Chirp!:

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Pestilence

    I just got back from the supermarket.
    It's a wee walk, and then in the store and a hard right for the vege section.

    I select some tomatoes and turn back to the pram TO SEE A GODDAMN COCKROACH - and it was all so fast, but I think it ran from the visor hood and then it's on the toy my baby is holding and then that toy is flung by me across the supermarket floor and the big boy is all 'what what' and i'm all 'ugh! ugh!' and two kindly women look at me, and one man backs off to find the less-loony canned food aisle.

    I kill the sucker with a good stamp, then check the shoe to make sure he's pulversised, then shudder my way over to the onions to recover, feel sick, and consider dinner.

    And the thing is, it was on the pram. Does that mean I brought it with me ? On a freaking WALK from my house ? Farque I hate cockroaches.

    But please, tell me .. does this happen to anyone else ? Because i've yet to see anyone else do a cockroach dance, but I seem to have a yearly thing for it. I got a "Pro" in when we first bought the house and something very yukky happened* ( detailed below, leave now if your stomach is not strong ), and he says it's not a filth thing, it's a water thing - they're 99.8% water or something.

    I've come to think of this house as a bit of a house of pestilence.

    Let me go back a bit:

    2003: I see my FIRST EVER COCKROACH. No, seriously. I was in a popular Brunswick St cafe for lunch, and it CRAWLED UP MY CHAIR LEG and ONTO MY JACKET. I was cool, I was discrete, I killed that sucker, and the staff thanked me for not making a fuss.

    2004: I move from the inner burbs across the river. Southside. At the end of that year, I see what I think to be a CRICKET on the back sliding door, and SET IT FREE. I then google and ask online people 'what's the difference'. Get treated like a dumbass hick. Ok, so it was a cockie, sorry i'm so virginal. Oh how I WISH I was still so uninformed!

    2006: move house. To current abode.
    I have no idea if it's global warming, or what .. but this is
    The House of Wasp & Cockroach.
    Oh, and yeah, i've also had weevils since being here. It was all so depressing and seemingly finger-pointing at me, I couldn't blog about it. Was I really a dirty skank ? I mean, i'm not all white-glove-brigade .. but hey, there's no piles of festering dirty clothes either. Just a few crumbs and the toys ( the TOYS ) that drive me mad. Nothing 'dirty'.

    Anyhoo - CockieMan, who I hired and he forgot to bill me, and then I didn't pursue him to pay because I didn't notice a difference assured me they come for water, and my house was quite clean. He probably says that to all the filthy skank houses he visits, but it did make me feel slightly better.

    The WORST EVER night was a hot summer one when my mum was here. We ordered in pizza and it was fabulous, and all the windows were open and it was BALMY. Just glorious. Night fell and it was 8.30 and a much anticipated movie was coming on the tele ( what movie? no idea ). Excited, we all moved from the dining table to the couch, and I dimmed the lights and said i'd clean up in the FIRST ad break, because I really wanted to catch the start.

    Well, I kept my word, and
    ( God, this makes me ill to write, I can't image how YOU all feel .. especially as i've got a couple of bloggers VISITING me at my place of residence soon - gah ! )
    At the first break ( 5 minutes in ? - not long ), I turned on the light and ABOUT 10 .. 12 .. cockroaches .. ON MY TABLE .. IN THE PIZZA BOXES... OMG ... ( barf barf barf ). I felt so bad, and I know my mum ( who was living with us at the time ) found it hard to keep down her dinner, and probably made a few calls the next day, to see if she could find somewhere else to live. We think they came through the open windows ( right by the table ), lured by the smell ??

    So that was the catalyst for Cockie-Guy, and when he didn't work ( we only see the occasional now, mind you - but it's ENOUGH ), my husband just got one of those hubby Mortein pump-packs from the supermarket, and it keeps us good until the next sighting .. then, repeat.

    And because I have to know if it's just me ( my house is full of wasps every Summer, and this year it's bees - we've bought those 'timed release' sprays recently, because of the crawler-babe .. i'd hate him to replace my dustbuster as the main means of dead-fly-in-the-window removal ) .. is it just me ??!

    Oh - and there was the time I took a gown to the drycleaners, only to have one run out of the plastic bag I brought it in ( which had been hanging on my bedroom door ) - MORTIFIED. Lucky the chick was a country lass and downplayed it as no big deal ( 'you should see the ones we get in Boolengattadoonen!' )

    So .. please .. tell me i'm not so skanky ?
    Tell me i'm not alone ?

    and surely the fact that this is the house i've only ever been plagued means that it's not me ?
    yeah ?

    oh - and any tips on what it could be about THIS house and how to improve it welcome.
    We get both American and German cockies, if anyone knows their bugs :(


    *sob* !

    40 comments:

    dancingmorgan mouse said...

