“Of course you realize, THIS means war.” It’s Bugs Bunny’s famous line from the old Looney Tunes cartoons when his enemy has pushed him to the breaking point and he is forced to retaliate. It was my line several weeks ago when I saw a cockroach on his way to the kitchen. Only that morning my scream of surprise sent a small roach scurrying off. But this one. This one was arrogantly making his way across the wall, not even a little scared. Everything about him screamed Attitude. Until my husband terminated him, leaving nothing but a squished bug in paper and a quick flushing sound.
I can’t stand roaches. I know they are food for frogs, beetles, geckos, iguanas, and some wasps but that means they should stay outside. They have no business inside my home, and certainly not in my kitchen.
I try to keep a clean kitchen. My husband is an excellent cook and great cooks need great cleaners to go behind them. I confess I had gotten into a bad habit of letting rinsed supper dishes sit in the sink overnight, preferring to clean them in the morning. But no more. I refuse to knowingly provide crumbs, sauce drippings or delectable tidbits for those nasty creatures to graze over like a gourmet buffet. The land cruise is over.
The night I saw Mr. Attitude I declared war. I searched the internet for ways to get rid of cockroaches. Since these despicable (another fave Bugs term) critters horrify most of us (women at least) I found what I wanted quickly. Clean all kitchen surfaces, drawers and floors and keep food covered. Check. Inspect for water leaks, fix and keep those areas dry. Our recent bathroom remodel had taken care of that. Then there was “keep all the places in your house spotless.” That wasn’t going to happen, we LIVE here. I needed major pest control. Not a fan of pesticides, but I was more than willing to try just about any of the homemade baits listed.
Containers of wet coffee grinds sounded like a lot of work, as did scattering Pandan leaves, crushing onion, garlic, cayenne and tons of cucumber peels. But placing diluted Listerine or spraying a mixture of scented fabric softener and water I liked. I could use items I had on hand to get rid of the little beasts. I also started keeping a can of extra hold hairspray downstairs to stop them in their tracks long enough to kill them. Not Big Sexy, mind you just the cheap stuff.
Spraying my good smelling homemade pesticide on baseboards and corners of low cabinets was easy. Then it was time to clear, clean and spray kitchen drawers. I worked bottom to top knowing the smallest drawer had the most stuff in it.
It went quickly until I got to that skinny top drawer. I marveled at the items: skewers, sauce brushes, injectors, basters, enormous grilling spatulas, beer butt chicken bases, drip pans, whisks of all sizes both manual and electric, but most of all thermometers. Twelve just in that one small drawer. Big ones, little ones, digital ones, ones with a numeric face, Fahrenheit and Celsius, manual, battery operated and probe-type. I pulled everything out for my husband to go through and saw a few tiny droppings, evidence of recent creepy crawlers. Brandishing a steel skewer I said aloud, “Of course you realize, THIS means war!”
I saw improvement in just two days. The roach I did see was lying on his back dying, a most satisfying sight. It took a couple of weeks for all the evidence to disappear but the war was won. I won’t let up on keeping baseboards and drawer corners sprayed, or let those strategically placed bottle caps of Listerine get empty. And I’ll never be without hairspray downstairs in case a stray roach manages to force his way in. Paralyzed by hair spray, poisoned by fabric softener, or led to his death by Listerine – makes no difference to me. This is war.