Is this the ultimate DIY roach motel?

roach-time

Meaty, dead cockroaches in the unintended empty beer can trap, after I cut it open.

They crawled into an empty beer can and couldn’t get out!

Last night I had a nightmare that’s too disturbing to recount. Apparently my subconscious doesn’t shy away from exploring the most horrible scenarios on occasion. But the clincher is that the bad dream arose in response to a sound being produced by roaches.

I woke up from the bad dream to a sound like something dripping on metal. I worried that rainwater could be leaking onto my computer or something, so got up to investigate. I reached out and  touched the computer in the dark and it felt dry, and a bit dusty. Obviously not wet. The sound stopped, so I went back to lie in bed. But then the sounds started up again. Definitely metal and tinny. It was coming from a shelf beside my table where I could see I’d set an empty beer can the night before. “Oh no,” I thought, “This is going to have something to do with an enormous flying roach.”

When I flipped on the light I discovered I was correct (there are so many times being right sucks). A giant, flying roach had got caught trying to get into the top of the can, and all the sound was it’s spiky legs clamoring against the can. Yuck! This wasn’t as bad as the giant roach in the mug of tea I found weeks ago, but it wasn’t like finding a fragrant, blossoming flower either.

Giant-roach

Oh what the hell, here he is in case you missed him: the ugly @#$%^ in the cup of tea I left out overnight.

I didn’t wana’ touch the detestable little beast, so I put it under the tap and used full-force water to propel it into the can. I, again correctly, predicted it wouldn’t be able to make any sounds in a water-filled can and would probably drown. I went back to sleep. It’s to my credit that I was less determined to kill the critter than to just silence it so I could get some rest, sans horrendous nightmares.

In the morning I shook the can and, yap, there was something sodden and hefty in there. But I had a suspicion, because there had been quite a lot of clattering, that there were perhaps two moistened corpses inside. I cup open the can with scissors, and, low and behold, two giant, repulsive cockroach cadavers.

Before judging me as a slob or something – and in so doing cursing yourself with a plague of roaches – remember that I live in a guesthouse in tropical Thailand, and the roaches can come under the door or up through the drains regardless of how clean my apartment is (in fact it just had a thorough cleaning a day ago from the staff). For the first six months I lived here I never saw a roach, and rejoiced that it wasn’t like the apartment I had in Bangkok where I could usually see antennae peaking out of the drain in the shower if I cared to look, and they traveled in packs. But in the last couple months the roaches have made themselves known as  they’ve established their new territory. In the neighborhood, locals tried to squelch the local entrenched cockroach population by implementing an insect fogger that took down some of the natural predators (like geckos), made some fish go belly up, and gave me a bit of a headache, but apparently only gave the resident roaches a pleasantly enticing social buzz.

The tail end of the fogging of about a week ago. Earlier it plumed ominously over my balcony rail, but I didn’t have the camera ready to film it.

Seems like setting out some beer traps might have worked better. The key might just be putting the can alongside something the insects could surely climb up. No poison. No killing the local predators. No sickening the tenants. No accidentally getting it on the food we eat…

I’m kind of torn on trying to repeat the unintended experiment in order to rid my room of any possible lingering roaches. YES, I do realize I shouldn’t have left out a can of beer with a sip left in it, or a half-finished cup of tea overnight the other time. I must be more vigilant! And that brings me to the problem of repeating the experiment. I was looking at the corpses of the roaches, and they are rather fascinating. Objectively speaking, the form is exceedingly complex and even elegantly engineered. The heads aren’t really any worse than those of a grasshopper or cricket. Their color, movement and odor are what’s so ghastly. It’s a personality, style, and hygiene question. And the antennae are super long. These specimens had antenna about 2 inches, and the bodies an inch and a half (yes, I just measured one). With that kind of radar, they might be able to smell the beer or tea or whatever from outside the room and be lured in by it.

Might try the experiment on my balcony – because the little guests can’t make their way through the sliding glass door – just to see how effective the beer-can trap is. Could be the ultimate DIY roach motel.

OK, you’re right, it’s just an excuse to have a beer tonight.

Let’s do it!

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