Sunday, June 14, 2009


When I was six our family moved into the house next door. The old couple that lived there died and the family sold the house and since we needed a house and liked the neighborhood my parents bought it. I remember that the entire congregation came to help us move and we did the whole job in 23 minutes flat. Actually, I don't really remember that part.

What I do remember, and quite vividly at that, is my mother cleaning behind the kitchen appliances and screaming at the top of her lungs. Next came a flurry of activity and more screaming as the appliances all got dragged outside because they were crawling, and soon might have crawled out on their own. The entire back of the fridge was covered in a writhing mass of cockroaches and eggs and nests which made us all shiver as we stamped and swatted and squealed (well, Dad didn't squeal).

We had waaaaay more roaches than this. Exponentially more.

We spent the next ten years or so battling roaches. Little brown ones. German, I think. It was a rule that if you got up in the night to get a drink or go potty you had to sneak upstairs, grab the fly swatter, then hit the lights and smash as many as you could before they ran away. My mother was always so happy when she woke up to find dead roaches littering her kitchen from a night raid (I was willing to smash them but I really detested dealing with the bodies). Dad had a secret powder that he sprinkled around the kitchen and eventually our combined efforts of extreme cleaning, night raids, and poison powders did the job. Then we got termites, but that is a different story.

When we first moved to New Zealand we lived in an apartment in the city. It was nice. We shared it with roaches of various breeds- big and small, brown and black. Not many- just enough to know they were there and planned on staying. Then we moved to the Burbs - bigger houses, bigger bush sections, bigger roaches.

Our current flatmates are black with brown designs, similar to this. I don't think they have wings, but they do have those creepy leg spikes and long antennae. Now that it is cold they brave the light more often and like to see what we're making for dinner. I think they prefer curries.

While I put my lightning quick swatting skills to use on these buggers (even though it still gives me the shivers to do so as they are big and juicy) I have decided that is as far as my battle will go. No sprays. No powders. No bombs. Cockroaches are known to carry disease, but since our food is not left out in the open for them to traipse across, licking at random, and as I have yet to actually be attacked by one, I feel this threat is small.

Roaches - just one more adventure sport in New Zealand.


Mel W-K said...

EEwwww!!! I could not sleep if I were you. Good luck with the bugs. I hope we won't be seeing posts of them with names and what they've been up to like the pigs. :)

A said...

Nah, we only name the spiders.

William said...

That really is foul.

We have mice. One became two, and god only knows how many are breeding right now.

As well as the mice, we have mould. It stays still, smells a bit and give the children asthma.

But that's life in NZ, I guess.