06 October 08 The Battle of the Cockroach

Battle Field

 Yesterday was a busy day. I got a lot of photography work done. I visited with some of the kids and adults in the area and I finished the book I was reading. I never got around to dinner until about 7:00 pm.

I did the dishes and decided to take my bath and go to bed and listen to BBC. The only fan I have is a ceiling fan in my bed room and I love laying on my bed with ribbons of cool air fluttering over my body from it. It’s even better just after I have had a bath. So I was psyched to get clean and relax. I had my towel wrapped around me and went into the bathroom to get the bucket. I wanted to put my “four scoops” of water in it. I leaned down and saw  A HUGE BUG. IT WAS A COCKROACH. IN MY BATH BUCKET!

First I ran screaming from the bathroom and closed the door with emphasis.  Then I remembered I am a Peace Corps Volunteer and I signed up for hardship. So no bath tonight. I can sacrifice. NO. Where’s that independant spirit? I can do this. So I went for the can of bug spray. It was empty the last time I used it but I was hoping for some settling or condensation or anything so I did not have to do hand to hand combat with this Cockroach monster. I located it in the back of my closet. Shook it with all hope and prayer. NOTHING.

Still I headed into the bathroom again. Armed with and empty can of bug spray is better than not armed at all. I held my towel on with my left hand and  I aimed the spray into the bucket and fired. Nothing came out but the cockroach jumped around in the bucket at the noise. I made it to the door before I gather my courage again and went back to the bucket. I held the front of my towel tight with my left hand and  I picked up the bucket with my right hand. Tipped it away from me. No cockroaches flying into my face thank you very much.  Then took the bucket to the door and gently tossed it outside. NOT! I threw that sucker as far away from my front door as I could.

57 uses for Heinz 57

57 uses for Heinz 57

I left the buck

et outside. Closed my outer door. Closed my screen door and heaved a sigh of relief. Then something jumped on the screen and OH NO the cockroach was on the screen door INSIDE. It must have jumped out of the bucket. I ran for the nearest heavy object – a bottle of ketchup. I wacked that bug only to miss and have it jump onto the floor. I started to wack at the floor with the bottle but then imagined the glass bottle hitting the cement floor and ketchup splattered everywhere. The cockroach jumped again.

Ok so I screamed again. And ran to the bedroom. Closed the door so the cockroach would not get in the bedroom. I readjusted my towel. I looked at my shoes. Were are my hardsoled winter boots when I need them. All I had was sandles. ewe what if I stomped and the roach jumped up on my foot. So I took my sandal off my right foot and put a sock on it. Hey cotton between me and a cockroach is better than a cockroach on my bare foot. Then I took my right Teva (they have the thickest soles.) and put it on my right foot. Then I went out with ketchup bottle and my right foot as weapons.

Where was that bug? I held the towel with my left hand and shined the phone flashlight wiht the other hand. I looked and looked   everywhere. I finally found it in a corner behind a chair. But my nerve left me. There was no way I was going to step on that thing. Then it jumped again. I grabbed the nearest thing  – a book. I know I am a librarian. Books are sacred.  So you must know how desperate the situation was for me to grab a book. I threw the book onto the floor and luckily onto the roach. With my right foot I stomped the book once. Well really three times. Then I lifted the book.

It was still moving. Crawling along the floor. I knew I was close to winning the battle and in very little danger of it flying at me so I searched for another weapon to finish him off. I took my small side table. Removed the cloth and turned it upside down. I smashed it down on the roach. Better to overkill I thought. I kicked the table into the corner and stomped on it. Using my armored right  foot of course.

Then I went back to the bedroom to regroup.  No live cockroach in the house now. Good thing. bucket somewhere in my yard in the dark. Not so good thing. Me in only a towel Even more not so good. Well it was dark so I went out to get my bucket.  I know you might be thinking that another cockroach was in the bucket but I retrieved the bucket without incident and without anyone seeing me in my towel.

When I came back into the house I decided I could not deal with the clean up so I just left the debris of the battle as it lay. Tomorrow would be soon enough to clean it up.  I bathed. Listened to BBC and went to sleep.

When I woke up the first thing I wanted to do was to take pictures of the battle ground and of my kill. The battle ground was still the same but the roach had disappeared but for one wing. I know he was dead so now I am worried about some bug in my house that would eat a cockroach. It’s gotta be grosser than a cockroach to eat a cockroach don’t you think?  I will sleep with my right sock and Teva by the bed and the ketchup bottle handy.




