Ahimsa might be a wonderful policy but it is certainly not my policy when it comes to cockroaches and mosquitoes. Since I have already established myself as an accomplished mosquito killer, (through my posts Killing spree, R is for Revenge, and SoCS – Zz) I thought I would share my experiences with cockroaches. Don’t get me wrong – I have never been the kind of person who is brave enough to pick them by their legs and toss them out unlike most of my family. I am the kind of person who is brave enough, provided the cockroach is at a ‘safe’ distance and not airborne. Once it goes airborne or approaches too close for comfort, I inadvertently tend to scream, flail my arms around or jump to a safe distance! Whenever this happens, Ajay just rolls his eyes and tells me, “Remember they are more scared of you than you are of them”. But believe me, that doesn’t help. Not really. Not when your brain goes into the fight-or-flight mode.
There are a few things more horrifying than that nasty sound you hear when you accidentally step on an unsuspecting cockroach. Oh wait, there is something that’s even more horrible – cleaning up the mess afterward. That, and that nasty feeling when a cockroach crawls up your body. Just the very thought makes me shiver in disgust. My house is usually cockroach-free. But occasionally, these nasty creatures rear their ugly heads. It beats me how they manage to get any food. I am a neat freak and I do my best to ensure that there are no exposed leftovers. But then we are talking about the sort of creature that can live without its head for nearly a week, and even survive nuclear radiation. Surely, such problems call for bigger countermeasures.
Staying alone, especially during the nationwide lockdown last year, has forced me to develop certain survival skills. My father has always been an advocate of picking live cockroaches by their legs and tossing them out into the wilderness. Of course, they almost always end up crawling back into our home at a later date only to be killed by someone other than him. I am not so kind like him. For a long time, I believed in the power of naphthalene balls and other substances that claimed to keep cockroaches away. But that ended the day I saw a cockroach crawling over the very substances in question. That’s when I adopted the more drastic approach of the killer spray.
I am proud to report that I have become somewhat adept at wielding the spray with unerring accuracy. I spray it just long enough to ensure that my target has been hit. I wait long enough (probably much more than what’s necessary) to ensure that the cockroach is really dead. Then I go on a search for a piece of paper to pick it up and give it the funeral it deserves – into the garbage bin. Yes, the very thought of the cockroach (though dead) touching my fingers makes me squeamish. And I prance around in the afterglow of a successful cockroach murder…that is until I see another one escaping into a nook before I can “deal” with it.
But every time I have to employ the spray, I do worry about the potential harm I am wrecking on the environment. But the thought of cockroaches crawling over my home and bringing in unwanted illnesses shakes me out of that train of thought. And I sigh and let it go. Cockroaches, at least the ones that happen to be in my house, have to be killed, for the sake of my sanity.
The fear of roaches is called Katsaridaphobia. Well, call me katsaridaphobic, but I most certainly would go to extreme lengths to keep these nasty creatures far away from my home!
So are you brave enough when it comes to cockroaches? Please tell me I am not the only one with the compulsive urge to kill these creatures on sight.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with these nasty creatures?
I would love to hear about what you have to say about this post and your experiences with cockroaches. Do drop a comment or two and let me know what you think.
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© 2021 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.