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Allison and Anna’s Guide for the Triumphant Extermination of Roaches and All Things Roach Related

September 30, 2011

We don’t mess around.

If you do not know my sister (or if you didn’t read this blog post), let me tell you about her main fear in life: roaches. She’s absolutely terrified of them. I’m not a big fan of roaches myself (frankly I find them to be some of the most vile things that live on this earth), but I can still muster up the courage to take one out if there’s no one else around to do so. However, if there is someone around who is not completely helpless against those gross creatures, I usually let them take care of it as I stand very far away. There are a few things that I think are very important when it comes to roaches. Please continue reading as I outline the five key points of Allison and Anna’s Guide for the Triumphant Extermination of Roaches and All Things Roach Related. (Disclaimer: These rules tend to be somewhat graphic regarding the description of squished roaches and other various killing techniques. Please use caution in reading on if you are very squeamish or very sensitive to roaches. Please do not continue reading if you feel any sort of remorse when it comes to killing roaches, because frankly, I don’t understand you, nor do I have any desire to talk to you or know you.)

Rule #1: Make sure it’s dead.

This is the most important rule of all, which is why I’m listing it first. I think we’ve all had experiences where we’ve gone to squish a roach, and it continued to crawl around with half its guts gushing out. I think it’s best to use the “Double Tap” method here (also very helpful in killing Zombies), but by “double tap,” I really mean “double squish.” Not quite sure if it’s dead yet? Better go for a third or maybe even a fourth. You can never be too careful. Roaches are tricky little buggers.

Rule #2: Be resourceful.

All hail.

Over the years, I have come up with some pretty resourceful ways to kill roaches. When it comes to protecting my sister from them, we were sure to be very careful in choosing the materials with which to kill them, because chances are if a roach has touched something, Allison will never, ever, EVER touch that thing EVER again. Here are some helpful examples/anecdotes.

Once my sister was being attacked by a vicious roach, and I was the only one near her to come to her aid (it was really super early in the morning, she didn’t want to wake up my parents, and my room was the closest). I examined the situation, and told her to bring me something for smashing. Thinking on her toes, she grabbed the Everything Saints Book (a very colorfully illustrated book on the different Saints and their patronages) off a nearby bookshelf. It was an ideal choice, because it was a book that she will probably never have needed to pick up again. Thus, I vanquished thine enemy with the holy justice of the Everything Saints Book, and peace was restored to the hallway.

Utilizing your surroundings is key in making sure a roach is good and dead. I have experienced many roach attacks while in the bathroom, and the easiest way to dispose of them (in my opinion) is to squish them with a heavy shampoo bottle (an old one that you never really used that your mom probably bought at the dollar general because it was on sale), scoop them up with that Mardi Gras cup you use to rinse out the bathtub after you’ve scrubbed it, and dump that mamma-jamma in the toilet. But don’t flush just yet; remember Rule #1. I always find it to be absolutely necessary to grab the most toxic cleaning agent in the closet and spray as much of it in the toilet as necessary (I keep spraying until I start feeling light-headed from the fumes). Now it’s safe to flush.

When I was a junior in high school, I was the only child living in the house (sisters Marco and Alli were off in Auburn getting college edumacated). This meant that I was left at home for a few hours each day until my mom and dad got home from work (my mom works at a school, so she was usually home pretty early, but she also liked to go out with the teachers on particularly tough days). During these times of loneliness, I felt particularly vulnerable to roach attacks. I do not enjoy killing roaches, and I won’t do it unless I have to, so when no one else was home, I devised a way to easily trap a roach and just wait for my dad to come home and kill it. The best tool for this? That little plastic top that comes on a pile of 50+ blank CDS. Once you have it trapped, just put a few books on top to make sure the little bugger can’t escape. Then you play the waiting game. If it’s a particularly long time that the creature is trapped, it starts getting really slow and sometimes dies on its own (but who wants to wait that long – someone just come and kill the damn thing!).

The hat that will live in infamy.

Next comes an example for which I was not present. Allison was at home, and everyone was out of town that weekend for Jazz Fest.  Her friends Carmen and Ashley were on their way to pick her up, however, and she wanted to be sure to pack a hat for the fest.  She reached into a monogrammed bag for her treasured Auburn hat, but when she pulled the hat out, she found a super huge roach sitting right there on the Auburn emblem.  She screamed, dropped the hat back into the bag, grabbed the bag, ran to the side door, and threw the bag and all its contents into the driveway. She then proceeded to run over the bag several times (a great example of the “double tap” technique).  Ashley and Carmen arrived at the house, obviously curious as to why there was a bunch of crap all over the driveway.  She told them the story, and (after laughing and calling her a lunatic) Ashley said that it was a waste of perfectly good stuff just because a roach was on it.  She got the bag and the hat, and she truly thinks that one day Allison is going to forget that incident, and she is going to give the hat back to my sister.  She’s already tried, and it didn’t work.  Allison will never forget.