  1. Pat said,

    April 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Take it from a seasoned cockroach killer – the only way to kill tropical cockroaches is by using your heavy workboot as a hammer. Unless it’s pregnant or very old, your foot will never be fast enough! Keep up the good fight.

  2. scardy pants said,

    July 22, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I am both laughing and crying after reading about your battle. You both (you and the devilish cockroach) demonstrated such resilience. I stumbled upon your sordid tale tonight after my own battle of sorts while google searching for ideas to keep cockroaches away from my front door.
    I too am so afraid to step on them. Let’s be rational here, just step on it I think… but I can’t do it. I always just stand there, frozen in an embarassingly long stand-off, working up the nerve to just step on the thing. But alas, CRs are so spastic, and while I know it is just trying to get away from my death stomp, the crazy thrashing sprint they always do when I get withn inches has me terriffied that it just might run ONTO me rather than away from me. And when they are on the wall, they always seem to fall toward you… what is wrong with these sick things.

    So, a few weeks ago I was sitting on my couch when I noticed the shadowy figure scurrying along the wall above my fireplace. One moment enjoying my evening, then the next … here I am again, stuck, frozen in fear. I am afraid to kill it, much too afraid to go to bed without killing it, and unable to take my eyes off of it. We all know the only thing worse than the roach itself is the roach you can’t see but you know it could be lurking anywhere.
    I finally realize I’m a roach hostage. I can’t sit on the couch all night long. So the personal pep talk begins… I am big, it is small. I am a doctor, I am not afraid of running a code blue on a crashing patient, I can deliver a baby, I can stick big needles in necks, knees, and spines. If I can be cool and calm in life and death situations then I CAN SQUISH A BUG!!! Ok – here we go! … Just kidding… let’s pep talk again. Finally…. I’m ready. 2 magazines are going to be my strategy and weapons. One to throw and knock him off the wall, the other to toss onto him. THe second magazine has twofold purpose. It is a much bigger surface area than my shoe thereby decreasing the chance it will somehow get on me. And it will trap it somewhat – giving me time to re-work up the nerve to step all over the magazine (or possibly I’ll just put a really heavy book on top of the magazine to avoid feeling even a muffled crunch under my foot). Here goes nothing. The first magazine launch is a success… roach down and spazing… which leads me to wildly flail about, slinging magazine # 2 with zeal in the wrong direction, and to scream like a crazed mad woman while running from the room. And… Did just slap myself during my freak out? How do I always end up injuring myself when I am trying to get a bug? As I catch my breath I look over to my dog for moral support only to realize that my wild thrashing episode has her worried. She is giving me a look that makes me think that between the roach and me, I might be the bigger spaz afterall. Eventually I got the sicko roach with a broom that I broke in the process.

    Which brings me to tonight. I haven’t seen a roach since the one I battled in the first story. It has been several months. And somehow, today within 1 hour I saw 3. After a few wildly slung magazines, horror movie screams, a few tears in a weak moment, and some unintentional self inflicted slaps I resorted to a new tatic! Entrapment. There were some angel sent translucent solo cups on my counter… I patiently waited until the roach made a run away from the wall / corner and quickly placed a cup over it. So I had 3 trapped roaches that I’ve been checking on to assure they are still entrapped. Crap… 3 in one hour. How did this happen? Well a few hours later I’ve figured it out.

    I am house sitting for a neighbor. I took my dog and their’s on a walk. I left both of them at their house while I took my car home with the plan to walk back over and pick them both up to bring to my house. Well, when I walked opened my front door … AHHHHH!!!! a roach ran in. So, I think they are attracked to my porch light. And must be getting in when I open the door to let my dog in and out after dark. So, I was patient again, and after about 30min of stalking my foyer, with minimal personal flailing, but still some screams, I have trapped my 4th one of the day.

    Only problem is, I can’t leave my house now. I am again hostage to the possible roaches outside that might make a run for my home when I open the door. The dogs need me to come get them. I’ve shut off all of my outside lights, shut all of my blinds and I’m hoping the bugs are running to some other suckers house with a light on. Wonder how long I’ll have to wait for them to leave my stoop? I imagine that the time it took to process and write this story might just be enough. And, it made me feel so much better to let it all out on the keyboard. WOW.

    Thanks for your awesome battle story. You are not alone in your fear… and I’ll bet you are not as bananas as I am when it comes to these beastly, spastic, creatures.

    • Vicky said,

      July 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

      Scardy pants,

      I loved reading you story too. I also think I am an acomplished, successful woman and it makes me so frustrated that something no bigger than my big toe can make me so afraid. I loved your reasoning about the two magazines. Thanks for sharing your story with me.!


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