    We get them all from time to time, big brown ones. They get inside, under the door or somesuch and then Ping and Mr Brown hunt them, kill them and Ping eats them *shudders*. The bathroom seems a favourite place, so perhaps the pest chap was right.
    If the cocky in the pram was a brown one, it could just have fallen out of a tree on your walk over.
    I don't think they are particularly dirty either really, i think the horror is the scuttle, icky!

    h&b said...

    ugh @ Google:

    Cockroach facts

    Cockroaches can live without their heads for a week.
    Cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes and go without food for a month.
    Female cockroaches can stop and start their hearts as they wish.
    There are nearly 4000 specific varieties of cockroaches.

    bluemountainsmary said...

    bloody awful things.

    They are not so bad up here but in Sydney they were shocking. In each of the houses I lived in they were prevalent. And the houses were clean goddamnit.

    I have no tips. I am reminded though that I need to book the pest guy.

    Frogdancer said...

    I went to the IGA near you today. The fruit and veg there was appallingly bad. The fruit shop right next door was awesome. I'll be shopping there from now on.

    Anonymous said...

    Umm, our worst experience was when a cocky crawled out of my son's lunchbox at kinder many years ago! I was mortified - i asked if the teacher saw, he said "No" but who knows how many kids on his table told their Mums! Now that was skanky! Siobhan.

    Stomper Girl said...

    Was it a harmless black bush cockroach or a foul brown devilspawn cockroach? The black ones look scary but are not unclean as such and yo can flick them outside like you would a Christmas beetle.

    You need a Sydney-sider for good advice, from memory you have to put al-foil or those green scourer pads in every possible point of insectly-entry to the house, I think. I know that talcum powder deters ants, that's my best advice for pestilence.

    I've had moth plagues in my cupboards if it makes you feel better and I'm pretty sure I'm more of a slob than you.

    melissa said...

    Our house is plagued by them as well! Yughh - it's not just you!

    kim at allconsuming said...

    there is nothing you can do about the big ones. And they're the good ones. In terms of what you can and can't tolerate.

    We had a plague of the German ones - the little brown ones. Only a decent pest guy got rid of them. They've been gone for two years now.

    And we're in Sydney. Cockroach capital of the UNIVERSE.

    M said...

    Like the Sydney girls said - you ain't seen real cockroaches until you've lived in Sydney. And...here they FLY! (evil laugh)

    Muzbot said...

    They are just beetles.
    Ok, sure, I don't favour them crawling anywhere near me, but really, they are just beetles.

    Tiny House said...

    I'm sure your house is sparkling clean! :O) When I lived in Mexico, I found them everywhere. Yuck, yuck, yuck. The house I lived in, and the school I studied at, all had maids, and were really, really clean, but they still got cockroaches. Everyone told me (in addition to the fact that I was a silly American girl) that it was because of the heat. And you're in Australia, right? So maybe it's the heat? I feel fortunate to be near Seattle, where you only get cockroaches if you're dirty (or if you live in an apartment and your neighbors are dirty...)

    I have a cockroach story, but it's horrifying and left me sleepless for months. It involved 13 dead and many more still living, me, and a pillow on my skanky rented bed. To this day, I still hate my landlord. Ugh!

    Elizabeth said...

    I've never heard the water theory but when we lived at "The Beach" we were told it was the sand.
    All I can say is thank you for making this a photo-less post, however much I enjoy your photography :)

    KikiMiss said...

    I walked into my kitchen at 2:45am this morning to find a huge one scurrying across the bench, the first thing I could grab was that bloody Lavender & Citrus Anti-Bac Spray 'n' Wipe you put me onto last year ha ha ha. So...funnily enough you and cockroaches were on my mind in the tiny hours.

    They are revolting, I'm with you and I will be investigating ways to conquer today too. Trouble is, living in the hills just comes with all this gory stuff I think.

    Christie said...

    A year ago we moved into our house & as I have discovered since it is also home to many cockroaches. There are lots less now then when we moved in, but I certainly haven't been able to get rid of them & I don't use chemical sprays so the only way I get fid of them is to 'find & kill'!

    I swear it is this house, we have NEVER had issues like this before, although my house ISN'T 'sparkling'...

    To make matters even better, we have a moth problem now too- sheesh!

    Louise said...

    We get cockroaches occasionally and I blame the massive gum tree just over next door's fence. I don't really mind them as it's only now and then. I have been told though that you mustn't squash them as it releases their eggs all over the surface they are on!! My french girlfriend told me this and I thought it was rubbish but she checked with her pest control guy and it is apparently true! I just read a funny story about a girl who got a pile of mail from her letterbox, went to the toilet and opened the mail only to have a huge cockie fall into her knickers as she leapt up to run. She had to strip off and dumped the lot in the toilet - hilarious!!

    h&b said...

