Saturday, November 13, 2010

Living In Malaysia: Giant Man-Eating Insects

I opened up the front door and found myself in the flight path of the world’s biggest cockroach. It had a wingspan of ten centimetres (it seemed like 10 meters to me) and made a whirring sound like one of the old fashioned aeroplanes you see in World War One films.

With my customary bravery when faced with Giant Man-Eating Insect Attacks I screamed and ducked out of the way. Olympic athlete gold medal winners couldn’t have beaten me for speed. Luckily Au came to the rescue.

With an almighty leap he launched into the air, smashing the invading monster to the ground with a devastating lob. Finishing the beast off was a matter of moments.

While I disposed of the carcass, Au retired triumphantly to the kitchen to await his rightful reward from the cold cuts shelf in the refrigerator. He’s a cat who is strict about prompt payment for services rendered.

You may have gathered that I loathe cockroaches. The way they manage to flatten themselves into the tiniest cracks when they see a threatening movement may be admirable to a biologist, but it gives me the creeps. Even the fact that they can live without a head for up to a month doesn’t impress me favourably.

Cockroaches are everywhere in Malaysia.  They thrive in the tropics, plus people here dump food and waste in storm drains which attracts them.  I don’t get them in the house – I think! – but having one from outside trying to fly in creeps me out.

Problem is that I live with two cats and I’m further handicapped by a sense of environmental conscience. If I put poison down, the cats may touch it with their paws, later ingesting the poison when they wash themselves. If I spray a wall or area where cat’s paw will not come into contact with the residue I worry about the fact that these poisons kill everything they come into contact with, including the useful spider and the delightful chitchat. How can you get rid of unwanted wildlife in the house safely and responsibly?

My neighbour Norin recommends a traditional Malay remedy: dried chillies. This struck a bell. In aromatherapy and herbal use bibles, you’ll often find references to black pepper, chillies, ginger and paprika containing “capsaicin”, a compound that acts as a type of insect stink bomb.

And if it doesn’t work, I’ll get Au to stomp on them.

PS the pic is from Wikicommons

21 comments:

Mr Puddy said...

I vote for the last strategy : )

sully86 said...

get a b b gun...down those creepy crawlies!!

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I khonkhur: KHAT STOMP 'EM!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

The Chair Speaks said...

Hate cockcroaches too.
Can't use chemical because of the cats and don't use traditional methods like chillies or pepper, etc as the cats may accidentally touch them.
What I do is I wash the area near the back door where the cockcroaches come in on either a daily or alternate day basis. It helps.

Whisppy said...

OMGOMGOMG. I still have goosebumps just looking at that picture. I HATE cockroaches. They give me the creeps.

I was told pandan leaves (screwpine) keeps cockroaches at bay.

Another thing you could use would be the cockroach trap where the roaches go into a trap through a trapdoor but they can't get out. My dad used that when I was a kid and I remember screaming and had nightmares after I saw the trap full of roaches. My dad never used it again. Game to give it a try? ;)

Katnip Lounge said...

Try our solution, 13 cats. NOTHING gets into the house. We have giant desert roaches...but not at our house!

BeadedTail said...

Ewww! Cockroaches are so icky! Hope the dried chillies work or else you might need those 11 extra cats like the Katnip Lounge!

Brian said...

That is one big bug! I'd whapp it a good one!

Hannah and Lucy said...

If that cockroachd had been near our mum we don't think we would ever have seen her again!!

Barbara said...

Good old Au! I think my cats would run a mile if they saw one them!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Ooh, a giant man-eating insect? I just saw that on an old episode of "Buffy" last week!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Oh dear...summer is just around the corner and with it: Here comes the cockroaches!!! I've had nightmares about them too. purrr.....meow!

Lorenza said...

Oh-oh!
Those sure are big scary cockcroaches!
Yes. Au can help you with them!
Happy weekend!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Huffle Mawson said...

Go Au!

Cezar and Léia said...

Ohmigod,it's really a problem!
Maybe Au and Target can help!
purrs and love
Luna - WE LOVE LUNA

GRAÇA said...

Have you signed up!
But sends the mail to my master, because of mamy Capasso're not to receive such stories is full and then returns, but I enjoyed reading your story so the mail Dad is fmdias@sapo.pt
Ronrons and good week and forced the draw pelapartecipação
Kika

Sharon Wagner said...

I was just thinking about how I haven't been seeing any yucky centipedes lately. I think my cats are eating them. I'm so proud.

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Good job, Au! What a hero he is!
My kitties help provide biological pest control, too. If it weren't for my 6 Rowdies, I'd have been eaten alive by winged termites, sandflies, cockroaches, tokay lizards, geckoes and goodness knows what else.
I will try to see if I can find you some Lakhsman Chalk. You can find it in some Indian shops. I think it's non-toxic chalk with a bit of camphor or sulphur or something. It keeps the creepy crawlies out.

photojoy said...

We have cockroaches,in Japan too. I use chemical but when I see it, I scream and grab one slipper-----better not write more.

sh@nutz7 said...

my kitty Ron will do the same for me..only he will play catch with it and it takes 2 days for it to die..huhuhu...the best way, he plays for 5 mins, then ill jus vacuum it out! eeewww, cannot stand the smell..n Ron will hv his mouth n 4legs washed!

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

EEK! Some bugs carry parasites too, so good that Au just killed it and didn't ick--eat it! We try our best to eat bugs here, but mostly Teri takes them away from us!