One evening, just over a week ago, I went into the kitchen to do the dishes, when something small and brown and flat scurried across the floor and disappeared behind Tuffy’s bowl of kibbles.
Richard sprang into action with a tupperware box and a piece of cardboard, which we keep handy for summary evictions of creatures we don’t particularly want INSIDE our house. Thanks to some impressive high-speed reflexes, the box went over cocky-cockroach, the cardboard slid neatly underneath it, and a short trudge down the road later, we had the home to ourselves again.
You may well ask why we don’t just do what (I think?) probably everyone else does: whack them? I’ve asked myself that too… but, I just can’t do it. It’s really not that I LIKE cockroaches… nor that I don’t MIND them in my home… I DO! Very much!
The thought of them scrabbling around, looking for food in my nice and clean kitchen, makes me queasy. The idea that I might accidentally step on one if I am overcome by a midnight snack-and-let’s-raid-the-fridge attack, quite honestly makes my skin crawl.
It’s just that I cannot bring myself to kill them.
Two days later, there was another one… probably the abandoned wife looking for her mate who’d promised he was just going down to the pub for a pint before going past the shops and bringing home a bite to eat, and then didn’t come back.
She got away, though.
So, I duly went down to the supermarket and perused the shelf with the poisons: Target, Raid, Doom, Baygon… All promised, in various ways, to “Kill them dead!”
Incredibly, while standing there and trying to decide which one would be most effective for cockroaches, but without killing any of our geckos or the little daddy-long-legs (which both catch other insects like those annoying mosquitoes, so we don’t mind them in the home), I was overcome by an intense wave of nausea.
I’d intended to spray it all along the skirting in the kitchen, from where they seemed to emerge.
But suddenly I realised that Tuffy would also be padding across the kitchen floor and then licking her cute little paws while cleaning herself… She could get seriously ill from this stuff!
Richard said, comfortingly, when I told him of my unsuccessful shopping trip: “It’s okay that you didn’t buy any of them. A poison is a poison. It’s meant to kill things.”
For the sake of a hygienic kitchen, a compromise was reached: we got two new bait stations. They’re little squares with stuff inside that cockroaches like to eat… Why, I have no idea… Nor do I know how the manufacturers figured this out. Urgh… not a good train of thought there… Cancel!! Control alt delete!
The only good thing about them is that Tuffy cannot get at the stuff inside them, and she steers clear of them anyway. Clever kitty!
But I still feel a bit like a murderer. …