    Frogdancer - I know, and cheap too - just like a real market. unfortunately just as messy, and it's impossible to get the pram in, so it's a no-go for me.

    Siobahn - that's really really rank .. you poor thing ... ugh .. :( You need to talk to TinyHouse. I'm so glad it's not just me though ..

    Stomper - there's so many holes in this place I couldn't afford that much tinfoil.

    Muz - fine. But I fail to see the correlation between a nice ladybird outside on a leaf, and a freaking fast-as-rat black thing on my toilet seat at 3am .. gah !!

    M - flying - GAH ! ( God, these comments are GAH-ing me out )

    Christie - you are good ... I used to be the same, but since moving here, i've moved into the poisons-R-Us aisle and i'm not turning back..

    Louise - that is DISGUSTING ( although, I have a similar story involving the mail and a wolf spider .. now I always throw the mail on the ground before bringing it inside .. I don't care if I look like a loon .. )

    Shelly said...

    I used to work in a florist where the back room was plagued by them - if you couldn't hold your morning tea and eat it in one go - it had to go in a sealed container and back in the fridge! We had to take turns to eat!! Gross i know!!

    rhubarbwhine said...

    When I moved from Perth to QLD I was horrified atthe size of the monsters here. And they FLY if they are sprayed, which sends me running for cover. We do not have many at all here, but we did pre-reno, hubby swears it was the dampness in the joists and beams.

    Kylie said...

    The roaches - we get them in this house from time to time - and they don't worry me too much. However in our last house, the two bats who made a home for themselves in our fireplace and then decided to take a fly around the house one night - well, they still give me nightmares.

    suse said...

    All I can say is that I hope Ping is a cat or dog, not a blog name for a child. (DancingMorganMouse's comment).

    Ick. We have fewer up here in the hills than we did in Flemington.

    Hoppo Bumpo said...

    Yup, we have them too. Have found the mongrels running over the kitchen table, in the pantry, wandering in the shower and ..... uuurggghhh .... in the kids bedrooms. Yuk, yuk, yuk. They are not quite as bad since we got one of those time released pyrethrims sprays.

    My worst ever cockie experience was opening a box of meringue nests when I was working in a university college kitchen and having a gazillion of the little monsters run out. YUK!

    peppermintpatcher said...

    Lucky you don't live in the tropics where the whole climate favours any creeping craling foul creature. We don't get many in the house though becuase the house is full of geckoes and they eat them...

    twolimeleaves said...

    The way Peter tells the story of my first ever encounter with a cockie goes like this...
    "We were on our honeymoon. Kirsty was in the shower, I was watching TV. Suddenly there is a bloodcurdling scream and the shower screen door slams. I thought she'd slipped and fallen through the door. Ran like the clappers to the bathroom. She's standing in the middle of the room covered in soap pointing at shower ranting incoherently..." I'll take it from here - I was shampooing my hair and had my eyes closed. Opened them and there in front of me about SIX INCHES from my face and about SIX INCHES long was a cockroach. I yelled, jumped out of shower. Pete came running in. I pointed to the cockie, yelling 'What the hell is that? Kill it! Kill it!" He laughed...and went back to the lounge!
    I'm from NZ. We didn't get them over there. They still make my skin crawl. This is turning into a post, but I have another story. When Ali was four she broke her arm. She had to sleep with it elevated in a harness. One morning I went in to untangle her for the day and a cockie ran OUT OF HER CAST!! I nearly fainted and considered turning myself in to Child Protective Services. I rang the hospital to ask if they thought it could have laid eggs in there. They laughed at me.

    Karen said...

    You are not alone!
    I am also apprehensive about saying anything - if someone is visiting when we see one I get all sort of "we really are very clean people here" defensive. I've heard the water story too - they're just thirsty things apparently???
    I thought we'd brought them back with us from Sydney as they run rampant there, then I gradually heard more and more Melbournites admit they had them at home too.
    Start a Facebook group "people who have roaches but won't admit it to their friends", you'll get lots of members I suspect.

    janet said...

    All of brunswick street and surrounds were plagued by the cockies when we were there. Every. single. restaurant. and. cafe. had them, in swarms. The best you could hope for was to keep their numbers down. They like warmth and grease. So we used to remove the covers of all the appliances (microwaves, stoves, fridges, rangehoods etc)clean and spray. And spray the floors and walls on the way out. Urrgh. I bought them home here in the car once but our cold winters seemed to have killed them off - for now. Our current pestilence is more of the rodent variety.

    Guera said...

    Ugh, I hate cockroaches too - they make my skin crawl. As far as I know, it's probably mostly to do with the age of your house and the suburb you live in. Some areas are worse than others (not sure what the factors are) but I think they are often quite bad in older houses because there are always lots of gaps they can crawl in and out from. Sorry that's not very helpful, unless you feel like moving house!

    Melody said...

    I *know* cockroaches.. Oh boy, do I know them.