Rule #3: Clean up after yourself.

We all know that roaches love food, so it’s sort of a given that having dirty dishes hanging around the house is a sure-fire way to attract them. I understand that sometimes you’re in a rush or your feeling particularly lazy and don’t feel like cleaning (I feel like that all the time), but just think about it for a second. If you leave out that dirty bowl of food, you’re basically saying, “Hey roaches, I left you this little snack. Bon Appetite!” If you want to cut roaches out of your life, cut the crap around the house. It’s as easy as rinsing them out and putting them in the dishwasher (if you have one). There you go. No big deal. Threat potentially averted.

I refuse to put a picture of an actual roach in this blog, so here’s a picture of a unicorn instead.

Rule #4: Chase it down.

I know, I know. If I’m so disgusted by roaches, why would I ever want to chase them down? Well, duh! If I don’t find it and kill it now, I’ll probably wake up in the middle of the night with it crawling all over my face or find it a week later staked out in the pantry amongst all my food. Roaches are notorious for being quick little buggers that can easily shake your attacks and crawl under something dark and hide, especially if you’re reluctant to get close to them (like I am). But the fact of the matter is that thing is still terrorizing your living space and needs to be taken care of. It all goes back to Rule #1 – MAKE SURE IT’S DEAD! Because if you don’t, it’ll come back to terrorize you more.

Rule #5: Watch your step.

I find that most people tend to kill roaches by taking off their shoes and swatting them or by simply stepping on them. If you’re like me, the idea of doing this is mortifying. I don’t want nasty roach guts on my shoes? I don’t want to have to wipe them off once I’m done. I don’t want to have to remember not to touch the bottom of that particular pair of shoes because I killed a roach with them. That’s why I try to find things that I’ll never touch again to kill them with. However, sometimes you’re walking outside at night time, and it’s really dark around you, impairing your ability to see the ground. What if you step on a roach by accident? My first advice for you: turn on a friggin’ light. When exiting a house, make sure the porch light is on (and has been on for longer than five minutes to be sure those things are long gone). Look at the path ahead of you, to make sure there isn’t any sort of impending doom waiting for you further down. My sister used to make me look outside for her before she left our house at night (because she didn’t want to see any roaches if they were there) and map out the best possible escape route. Or I had to scare them away.

It’s also very important to be quick on your feet. It’s all about your reflexes; you have to train yourself to respond quickly to tiny movement that appears near you in the dark. If you see a rustling bush next to you, you’re going to react in case it is a mugger or rapist or something like that. So why not have a reaction for a tiny black thing that scurries under your feet? Remember to step lightly, and you will have less trouble getting out of the way quickly. Or doing that little hop maneuver. You know the one.

So those are the five basic rules in roach killing/avoidance. I’d love to hear about other techniques that are used for minimal confrontation and maximum killing. If you have any, drop them off in the comments section. I hope this has been a learning experience for those who wish to broaden their knowledge in roach eradication. Exterminators: you are our heroes. Keep up the good work, and remember – Constant Vigilance!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 8:24 PM

    Big Vic’s Guide to Preventing Roaches from Chillin’ on Your Face While Living On-Campus (in Aron Residences) @ Tulane University:

    1) August arrives. Welcome to on-campus living at Tulane University! Fun, fun, fun!

    2) Before unpacking your clothes, send urgent messages to both ServiceWave and the Associate Director of the Department of Housing and Residence Life “Re: noticeable cockroach infestation in Aron Residences, Room (**Insert room number**) ! “. Anticipate a visit from Orkin Pest Control by COB the following Wednesday.

    3) Walk to Rite Aid Pharmacy on St. Charles Ave. Buy available roach-killing death sprays, dry powders.

    4) Borrow your roommate’s car, and drive to Walmart. Buy two boxes of Combat Dual Attack Superbait Roach Killing Gel Plus Roach Baits.

    5) Return to Aron apartment, and apply products obtained in Steps 3-4 (above).

    6) Sleep with the lights on.

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