Saturday, January 07, 2006


I don't seem to be able to get away from horrible little animals. I open New Scientist for a relaxing read and I get the amount of wildlife running around an office and breeding on computer keyboards. According to NS. "the office is teeming with life: from silver fish infesting forgotten files, to dust mites feasting on showers of dead skin and cockroaches cleaning up the remains of lunch".
"The warm, possible moist conditions of the average office chair make it the perfect home for dust mites." Dust mites are globular, hairy arachnids related to ticks and spiders. They feed off dead skin infested with fungi. (Enjoying breakfast, Ron).
New Scientist suggests turning your keyboard upside down and giving it a good shake. Anything can fall out from dead skin, hair, crumbs, sugar and worse. (worse!!!) All perfect food for flies, maggots, mites and silverfish.

I gingerly picked up my keyboard and gave it a whack and I tell you it's the cleanest object in this house, nothing came out. So we're back to our favourite cockroaches, their dung and dead scales are highly allergenic and they have a hoard of pathogens from drains, faeces and carrion. (Breakfast still down, Ron) I'm really starting to lose it with cockroaches.

I haven't finished NS yet. "There are 400 times more bacteria on a desktop than on a toilet seat". "A half full coffee cup is an ideal breeding ground for furry fungi and bacteria". There was more but in the interests of my sanity I though I'd Google for old wives tales about roaches. Plenty of urban myths about where cockroaches can hatch or make a home in the human body, all of them disgusting.

Only one old wives tale for keeping them out of the house and that said to spread Catnip around and that will deter them. Well duh!! Considering how many cats would be rolling round in hallucinatory bliss in said Catnip, no roach in its right mind would come near.

What I couldn't find was a tale I remembered about giant cockroaches in copra cargoes that used to eat the toenails of drunken sailors or maybe that was copra beetles. I couldn't find it any way.

In my quest I did find this site This site has everything you need to know about living in harmony with wildlife. In the section on humane cockroach control they say killing cockroaches is cruel and futile. They tell you how to trap and release the roaches humanely, *thinks how can I get to the White House?*

I also know now that the little sneaks can hold their breath for up to 40 minutes. Half a can of spray last night and the b*****d's holding his breath! They can run about 59 inches per second and actually could survive a thermonuclear explosion. And for the grand finale, they have found a species in Borneo whose bodies are four inches long (stay away from Borneo OoC) so lets add them to the 3,500 other known species.

And from, lady cockroaches prefer wimps and the Bear reckons I'm hard on men.


JahTeh said...

Yes, I know, I know, I got the date wrong again. Nitpickers.

Gerry said...

I have a cockroach anecdote for you...

My partner and I were on a rented houseboat on the Hawkesbury a few years a go. We had the thing for five days (and four nights). 75% of the nights were fine. But on one night (a full moon) scores of very large (40mm!!!) FLYING cockroaches decided to SWARM allover the inside of the tiny little houseboat. The flew straight at our faces while we lay in bed! They crawled under the sheets! They terrorised us! We discovered that if we left all of the interior lights on and left the doors open they would go other parts of the "ship". The sun came up by the time the batteries were failing... But all was well. They had apparently been hiding in the bilges and had returned there.

It was a mad night...

Gerry said...

...the Bear reckons I'm hard on men.

Heh! You still on about that? I've admitted you were merely the straw that broke the camel's back. My issue was with OTHER women. FemiNazis. Women who have lost the plot and hate ALL men. Women who shamelessly and tediously GENERALISE about the evilness of men.

Now back to the topic...

I would NEVER accuse you of being a lady cockroach...

Mother Damnable said...

*thinks how can I get to the White House?*

~ Just blow 'em there! ~

Mother Damnable said...

I went to Culpepers for you, for some reason I'm thinking Smoke! but have no reference et, smoke 'em little varmits out!

Incence then, where you've seem 'em

If you can get hold of dried Rosemary, you could burn some of that.

Lavender is a very good anti little creatures herb, perhaps make some lavender bags and put them on your sofa so they will get crushed often.

JD Allen said...

I have no real conception of your climate, but the Gulf Coast of all the USA is famous for cockroaches (and termites, et. al.). You sort of have to make a life decision. Have an exterminator come out and use pesticides that kill all of them, or learn to live with the fear of turning the light on, opening a cupboard, finding insect corpses floating in the coffeepot AFTER you have had a cup, I could go on.

We chose pesticides.

Ron said...


You remind me of the days when I lived in Kings Cross and they were building that bypass thingy (late 60s/early 70s ?).

We were plagued with cockroaches disturbed by the roadworks and they were as big as budgerigars.

Ugh .. Horrible memories.

JahTeh said...

I'm going with the weather because I've never seen them this big or so many. As for swarms, nothing could beat the year of the Christmas beetles which came out of the sky like a UFO and landed.

Hey Gerry, did they go for the toenails?

Gerry said...

Nah, I don't recall them going for the toenails. Are you implying I have putrid toenails? :-)

JahTeh said...

Putrid, no that's your personality *waits for whack in earhole* :>

I was after confirmation of the toenail eating story I vaguely remembered.

JahTeh said...

JD, when I was googling I saw some monster cockroaches from the Gulf area and I bet they survived Katrina.

Ron said...

They can even survive being micowaved (although as a vegan I must insist you do not do this at home).

Some interesting stuff

Gay Curmudgeon said...

As a Sydney lad born and bred I'm very familiar with the cockroaches big enough to rearrange the living room furniture.

Imagine my surprise moving to the Pacific Northwest. No cockroaches. Just about no bugs of any kind.

Initially I was suspicious that my landlord had roach bombed my house into a toxic waste zone. But its just that there are so few bugs here.

Mind you our current home is bug central. Italian Honey bees swarm into our traffic circle every year, yellow jackets try to nest in our walls and spiders are having speed spinning competitions across the path from the back door to my car.

Still, just about nothing here is dangerous except fot that White Spider thingy that makes your flesh rot.


Gerry said...


Ron said...


What are yellowjackets? For some reason they very unpleasant.

Ron said...

Why did I ask that question about yellowjackets when I have Google above.?

Mother Damnable said...

Ron, is that kings X London or Kings X OZ?

There are huge cockroaches in London!

JahTeh said...

Ron, I think it's humane to microwave a cockroach, in face at the moment it would be downright pleasant.

GC, Those white tailed spiders are multiplying in Victoria but we're more aware of them now and I wallop every one I see. (humanely, Ron)

MD, my wardrobes are full of lavender, rosemary and lemon eucalyptus, it doesn't keep them out just makes them smell better.

Mother Damnable said...

"my wardrobes are full of lavender, rosemary and lemon eucalyptus, it doesn't keep them out just makes them smell better."

Chuckle, it's how you use these things JT. Lavender and Rosemary can both be burned, I think it must be the smoke causing an instinctive panic.

Incense is vey good as the smoke produced is pleasant to us. In the Middle East the cockroaches fly!

If you must use chemical sprays please don't spray at night, spray in the morning so the air has a chance to clear.