    *shudder*

    FNQ is pretty bad for them. I'm sure you already know that...

    Here is a story for you - Lyndon went to work one day, drove in from TB to Cairns - a good 20 min drive. Got to work and thought, oh there is something in my shoe. Took off his boot to discover a HUGE 'MF' cockroach fall out... Worst thing was, it was in the shoe whose sock had a hole in its toe. So glad it was him and not me...

    norma said...

    they are the only things that can survive v.d. and a nuclear explosion seemingly . we get the odd one here at our place, gross , i fill one of those plastic cheapo spray bottles with half a big bottle of eucalyptus oil and and the rest h2o and spray them , they don't lay the eggs and they DIE very quick, works for flies but not mozzies and smells nice, they are disgusting

    Beth said...

    I hate them. All of them. Every single kind.
    When there is no Mortein around I have before hairsprayed the little effers to the floor before stomping on them.
    I have them in my bathroom cupboard. Ugh, now I won't be able to sleep for just thinking about them.

    Damselfly said...

    Um. I wasn't able to read your whole post. I really and truly don't mind a lot of bugs, but I draw a serious line at roaches and things that bite and sting. We get palmetto bugs where we live, which is just a matter of living where we do. And they fly. Straight at you. Ugh.

    Aunty Evil said...

    Eww.

    This post reminds me of the time I decided to flatten a cockroach with my shoe, and it exploded! (the cockroach, not the shoe). All that white goop they are filled with sprayed out and hit me in the eye!

    I feel sick just thinking about it. I've never hit one since, although I spray them senseless.

    No rhyme nor reason where they come from or why they pick your house, don't feel so bad!

    Ingrid said...

    When I last lived in Sydney, we had to get our microwave repaired as cockroaches had gotten in and eaten out all the electrics. They get everywhere. Don´t miss them at all!!!!!

    Judi said...

    Cleanliness doesn't seem to stop them.Especially in a block of flats. I used to keep a glass of water by the bed until one night I woke up and for the first time turned on the light to find a coackroach doing the backstroke across the water ..I was horrified as I normally just reach for the glass and take a gulp.in the dark.Never again..Yuk indeed!Their appearances have been fewer now I use the sealed baits which are available in the supermarket in the kitchen cupboards. Plus I use the heavy duty (ie Toxic) Mortein outside surface spray on all the window sills and door jams.

    Little Min said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Little Min said...

    You are not alone (nor skanky probably) and I can top your pestilence situation.(I was told I must have killed a chinaman). We've had possums, mice, flies, MAGGOTS DROPPING FROM THE CEILING, flies again and then fleas, oh, and the odd cockroach. All in serious plague proportions and all in the last 2 years! Never had plagues before the small people came along and we're relatively clean although I hate to use chemicals. However I may now be joining you in the poisons-R-Us aisle.
    Bracing myself for locusts next!?!(Still traumatised from the maggot situation). Ugh.

    sue said...

    We had one big one in the wardrobe the other night. My daughter spotted it coming out of the shower and thought it was a big spider. Suffice to say it was squashed in toilet paper and flushed away. We have had big brown ones too, only 2 and someone told me they were wood roaches, whatever that means. My sister said they werent too bad compared to Great Keppel Island where she lived, they were huge she said and they loved the heat.

    Fairlie said...

    When we lived in Perth we had lots of them, as we lived near the river...there is something about them wanting to be near water sources.

    Eeeeewww. Can't stand them.

    Keryn said...

    I read this post earlier in the week and was thinking, how awful for you!! I HATE cockroaches too. I was heaving a sigh of relief that I am yet to spot them here, until last night, at about 3, I got up, went to the kitchen, turned on the light, and no guesses as to what was lurking right in front of me!!! (big brown variety) It didn't last long, can of fly spray and 1 birkenstock later, it was long gone, but now I am worried about any others...:(

    phoeberae said...

    We've got the german (smaller) variety in our cafe... sounds gross and is, but the problem has dramatically decreased in the last 12 months since we've been here.

    We now see them less and less often and they're really tiny, which means I think we're killing the biggies but there are still eggs hatching. A slow improvement.

    I'm disgusted and facinated by them and less freaked now I hear they have NOTHING to do with cleanliness. They love moisture and heat. They live around the motor of the fridge and the coffee machine.

    I was relieved to get a coffee somewhere else and saw a little one scamper from their coffee machine. The barista looked mortified, but I just grabbed it, dropped it on the ground and squished it, 'saying they like your machine too huh?!'

    Alby Mangroves said...

    Aiiiii !! As my mother would say. I actually think that there have been reports of a roach plague, and you are definitely not alone. We get the big flat brown f-ckers in the Western Subs of Melb too, mostly in the bathroom / laundry / near the catfood, etc. We also use the flea bombs and then just remove their little carcasses.

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