Before I came to Australia, I was yet to experience the abject terror that is a cockroach attack. The version I have seen throughout Asia, though unpleasant, were at least polite enough to confine their actions to scuttling around the edges of rooms. In Perth, virtually the first one I saw, as I was dozing off one night, seemed relatively harmless, until about two seconds later, when it flew directly at my face. Attacking innocent civilians, as far as I am concerned, is a declaration of war.
A flying cockroach is, about 5 times the size of a lurking version. I don’t especially enjoy the company of either variety, but they are much more volatile when in the air, lurching wildly as if drunk (for which, I would have considerably more sympathy). So, after the face attack war declaration, what did I do? Bear in mind that the equivalent attack in geopolitical terms would be if, say, The Maldives say only one soldier to declare war on China.
My immediate reaction mainly consisted of screaming and cowering pathetically under my covers, listening to the offending beastie scuttling around the room with glee at the prospect of rendering a creature at least a zillion times as big as themselves completely powerless. When I finally decided that the coast was clear enough to poke my head out of the now sweltering covers, the little bastard decided to fly at me again, a little half heartedly, knowing full well that this would cause instant relapse into screaming panic.
Being so frozen with panic to even make an attempt at leaving the room, I eventually fell asleep, only to wake up a couple of hours later, needing the loo, to scuttling flapping noises, that I was not inclined to investigate. I lay there until it got light and people started moving around, hoping that the noises would provide some form of safety. This did not stop me from leaping out of bed, attempting to avoid contact with the floor, where the last roach sighting had occurred several hours earlier. Once out of its clutches, I had no inclination to return to the room where the beast still (as far as I knew) still lay, in wait, ready to attack only once I had regained enough courage to reenter using the floor, like a normal human being.
Prior to the floor being regarded as safe, the day was spent (mainly in pyjamas) planning which items from my room would be essential, trying to remember where they may be located, then jumping from the doorway onto the bed, in order to grab things before making a hasty exit. I was immensely glad to be home alone for this charade, especially given the two fearless (or just standard Aussie) children who live here, who would no doubt have been endlessly entertained.
The next evening, despite still being too afraid to close the door, I managed to sleep, briefly, in my room, until, what I can only assume was the same cockroach, woke me up by getting stuck between the blinds and the window desperately flapping at about 80 decibels for several hours. If a single cockroach can floor a human being, paralysing them with fear, why the hell can they not figure out what glass is? Luckily, as the flapping went on, it began to sound gradually more and more like the little fucker was dying. So 2 days in and I have managed to rid the house of one cockroach, this does not bode well.
Needless to say, I have been having similar battles in the subsequent 2 days. One rendered me unable to go to the bathroom for several hours, a second prevented me from leaving the bathroom, I required rescuing from both of these scenarios. Very undignified.
So, in retaliation, I have spent a day hovering every nook and cranny I can reach, then spraying it with hardcore bug spray. I will let you know if this has had any effect whatsoever tomorrow. Initial analysis shows that some small roaches just came out of hiding and died, very dramatically, in front of me. I am fairly sure their larger brothers and sisters, are just waiting around the corner…