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Tips for Handling Roaches in your Home
It never fails. It always happens when you're at your most vulnerable.
- You just crawled in bed.
- You're changing clothes.
- You're chilling on the couch.
- You're about to take a shower.
- And the worst: you're sitting on the toilet.
And then there it is.
Your worst fears all rolled into that one brown bug of doom and destruction. The roach. And I'm not talking about any roach here. What I'm taking about is the dreaded palmetto bug. A spiky legged creature bigger than your thumb with wings. Wings! You thought wasps were jerks for flying after you? Try having one of these aiming for your head:
What? Look, you can Google real photos for yourself. I'm not looking at them. They give me the heebie jeebies! Anyway, how to deal with them. That's the real question. Well, fortunately for you, I've dedicated many years fighting these formidable foes and I'm willing to share my techniques with you. Pay close attention.
Rule #1: Always keep eye contact
I cannot stress the importance of this first rule. Once you spot the enemy, do not take your eyes off of it. There are a few reasons for this. First, you have to establish your dominance. You've spotted the litter bugger and he knows it. Long antennas twitching in recognition of you presence. You stare him down like the insect he is! Or, you know, you could just be frozen in terror. Either option will work. The second reason for keeping eye contact is because, somehow, bugs have mastered teleportation. There's just no other explanation for it. You've got your eyes glued to the target, you get distracted by a noise in the background, and then...
Gone. It could be anywhere in the room now. Heck, it could be anywhere in the house. You're better off just sleeping in your car tonight.
Rule #2: Trust no one
This is your battle and you gotta fight it alone. Some reinforcements are fine every once in a while, but do not trust them with the big jobs. Do not have them watch the roach while you run off to go get weapons. You'll run off and I guarantee the exact conversation will follow:
You: "Okay, so where's the roach?"
Friend: "Oh, somewhere over there."
You: "Somewhere? What do you mean somewhere?"
Friend: "Somewhere over there."
You: "You took your eyes off of it!"
Friend: "Only for a second. I'm telling you it's....Oh, where'd it go?"
Friend: "It couldn't have gotten far!"
And then the roach uses this moment of confusion to attack, catapulting itself onto your friend's face who is now cursing him/herself for not watching the roach as you beat them mercilessly with whatever blunt object you could find. You want to save your friendship? Go send them to get the weapons. But not just any weapons.
Rule #3: Use what the roach will least expect
Bug spray? A fly swatter? *pfft* Yeah, like the roach has never come across one of those before. Plus, this isn't your everyday normal roach. This is Mecharoach: Destroyer of Homes! Your puny swatter and weak spray will do squat diddly against this beast. So maybe you're thinking "That's ok, I can still go old school on it" as you roll up last week's penny saver. No. Just no. It's laughing at you now as it chases you around the house.
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So what do you use? Well, if you're alone and following Rule #1, you'll just have to use whatever is within your reach. A t-shirt and maybe some sort of spray will do; cleaner if you're in the bathroom or maybe some perfume/cologne if you're in the bedroom. What you want to do is stun and then spray. If it's in a difficult location, spraying then stunning may be a better option. Whatever gets it out in the open for maximum onslaught from your attacks.
If you're not alone, send someone else to get you something heavy. No, not even the Sunday paper is enough. I like to use a phone book. You may laugh, but that's because I'm sure many of you have never dealt with a Florida bug before. Those micro-musclemen could lift a brick if they tried hard enough. Which brings me to my next rule:
Rule #4: There's no such thing as "overkill"
Look, you just spent the better part of your evening chasing after this thing. I once chased a roach around the house trying to kill it with whatever method I could for over an hour. My friend thought I was crazy, but when I finally got that roach on the floor and out into the open, I chucked that phone book with all my might and it landed perfectly on top of the creature. I wasn't done there though. Oh no. I knew of their incredible strength and healing powers. I threw myself onto the phone book as well.
Even after all that, I knew better than to lift the book. I know it may be tempting. I know you want to be certain, but that one little inch will be enough for that escape artist to shoot on out. Then you have to start your chase all over again. Even if you're certain it's dead, it doesn't hurt to add a bit more security. Just leave the book there for a while. 48 hours should cover. Heck, don't have any company coming over? Try a week! Whatever makes you feel safe.
Rule #5: Disposing of the body
Hey, no one said war was pretty.
When you're finally ready to clean up the remains, choosing a proper burial ground is very important. First off, dispose of it no where in your home. Unless you're planning on taking out your trash right away, don't throw it into the trash can. Then it's body remains in your home as a constant reminder. Haunting the very home you fought to protect.
And don't flush it down the toilet either. I have this awful vision of it coming back to life and up the drain. Or living in the sewer and turning into a giant roach like the alligators in NYC.
Nope. Dead or alive, my enemy must be as far away from my home as humanly possible...or at least what I'm willing to walk. If you're like me and live in an apartment complex, drop off the body in the dumpster on the opposite side of the complex. If you live in your standard home, you may just want to take the trash can to the curb a little bit early. Your neighbors will understand.
Offer some words for the departed. He fault valiantly after all. Then return to your den of victory, basking in the warming glow of safety. For now...