So I'm sitting here, trying not to gag or be asphyxiated by the fumes from the anti-roach spray I just liberally sprayed in every corner and inside most of the kitchen cabinets, unsure whether to be totally grossed out or to just be a Grown Up and come to terms with the fact that everyone in New York has cockroaches, and to count my blessings that at least they're the small kind*, and that we really don't have a total infestation.
But seriously, cockroaches are pretty horrendous. They're small, fast, and after you see a couple you start to think you see them everywhere. And feel like they're on you at all times, until you start hitting yourself like a tourette's sufferer and then feel stupid because what you actually felt on your neck was your hair. But what really gets to me is that no matter how neurotic I am about keeping the kitchen clean, there's always that crumb that fell out of the toaster in the closet, or a smear of grease on the stovetop that I didn't notice and they always, always seem to find it.
So I've been forced to become quite creative when it comes to killing them. Since I've always been bad at smushing bugs (I always made my dad come and deal with spiders, and I always cringe when my mom makes me kill ants), I've had to figure out alternatives. Not only do I have traps and baits and kill-on-contact spray, but I have so far:
- Dropped books on them (first covering it with a napkin so it won't run away/smear on my Celtic Music textbook)
- Lit them on fire (there was one on the stove that I tried to smush while on the phone, but didn't press hard enough because, as I said, I find smushing things revolting. I didn't see where it went, so I just turned on all the burners, and turned them off about 30 seconds later. I lifted up my cast-iron pan and sure enough, it was all curled up and dead. So I picked it up with a spoon and flushed it down the toilet. I then boiled the spoon.)
- Covered them with soap (apparently they breath through their skin, so the soap means they can't get oxygen)
- Drowned them (I chased one all around this morning until I finally got it into the sink, and shoved it down the drain.)
Now, I'm the first one to call someone out about hurting animals. After all, inflicting pain on small creatures is a sure-fire indicator of sociopathic tendencies, aka serial killer-ness. But I don't think I'm a sociopath. After all, I don't want to hurt or torture the roaches. I just want them to die. Quickly. And to kill all the rest of their ilk.
And really, can serial killers make distinctions like that?
*Once, when my mother was still in graduate school and I was about eight years old, I came along to her biology class because my father had to work/mom couldn't find a babysitter/whatever. The teacher had this entire set of large tropical bugs in an aquarium thing. One was one of those millipedes the size of a large snake, and the other was a massive, rainforest cockroaches roughly the size of a small rat. Since I was a child, and since those bugs were actually harmless, the teacher thought she'd be cute and have me hold them. Now, I HATE bugs. I have always hated bugs. In fact, if all bugs except possibly fireflys and ladybugs disappeared, I would drop to my knees and thank God for finally revealing itself to me. But for some god-awful reason, that teacher (who I think might have been a nun) made me hold that cockroach and touch the millipede's legs, and to this day I have nightmares about oversized bugs. Just thought that anecdote might be entertaining.