madness in the metropolis 

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One roach at a time

Okay: travel insurance bought, city tax paid, large bin bags bought in preparation for gassing of flat.

I'm not sure exactly how the gas bombs work, but the instructions are quite clear about putting all your electrical goods in plastic bags to protect them. I guess they deposit a fine layer of dust, or something, throughout the entire room - presumably this can interfere with circuit boards and the like.

They're certainly effective, anyway. The first time I used one, I triggered it in the kitchen (back in the days when I had a kitchen, not just a kitchen sink - ah, the nostalgia) and then left for work. When I came back that evening, I opened the front door to find a cockroach right on the threshold, under where the door had been - dead. He'd obviously either been in the flat when the bomb went off, and only made it as far as the front door before expiring (how tragic - another two inches and he might have lived), or he tried to come in under the door at some point during the day, took two sniffs and then keeled over on the spot. Anyway, I took my umbrella and practiced my golf swing on the little bugger, pinging him out into the car park. I don't think we saw a single cockroach for the rest of the summer. Chris one, Roaches nil. I'm Tiger Woods.

The last time was a couple of months ago, and it was similarly deadly. I went for one of the pedal-operated ones this time. If you haven't seen one of these, then basically it's a short, squat aerosol with a foot pedal on it. You put it on the floor in the middle of the room, press the pedal with your foot, and run as an impressive plume of grey gas hisses forth from the canister. You have to leave the house for at least a couple of hours, until the gas disperses or settles or whatever the heck it does.

So I got back from work to find, again, a dying cockroach in the corridor, six inches from my door. He'd made it further than the last one, I suppose, but even so - he was clearly on his way to the great under-kitchen-sink-area in the sky, twitching forlornly. Sympathy? Save it for the whales. (Mind you, if I ever get a cetacean infestation then sod that - the big blue bastards are toast.)

It is a measure of just how much progress I've made in dealing with my phobia of roaches that I was able to shuffle him onto a stiff Pizza Hut flyer, bundle him up (a practical use for origami skills - at last), put him in a plastic bag and run out of my apartment building, holding the bag at arm's length, moaning in terror all the way to the nearest public trashcan. Trust me - it's a big improvement.

Posted by chris at June 30, 2001 02:01 PM | Permalink


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