bathroom drain, which we had, I believe there was an Ask Mefi which recommended Maxforce gel, which works like a charm.

Not environmentally friendly, probably, though it's at least not a spray.
posted by emjaybee at 10:12 AM on March 15, 2009

Boric acid works for ants, too. Forgetting the specifics of this, I bought Borax and mixed it with powdered sugar and left a pile on the counter. It worked, but turned into a weird, rubbery glass that was hard to clean off.
posted by cmoj at 11:13 AM on March 15, 2009

Boric acid has never done anything at all in any of my apartments or houses in Baltimore, Charleston or NYC except make piles of white powder all over the kitchen that I had to eventually vacuum up. If it was killing roaches it sure missed a lot. Cucumber peels, another natural cure that was touted once, really don't work; in fact, I think the roaches wrote that article. I have lived in three cockroach infested cities; I'm so glad they do not, for whatever reason, thrive in Asheville. The only thing that works is nuking them from orbit, a.k.a. the deadly toxic bug bomb, leave the house for 24 hours and open all the windows when you get back. It's evil but effective.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:18 PM on March 15, 2009

seriously, WINDEX IS DA BOMB ON ROACHES. it's the ammonia in the solution that kills them on contact. i have a bottle in the kitchen and another in the bathroom not just for cleaning but to kill the motherfuckers.

try it.
posted by liza at 5:51 PM on March 15, 2009

It was Autumn. I remember that, because the apple cider was fresh, and there are few beverages I enjoy as much as a tall glass of that sweet spiced cloudy brown deliciousness. A tall glass that I kept in my hand, as if afraid that if it went too far from me I would miss out on a moment of taste when the urge to sip struck me. This is how I know that the roach did not climb the side of the glass, but rather most likely dropped down from the ceiling above as I watched TV.

posted by FatherDagon at 3:12 PM on March 16, 2009

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