Thursday, February 7, 2008

Water Bugs

Ok, I'm freaking out here folks! I have just seen my 2nd water bug in my apartment in two days! I've seen two others (one dead) in the past two weeks. Prior to that I'd only seen two during the entire thirteen years or so that I've lived here. So to see four this close together? There will be more! If you don't know what I'm talking about, think "cockroach the size of your thumb!" I won't post a picture because I don't want to give anyone nightmares! No, that's not entirely true. I don't want to give me nightmares. I've had enough images of them burnt into my retina over the past few days! These guys FREAK ME OUT!

No other roaches have appeared. The apartment is not dirty. Food is not left out, nor is water. Like I said, regular sized cockroaches have not suddenly shown up. Just the giant MUTANT ones from MARS!

I AM SO FREAKED OUT right now. (Have I used the phrase "freaked out" enough yet? Because I don't think it's possible for me to use it too much here!) I often walk around my apartment at night with no lights on if I just need to get from one room to another (bathroom, kitchen for a glass of water...) I'm afraid of my floors now. I'm afraid to lie down and go to bed! Though they weren't in my room, but they can walk! And fly! ACK!

And worse? I do NOT have time to take my home apart to figure out where they're coming from. I mean two in thirteen years? No biggie. But four in two weeks, and now two in two days!!!

I do not know WTF to do. Obviously I have to make time to find out what's happening but I don't know how or when, and I'm totally jumpy and wired right now. I'm afraid to put my earplugs in to go to sleep! I really am. You may think I'm kidding but I'm serious. I am jumpy and afraid to put my ear plugs in right now. Why? I don't know. Because then I can't hear them in those loud clunky shoes they wear right before they sneak up and into my bed?! (which has NEVER happened, and won't happen... OMG that can't happen!)

Ok, I'm going to try to breathe now... I realize that I'm freaking out (there's that phrase again!) over a small creature that is one gazillionth of my size, but do not underestimate the power of the giant mutant cockroach. Lest we forget, it can survive a nuclear war!

Having said all this, you'd never know I was afraid of them if you saw me in the same room with one. I am one of the calmest people on the planet during a crisis situation. I really am. I keep people calm, I keep people safe, and I get things done. If you're having a heart attack or an ax murderer just showed up at your door, I'm the person you want there with you. Really. Because I could probably get the ax murderer to give you CPR. -But once the crisis is over, if the ax murder's six legged relatives can still get into my apartment and scurry around on my floor, I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep that night!

So what do I do when I see the giant alien mutant cockroaches? I don't kill them, I don't smash them. I get my bug wand and try to safely capture them and carefully put them out the window. And by "carefully," I mean that I do everything humanly possible, while putting them out the window, to make sure that innocent pedestrians walking below do not suddenly have one of these things land on their head. I also try to explain to the cockroaches that they cannot come here, that this is unacceptable, and that they have to leave. -Again, you think I'm kidding? Sadly I'm not. The following conversation really took place about 8 years ago with a normal sized cockroach in my kitchen.

Man, you'd better get out of here, because if my roommate sees you, you are going to be one dead cockroach.

Seriously. You need to leave. And take your friends with you. Or at least just stay hidden and out of our way. No. Don't come closer to me. You need to go back! No don't... -You really can't be here.

(Yelling from the other room)

Quick! RUN RUN!!!

* Edit: Update is here.



MP said...

OMG you ARE a nut job.
It was 2...two...duo..pair..
Maybe they were checking out the real estate. Were you having an insect open house?
You stomp on them then spray some windex w/ a paper towel..and MOVE ON..
Oh yes, I hate them too..don't get me wrong. I do NOT talk to them though..just smoosh...

Vanessa said...

I was lucky to have never seen them while I lived in NYC, but totally understand the squeamishness. I am creeped out by them too, but like you, try to not kill them and set them (or any bug) back outside. I give stern warnings about coming back too. Good luck!

Cammy said...

Well, you KNOW you have my sympathies! I've got no advice. We used to get them in our house in Texas after a hard rain, or when we had a cold snap.

And, of course, I'm not as humane as you. My first reaction with those awful things is to find something to throw at it from far, far away. Also, I find hiding under my blankets, securely wrapped up makes me feel much better.

Nora Bee said...

Oh no! Roaches are the worst, I can't imagine big mutant ones. That's good, talk to them, get them to trust you. And then call the exterminator.

Melissa said...

MP: I replied to you in my next post! Lol!

Vanessa: You know... I do my best. I try to reason with them and explain that it's nothing personal. What more can I do?

Cammy: You could always whack 'em with your antlers.

Nora: The problem is, when I first moved in here there was a major roach problem. Not giant mutant ones but normal sized ones. But it was bad. I did EVERYTHING including calling the best professional exterminators in the city. The ones the restaurants use. NOTHING worked. Why? Because they were coming from a neighbor's apartment. But the exterminator assured me that my apartment would be SO toxic that even if they were coming from elsewhere, they'd drop dead as soon as they crossed the perimeter! -Nice huh? What does that say for MY health! But it did NOTHING! Had NO effect! The exterminators returned every 2 weeks for six months and NADA! Not a dent. I still had LOTS of the little suckers visible during the DAY which is never a good sign.

I had multiple roach baits, roach gels, sealed up EVERY crack and opening I could find. Covered all drains and faucets. I had boric acid plus a bunch of other natural deterrents. Food and water were NEVER left out. Everything in cabinets was in sealed ziploc bags (sometimes double bagged!), and it had absolutely no effect!

Finally the neighbor's moved, their apartment was gutted and no more roach problem. Vanished almost overnight.

So yeah... the exterminators? Not a lot of faith in them! ;)