Monday, February 04, 2008

The Great Cockroach Hunt

I hate cockroaches.
At this time of the year in Western Australia we have an influx of flying cockroaches. These are more like long slender beetles (5-6 cms - that's 2-2 1/2 inches - long) than the normal nasty indoor roaches. They prefer to live outside among the potted plants or under the barbecue or behind the dog kennel or ... Well you get the picture. Sometimes though they get nosy and pop in for a midnight scuttle around the inside of the house. This is undesirable for a number of reasons that are self evident and because they can fly they are apt to settle in places your standard roach can't.
So picture this. It's 1:00 am. You are lying in bed sleeping peacefully when something highly undesirable lands on the bed and scuttles across it - and you. This is bad enough but the cat, who sleeps on your bed and likes a good nocturnal chase, decides to join in. As you start to leap up shrieking from the touch of very long questing antennae followed by tiny clawed feet, the cat races across your stomach, leaving you gasping for breath while he continues the hunt on the floor. You know he's not going to give up - and nor is the dog who has now joined in the fun - so you get up and decide that it is hiding under the bed because that is where the animals are focused. You hurriedly pad off to the laundry for the long handled dustpan and brush. When you get back, cat and dog are still sniffing around the bed so you pull out the bedside cabinets and move the bench at the end of the bed, then make sure all the bedding is picked up off the floor where it ended up after you jumped up screaming.
The roach makes a run for it as you move the bed, followed by your black furry and white furry helpers. It darts into the bathroom and the furry ones collide with each other giving the roach the chance to race back to the bedroom where it ends up in among the books on the shelf under the bedside cabinet. The black and white ones "help" as you pull out all the books. In panic, the roach flees straight up the side of the cabinet. Got it, you think. No such luck. Just as you line up with the brush, it backflips onto the floor and then into the dog's basket in the corner of the room.
Half an hour later you and the roach are getting tired but the furry ones seem as sprightly as ever. They're now operating as a tag team. You'd swear the roach didn't stand a chance. By now all the furniture has been pulled out and replaced several times and you are feeling the strain. At least your back is. This is mainly because while all this has been going on your husband, who doesn't see the need for the upheaval, has decamped to another room where he is snoring happily while you play hunt the roach.
Finally, the roach makes a mistake. Having lost one leg in a previous near miss with the cat, it is a little disabled. It freezes on the top of the skirting board under the window. You've got it. One flick of the broom and it's in the dustpan and can't climb up the slippery sides to escape. The urge to dump it down the toilet is strong but good will prevails and you dump it outside.
It's 2:30 am, your back is aching and sciatic pain is burning down your left leg but at least you can get a bit of sleep before you have to get up again. You slide into sleep.
Then ... tiny claws scrabble on your chest. You shriek. Puss pounces, misses. A slender shape scuttles across the floor and it's on again. At least this one is more stupid and just as well because your back has seized up. Finally it falls into the pan with a swish of the broom and out it goes. By now it's 3:15 am and your back makes any hope of sleep for the rest of the night impossible and, as it happens, puts paid to sitting , standing or lying for more than a few minutes for the next week.
Did I mention that I hate cockroaches?


Satima Flavell said...

It sounds as though a mosquito net with secure padlocks might be the go here, Helen. I've had experiences with demented winged roaches myself and have decided they're one of the few things I *don't* miss about Perth!

Laura E. Goodin said...

I have just one word to say about roaches: schpsssssssssst! The big black can is my best friend. I don't care how bad it tarnishes my karma.

Imagine me said...

At least my physio got a good laugh out of it. My daughter thought it was too good a story not to be passed on so she told her about it during her visit an hour earlier than my appointment.