Thursday, August 09, 2012

"Porque me falta, porque no tengo..."

I suppose the whole cockroaches thing should have been clearer to me sooner. Just think about the music. What is the one song associated with Mexico that everyone in the U.S. knows?  Well, that's true, there's "La Bamba." OK, so what are the two Mexican songs everyone in the U.S. knows?  "La Bamba" and "La Cucaracha." If a song about the godforsaken creatures is (one of) the most famous thing(s) about a place, you can pretty much expect them to be everywhere.But I'm still traumatized, every time. I am just not meant to co-exist with las cucarachas, and I am certainly not meant to cohabit with them!

Now, don't go getting all holier-than-thou with me about all creatures great and small or anything like that. I have repeatedly explained my theory that cockroaches are actually miscategorized in the animal kingdom, that one day scientists are going to discover that the suckers are really something else entirely, just like they did with protozoa. (If I'm remembering my 8th-grade biology correctly.)  Or, for the more religiously inclined among you, think of it like this:  be nice to all of God's creatures, right? But cockroaches aren't God's creatures; they're clearly the spawn of the devil.

And don't go getting all traveler-than-thou with me about Mexico's latitude and biodiversity and climate. No. I have spent quality time in the tropics (the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, thank you) and I am well aware that  the price you pay for paradise is insects.  But these roaches currently traumatizing me are nasty urban dwellers that have no need to exist, but because they are evil and horrible, they subsist on crap and junk and garbage and dead cells and dirt, and they make their way through the crowded Centro city streets and old buildings into every crack and cranny and crevice, only to emerge in my living space.  No, thank you.

Spiders? Beetles? The occasional random unidentified six-legger? Brian and I will happily scoop them up in a cup or something and toss them outside. I give cockroaches no quarter. They are evil, horrible invaders that are more virus-like than lifelike. I would happily replace them in the food chain with ten other kinds of insects to make up the difference to the animals that (shudder) eat them.

Speaking of which, does anyone know where I can get a pet bat?

I really want a pet bat. And a frog. I love frogs anyway, and those two things would solve my cockroach problem. But see, this is the thing: my city dwelling is really not a good habitat for frogs or bats. Cockroaches are particularly troublesome because they take themselves out of the food chain and go live somewhere else, far away from their natural predators. And we have three different kinds that have reared their ugly, ugly heads in our kitchen and bathroom. Have I mentioned how evil they are?

A friend suggested bay leaves. We spread bay leaves everywhere, as if in some kind of ritualistic incantation ceremony, and they seemed to reduce the cockroach sightings for a couple of weeks, but in the last few days the demons came back. If they have somehow figured out that the bay leaves aren't actually going to hurt them, I simply won't be long for this world.

By all means, share with me your tips for how to get rid of cockroaches, once and for all!

1 comment:

Kim Diaz said...

Watching PBS years ago, I found out that the one thing they hate, cannot stand is airflow. They won't stay in a place with great airflow because air gets under their little wings (yes, even the non-flying ones have wings) and bugs the shit out of them. I don't know what you can do about your architecture, but maybe try pointing some fans at them?