As the days heat up, the sun begins to really burn and the nights become stuffy we once again welcome the critters that dwell in these parts. I say welcome but actually what I really mean is dread.
Since this time last year and my post When the Night Comes Falling there have been some changes in my garden, namely the chopping down of too many ficking ficus bushes and a very short haircut for the banana plant. All in the name of keeping them roaches away. Duh. Nothing keeps them away. Although we haven’t had a repeat performance of the infestation we have previously experienced (yet) there is a certain amount of unmistakable rustling in the leaves come nightfall and we have had some visitors to the house. 7 to be exact. I think someone may have been feeding them kriptonite as they are getting bigger.
In the months of quiet we have had a couple of hedgehogs hanging out in the back garden, a few preying mantis and a lot of bats. These I can handle. Even welcome. The roaches, no, just no. When they manage to squeeze under the screen door and make a dash across the floor in front of where I am sitting, when they jump out of the kids towel at bath time and scuttle behind the toilet and worst of all when they run across the bedroom floor I am not ashamed to admit that my deep throated yelp of shock is as forthcoming as ever.
From the early days of my roach encounters I have figured out a way to stun them or at least slow them before they run and hide (and I ain’t going to bed with a known roach monster lurking in my boudoir). My trick? Hairspray. In fact it is the same hairspray can that I have had for around 10 years, because lets face it who uses hairspray? (except my mum). This handy tin gets sprayed at the offending critter who either a) falls on its back and therefore is easy to bat with a flip flop (flip flops are the method of choice because they are malleable and make a good crack as you whack) b) the smell/stickiness slows the high speed hiding and once again make them easier prey for the flip flop. So far this year I have killed 3. Husband wins the tally with 4, he also has to clean up the bodies. I do wish he’d stop flushing them down the toilet though because they don’t always flush away, think about it….ugh.
I think we have to get the roach killer back to spray the house to ensure a less stressful summer but the idea of poisoning us in order to poison them isn’t ideal. Someone told me recently that the answer is a cat. They like to play with them, paw at them and ultimately crunch on them. Sounds ideal. There are plenty of cats to take our pick from, Israel like many Mediterranean countries is inundated with street cats. The problem is that I hate cats only a little less than I hate roaches. Sorry cat lovers but the moggies just don’t like me and as a result I don’t like them. Even the most gentle, friendliest cat will attack me. Once a cat pounced on me as I walked down the street (unprovoked I might add) and clung to my leg with its very sharp claws as I tried to run away (yes people were pointing and laughing but I didn’t find it very funny). Cats now know I am scared of them and in their spooky, intelligent, sly way they pretend to be mates by purring and nudging my hand with their heads only to out the claws or go for a quick bite. I now have to decide which is worse, the odd cockroach or a permanent house cat.
Hmmm, which makes a better housemate?
Here are some snaps from the garden.